Winston is a VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences. Contact him on Twitter: @VRHeavenNews
June 7th, 2022

What Exactly is VR and How Does it Make me Lose Weight?

VR Weight Loss

VR = Virtual Reality

You put on a headset and you’re transported to another dimension. It’s breathtakingly immersive, and once you’re in it, you’ll have the most fun of your life! (I mean it)

With VR, exercise is no longer a chore.

It’s something you’re motivated to do.

It’s something fun.

Things you can enjoy:

  • Rhythm games
  • Dancing
  • Boxing
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Cycling
  • eSport games
  • Action games
  • Many more

Is Beat Saber Good for Losing Weight?

There’s both anecdotal evidence AND scientific evidence that Beat Saber is excellent for weight loss. However, exercise won’t outweight a bad diet.

The VR Institute of Health and Exercise measured that playing Beat Saber burns “6.55-7.45 kcals per minute” on a person who weighs 60kg. This is the equivalent of playing tennis.

This is played on ‘expert’ difficulty. Most people can achieve ‘expert’ difficulty within 4 hours of playing.

Beat Saber calories burnt

Meanwhile, Expert+ difficulty burns the same amount of calories as rowing! It took me about a week before I could play the easier Expert+ songs.

The good news is that Beat Saber isn’t even the most intensive workout game in VR. There’s other higher intensity workouts like boxing in VR, although Beat Saber is one of the most fun ones.

Here’s some anecdotal evidence of Beat Saber weight loss:

Beat Saber Weight Loss Examples

Case Study One: Losing Weight Without Dieting

This man posted on Reddit about how he lost weight through exercise alone without even changing his diet. Here’s his Reddit post.

losing 30 lbs in 6 months

Case Study 2: Getting Addicted to VR Even if You’re Not a Gamer

Here’s another example from someone who was never a gamer, and had zero interest in gaming:

fun ways to lose weight lazy girl weight loss hacks

VR gaming is completely unlike flatscreen gaming. Even non-gamers will find it extremely fun.

Case Study 3: Streamer Losing 52 lbs Over 2 Years

Here’s another story where a Twitch Streamer loses 52 lbs over 2 years of Beat Saber, and his face underwent a crazy transformation that doesn’t even look real:

beat saber weight loss 2 years

Other Examples

There are thousands of stories like these on Reddit. There are too many no name, but I’ve linked to a few more interesting ones:

Imagine being able to lose weight by playing games each day! You’ll have a blast, you’ll feel mentally better, and if your diet isn’t horrible then you’re guaranteed to lose weight.

How to Lose Weight with VR

5 steps to losing weight in VR:

  1. Diet (essential)
  2. Choose a fitness app
  3. Rotate to a new app
  4. Find a fitness pal
  5. Don’t focus on fitness

1. Diet

Exercising with a bad diet won’t bring you results. You need to fix your diet first!

Luckily:

  • You don’t need to count calories.
  • You don’t need to starve yourself
  • You don’t need to cut out junk food

To lose weight, you want calories in < calories out.

But here’s how to lose weight without getting overly scientific:

  1. Are you gaining weight with the amount you’re eating? If yes, proceed to step 2. If not, then you’re good!
  2. Cut down your calories by 10%
  3. Start the exercise routine and observe your progress. Not happy with your progress? Repeat step 2.

Cutting down your calories by 10% is hardly noticeable. At worst, you’ll be slightly hunry for a few hours during the day – something you’ll have to put up with and your body will easily adapt to it. Since 10% less calories isn’t much.

2. Choose a VR Fitness App

If you don’t have a VR headset, I recommend picking up the Quest 2.

For the price – it’s 10x more cost effective than a gym membership which most people never even use.

And health is invaluable. You can’t pay for health.

Next, choose a VR fitness app. Start with one game/app.

I recommend Beat Saber – since it has unlimited custom songs and you can play it for hundreds/thousands of hours without getting bored.

Have fun and just play the game! Don’t think of it as exercise, but think of it as something you want to do. If you ever get bored of it…

3. Rotate to a New App

There’s dozens of fitness apps out there.

Some are free.

Some cost $20-40

But as I said before, you can’t pay for good health. So do whatever you can to make sure you’re doing the necessary things to staying healthy.

Rotate between the apps when you get bored of one.

Here’s my routine:

  • Beat Saber
  • Synth Rider
  • Thrill of the Fight
  • Les Mills Bodycombat
  • Supernatural
  • FitXR
  • Hot Squat
  • Dance Central

4. Find a Fitness Pal

Games like Beat Saber and Synth Riders have an online mode. Synth Riders has voice chat in it – so I prefer it for multiplayer.

Finding a partner can help you stay motivated to losing weight!

If you’re feeling lazy, your partner can motivate you to exercise and have fun.

How do you find a partner? Join our Discord server!

5. Have Fun!

Not every VR game has to be about weight loss.

Even though games like Skyrim VR, Half-Life: Alyx and Resident Evil 4 aren’t “fitness” games, you’re still standing up and waving your arms around. It’s much healthier than sitting down on a computer and playing games!

Just enjoy what VR has to offer.

How to Get Started with VR Fitness

I recommend picking up an Oculus Quest 2 (now known as Meta Quest 2). It’s the only headset that is completely wireless and standalone.

Wires get in the way of exercising: imagine wearing a VR headset and having a wire dangle from your head to your computer. It’s NOT recommended for fitness VR.

All other headsets require being tethered to your computer and sometimes even setting up external sensors for tracking.

With the Quest 2, all you gotta do is open the box, put it on your head and you’re set to go. No hassles of having to connect to your PC.

So in short: Just get the Quest 2.

Finally: Some Gameplay Videos

Beat Saber is mostly an upper body workout, but it’s the most fun one out there:

Les Mills BodyCombat is the most intense full body workout in VR (although it has a variety of intensity levels):

Supernatural is also a great full body workout, gameplay is similar to Beat Saber:

And there’s much more games 🙂

Overall

This is by far the easiest way to lose weight.

If you’ve ever struggled with finding a routine that works – VR will be the technology that fixes your problem.

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