194. Gamifying and Feedback

By: Michael Beiter

 

gamifying
  1. apply typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to (an activity), typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
     
    "I like to gamify parts of my life to keep things fun."
     
    Whether you are aware of it or not, your fitness and nutrition have been gamified. Our app does it. So does MyFitness Pal. I wish this were not the case, but fighting gamification is futile in the modern world. I wish it wasn't so because, in all honesty, I don't care if your food or fitness is fun. I guess it's cool if it is, but a massive problem emerges when you expect fun, exciting, and entertaining to fit into your fundamental needs of eating and exercising. Gamification leads people NOT to exercise and eat well if it's not fun, and that can't happen. 
     
    My criteria for what I eat and do in the gym is simple: does it work? If so, I do it. If not, I don't. Fun be damned. I hope you think the same. 

    One other point I wanted to make today was to talk about the need for feedback. We know that you need feedback on what you did right and wrong to change your behavior. When it comes to eating, many people think the coach they hire provides the feedback. As if a coach could slap food out of your hand if you have too much or add more if you have too little. This feedback is not possible, but the expectation remains. I teach people that the feedback they need to eat right comes from their food logs. 
     
    Once you log what you eat, you get feedback in the form of how many calories were in it, along with the macronutrients. In the form of data, the feedback is all the information you need to make your next eating decision. Without data from a food log, your only feedback options are your feelings. It won't take much experimenting to learn that feelings are not accurate feedback concerning food. 
     
    Let it be clear, no one on the planet, no matter how much money you pay them, can give you the feedback that a food log does. 
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