I have been trying to lose weight for years and tried countless diets. I was able to lose a few pounds, but I have gained it a few months later. But now I have discovered a method that works for me in the long term: It is VR games.
I was able to lose a total of 35 pounds in the last 12 months. You can find out exactly what I did and what results I was able to achieve in which period of time in this experience report.
A little hint: I’m not alone in my weight loss success with VR games. Beat Saber fan Stephanie, whom I interviewed on the subject, also lost a total of 55! pounds. You can find Stephanie’s experiences here in the guide. She’s also like me from Germany.
Losing weight with computer games – it sounds too good to be true. It all started almost a year ago when my husband bought the Oculus Quest. This is a VR headset.
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And for VR headsets there are many motion games that make you sweat. The most popular VR game for years is Beat Saber.
In Beat Saber, coloured blocks fly at you and you have to cut them with your virtual swords. Now you might be wondering how to lose weight with this.
It’s simple: at a higher level of difficulty, it’s an exercise sport. So I burn up to 370 calories in a 30-minute session.
For almost a year now, I have been playing Beat Saber and other sports games that I will introduce to you. Through the constant movements I have lost 35 pounds and feel much better as a result 🙂 .
My weight loss journey with VR games
Note: I go into a lot of data and personally measured values (calories etc.) in this guide. These relate to my body. To start a year ago, I weighed a total of 199 pounds at 172 cm. I am 28 years old.
When I first tried Beat Saber, I was already working out a little bit in lower difficulty. Since I enjoyed the game so much, I used Beat Saber regularly with the VR headset Oculus Quest from the beginning.
Week after week, I got better until I could manage the “Expert Plus” difficulty level. Here you have to move quite fast. So I already lost 5,5 pounds in the first month with VR games.
Note: I have changed my diet a little bit in the last 12 months. Basically, I try to eat mainly healthy food, but I don’t give up sweets either. So apparently I have been missing exercise all these years. There is no other explanation for my weight loss in my opinion.
After this initial success, I integrated Beat Saber into my daily routine and played for about an hour every day. The problem: Beat Saber is still my favourite game, but at some point I needed another game.
So I looked around for other sports games and came across boxing games. My second favourite game is Thrill of the Fight. It’s basically classic boxing in VR. Compared to Beat Saber, it’s much more strenuous and challenging, and it’s exactly what I needed to get fitter and lose weight in the long run. Here I usually achieve more than 400 calories in a 30-minute session.
How many calories do I burn with VR games?
I wear an Apple Watch when I play VR games. This measures the calories I burn. For my 3 favourite games, you can find my average calories burned below.
I usually play a few songs in Beat Saber 2 to 4 times a day. Often 30-minute sessions. Here, according to my Apple Watch, I burn an average of 360 calories in one hour.
I also enjoy playing the boxing game Thrill of the Fight. It’s much more strenuous than Beat Saber. I usually burn 400 calories in 30 minutes. This is where I really break a sweat.
Lastly: My new favourite, Supernatural. It’s a fitness app. I compare it to Beat Saber, but much more challenging. I burn an average of 408 calories in 30 minutes. What I like about it is that I’m pulled into another world and the music is really brilliant. There are current chart hits and many classics. Simply great 🙂
Similar calorie values for the individual games were also determined by the VR Health Institute from the US. The researchers specialise in VR games and the physical exertion involved in playing them.
The scientists have also compiled a list of VR games that burn the most calories per minute. In this list, the mentioned boxing game is in first place with 14.45 calories burned per minute.
Note: My current favourite game Supernatural has not yet been tested by the scientists.
Interview with VR fan Stephanie: This is how she was able to lose more than 55 pounds!
I don’t really like reading testimonials about losing weight. This is because the articles often only deal with one person. I therefore decided to look for another woman who was able to lose weight with VR games.
I met Stephanie in a german Facebook group around the Oculus Quest. I was really surprised how much weight she was able to lose with VR games. Since I was planning an article about my weight loss success, I thought Stephanie with her experience would be the best interview guest for this.
