Making meaningful lifestyle changes is hard, especially when you're trying to lose weight. However, starting a weight loss challenge might make dropping unwanted pounds a bit easier. For many people, having the support of others who are trying to accomplish the same goal makes it easier to lose weight and get in shape.
Typically, weight loss challenges are organized among coworkers. This tends to be the simplest method of recruiting participants because everyone will see each other on a regular basis. However, you can create a weight loss challenge for your friends, members of a church group, or any other collection of people you can get together for the required update sessions. Email lists, Facebook groups, and other online tools can also be used to keep participants connected during the times they are physically unable to meet.
There is no ideal number of participants for a weight loss challenge, although you want to find enough participants to make the competition meaningful. Aim to recruit at least 10 people for your project.
When planning a weight loss challenge, you'll need to have one or two responsible people in charge of the administrative details. Someone will need to pick a starting date for the challenge and record everyone's beginning body weight. Someone will need to track progress through regular weigh-ins. If you want your challenge to include events such as group workout sessions, someone will need to plan these activities as well. Since most weight loss challenges last between two and four months, this can end up being a significant commitment.
You will also need to select someone to be in charge of the financial aspect of the weight loss challenge. For many people, the appeal of a weight loss challenge is that there is some sort of prize offered to the winner. For example, if there are 20 people involved in the challenge and each pays $10 to participate, the winner may receive $200.
If your office has rules against contests involving cash prizes, you don't have to give up the idea of a weight loss challenge completely. The winner could be taken out for a healthy lunch or treated to a gift certificate for a membership to the local gym.
How do you determine who wins a weight loss challenge? The most obvious answer would be that the person who loses the most weight wins. However, you need to keep in mind that participants will all be starting from different points in their weight loss journey. Someone who is considered morbidly obese has much more weight to lose than someone who just wants to take off the five pounds she packed on by overindulging during her last vacation. For this reason, a weight loss challenge typically awards prizes based on the percentage of weight lost as compared to your starting body weight.
Of course, a weight loss challenge that motivates people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle is successful regardless of who wins. However, you might want to add a lighthearted touch to your competition by awarding small tokens to participants who displayed the biggest commitment to weight loss – even if they didn't lose enough to win a cash prize. Use computer clip art to make fun certificates in a desktop publishing program or pick up inexpensive trophies at your local party supply store.