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New game to help you lose weight

September 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dieting is never fun -- until now. A "Grey's Anatomy" producer created a new game to help you lose weight. Here's how to play and lose. "I didn't come up with the concept, I just got fat," said Krista Vernoff. "My friend came up with the concept for me."

If you've tried every kind of diet, Krista Vernoff wants you to get your "Game On."

"It's an overall health game, not just a diet, so you earn points for eating five small meals a day, exercising 20 minutes a day, drinking three liters of water a day, sleeping a minimum of seven hours, which is huge thing for a working mom," said Vernoff.

Which she is. Mother of a 2-year-old, Krista Vernoff is executive producer of the ABC show, "Grey's Anatomy," who gained 20 pounds due to job stress, 50 more during pregnancy.

"So when my baby was three months old I was over 200 pounds," said Vernoff.

Plain old diet and exercise didn't work. Krista lost four pounds in 12 weeks, yet when she made a game out of it she lost 15 pounds in nine weeks.

"It was Krista's competitive spirit that was really the driving force for creating the game," said Game On co-creator Az Ferguson.

This is not a game of chance and there's no beginner's luck, but rather a well-thought-out plan to put an element of play into weight loss which those who've tried it know: it isn't all that much fun.

"We played about 15 different games as prototypes with friends and family and doctors," said Ferguson.

Fitness buddy Ferguson realized that getting fit is painful for those like Vernoff, so he created a challenge for her.

"You get 10 points for implementing a healthy habit and 10 points for eradicating a bad one," said Ferguson.

There are points for eating lean protein, healthy fats and low-sugar carbohydrates, points for sleeping and drinking enough, even points for communicating with your team so that lifestyle changes are less of a chore and more of a competition.

"You really have to look at everything that goes into your day, not just what you put into your body, and to make it really fun and to play it with your friends, and to stop feeling secretive and stop feeling ashamed, and pull it out of the closet and make it a game," said Vernoff.

Each game lasts a month, the time experts say it takes to make or break a habit. And along with losing weight and gaining energy, you get a prize.

"There has been massages, car wash," said Ferguson.

"It can be something like carpool or, if you are playing with your spouse, like you do the dishes every night for a month," said Vernoff.

The hashtag to follow Game On! Dieters on Twitter is #gameondiet

People can follow Krista and Az's game progress as well on their Twitter pages at: http://twitter.com/KristaVernoff and Az at http://twitter.com/AzFerguson

They can also get fun "Grey's" info on Krista's Twitter.

No Twitter? Check here instead: www.gameondiet.com


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