Hi Stephanie. Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed.
How did you get into VR?
I’m a fan of the Resident Evil game series and all of a sudden the 7th part was available in VR for the PlayStation. So I had to buy the PlayStation VR.
What fascinates you about Beat Saber?
Everything. It was there at the right moment and picked me up exactly where I needed to be picked up. Beat Saber really drew me in. You are immediately in another world and distracted by the music. And by the way, you exercise your body – purely by chance – while playing a computer game. Beat Saber never gets boring. There are always new songs and mods. You can also play one-armed etc.
Do you play other VR games? If so, which ones are they?
Yes. I play others. Mainly on the PSVR, namely Resident Evil 7, Astrobot, Farpoint (with the PlayStation AimController) and Thumper, and Tetris.
When were you able to notice your first weight loss successes?
Quite late. I didn’t notice it at all at the beginning – it was more of a side thing 🙂 . After 8 months I noticed it really intensively when I switched from the PSVR to the Oculus Quest. That’s when it really took off. I had free space (the Oculus Quest has no cable) and could play Beat Saber for hours.
How many pounds have you been able to lose with VR games so far?
I’ve lost 55 pounds with VR. It fluctuates back and forth. Sometimes 5 pounds up and down, because i have not changed my diet since I play VR games. I’m curious to see how it continues. I keep playing games. But I’m not aiming to lose weight either, I’m grateful that things are going so well besides playing VR. 🙂
If you’d like to see Stephanie playing Beat Saber, check her out on the “Fuchtelkanal” on YouTube. There she plays many songs and films herself doing so. In the following video, she even uses arm weights – mega cool idea to increase the intensity of the workout 🙂
Conclusion: My personal tips for your weight loss success with VR games
I’m so glad that I started with Beat Saber and Co. back then and was thus able to lose weight. Maybe I could inspire you to try VR games yourself. For those readers, I’ve put together a few tips so that you can avoid making the wrong purchase.
Which VR headsets are best?
In my opinion, the best VR headset at the moment is the Oculus Quest 2. I have tested several pairs of glasses and also use the PlayStation VR at home. The Oculus Quest (1 and 2) has the advantage that the battery is permanently installed and the headset can therefore be used wirelessly. In addition, most good VR games are available for the Quest. Oculus is also constantly working on new functions. It’s a Facebook-Company and the game changer in the VR space.
However, the Oculus Quest is a little uncomfortable for some users.
My tip: Maybe you can find the Quest in an electronics store or at a friend’s house and put the headset on for a test run.
Is the Oculus Quest expensive?
Unfortunately the Quest is not cheap. But for me, every penny was worth it and I would buy the Quest again and again. If the Quest is too expensive for you, you can take a look at the cheaper PS VR from Sony. But it has a cable and requires a PlayStation 4.
I also justify the cost of the Quest in comparison to the fees of a fitness studio. Here in Germany a fitness studio costs 39.99 euros to 84.99 euros per month. So in one year, the gym costs 479.88 euros and that’s exactly the amount you can expect to pay for an Oculus Quest with the game purchases. But the Quest lasts longer than a year. I’m not a fan of gyms either, because with the Quest I can play independently and exactly where I want. It also saves me a lot of time, which is important to me because I work.
How much should I play?
I am neither a sports nor a health expert and only describe my personal experiences with VR games with a focus on losing weight.
I think that for me it was important to play regularly and preferably every day. Although I sometimes had sore muscles, I thus felt the difference and was sufficiently motivated in the first months of weight loss.
But on average, I played for at least an hour every day. I also like to go for a walk. Per day, besides playing Quest and in my daily routine, I reach 8,000 steps almost every day.
The biggest advantage with VR is the playful training. I actually always have motivation because the glasses can be used immediately and I can do everything at home. I don’t have to travel anywhere, can immerse myself in a new world and be playfully active. What more could you want 🙂