Trying to dodge the office vending machine, your colleagues’ candy bowl, and the traditional breakroom diet becomes a hard feat to achieve when you are trying to lose weight. But it’s possible to stick to your diet and resist these temptations altogether by motivating others to join your weight loss plan. And there is no better way to do this than by planning a workplace weight loss challenge.
While the purpose of a challenge is to have one overall winner, those who will not manage to win will get to benefit from the challenge.
Why Organize an Office Weight Loss Challenge?
While the general idea of organizing this type of challenge is heavily influenced by reality shows running weight-loss challenges, being in a group environment makes it easier to achieve the set goals. Past studies have established that whenever an obese person is inspired and supported by those surrounding them, it becomes easier for them to shed off the extra weight.
Tips on Running Challenge for Weight Loss
1. Start by Setting the Parameters
The first thing to do is to find an individual who will serve as the point person. Their role will be to collect information such as the starting weight, conduct the weekly weigh-ins, and establish the final numbers. In an ideal world, this would be the role of the wellness coordinator in your organization.
Where such a person is not available, consider selecting someone who is honest and discreet. It normally becomes easier to run a weight loss challenge when the people taking part are assured that they will not face any judgment.
Make sure to come up with a starting and ending date. Ideally, the challenge should run between six to eight weeks. This is enough time for all those taking part to lose weight naturally without having to resort to radical actions. The good thing with this timeframe is that it’s not too long, which means that people will not start losing interest and focus.
As you set the time frame, specify when the official weigh-ins will take place. For instance, the weigh-ins may occur on a weekly basis, or alternatively, you may choose to hold them every other Tuesday or Thursday. Parameter setting allows you to also come up with office weight loss challenge prize ideas.
The prizes are to be offered to participants who have made good progress or demonstrated exceptional commitment. It’s a great way of making sure that all personnel will remain committed to this challenge.
2. Make Preparations and Start Inviting Participants
As you are going through possible weight loss challenge ideas, make sure to obtain a scale. Having a scale in the office will help ensure that all participants will be using the same scale. Keep in mind that scales tend to vary in terms of their accuracy. It, therefore, makes sense to have all the participants weighing in using a uniform scale.
At the same time, go back to your list of office weight loss challenge prize ideas. More people will become eager to participate when they are properly incentivized. For instance, you could have people contributing a certain amount of money that would then be pooled together and given to the winner. Alternatively, you can consider offering gift cards, stability balls, jumping ropes, socks, and fitness apparel to the person who emerges victorious.
Make sure to publicize your challenge by mailing your colleagues flyers, sending them emails, and even bringing up the challenge during team discussions. You will, however, need to make a decision on whether this challenge will be team-based or individual. For teams, you can opt for teams having between two and four members.
3. Come Up with the Ground Rules for the Challenge
It’s advisable to educate participants on healthy ways to lose weight. Participants should be informed of weight loss mistakes they should avoid. The main goal for weight loss program isn’t all about losing weight. Participants should be able to maintain the weight even after the challenge.
It’s important to come up with ground rules, which will include the criteria by which the winner will be chosen. For the winner, ensure that he/she is chosen by looking at the total percentage of weight loss as opposed to the pounds they have lost. Heavier individuals may have an advantage if the latter option is applied as it’s easier for them to lose weight.
Apart from making sure that competition is fair, your colleagues will also appreciate its privacy aspect. Working with percentages means that you will only post standings and not their real weight. Also, discourage others from tempting their colleagues with candy and other treats during the course of the challenge.