How to Be a Loser for Life
Biggest Loser. Biggest Winner. Lose to Gain. Dump the Plump. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one of these! Weight loss challenges are one of the most popular wellness initiatives within a worksite wellness program. These have come with tremendous success stories, but also their fair share of challenges. While programs like this have great intentions, not all of the weight loss is done correctly, safely or fairly.
After working with dozens of variations of the typical weight loss challenge, we’ve set out to provide you with some tips to make your next challenge a fair and successful one:
- Administration: If possible, solicit the help of a third party to administer the weight loss challenge or, at a minimum, the weigh-ins. Participants tend to be more comfortable disclosing their weight to a third party instead of a member of the HR team.
- Measurement: Weight loss should be measured by percentage of weight lost, not pounds. The ability to measure body fat composition is even better!
- Teams: Creating teams to compete against one another is a great way to even out the playing field. It’s also great for team building and some friendly competition.
- Incentives: Although it sounds counterintuitive, staying away from offering a large grand prize may eliminate the unsafe and inappropriate techniques of losing weight. In an effort to win a very generous prize, you’d be surprised at what lengths participants will go – we’ve seen it all! Safe weight loss is of the utmost importance within this type of program. Instead of a grand prize, try one of these alternatives:
o Offer participation incentives to those who successfully complete all required components of the challenge
o Have participants nominate the MVP of the challenge and provide a grand prize to the winner
o Advertise bragging rights – these can sometimes go just as far as a physical prize
- Activities: Incorporate activities throughout the challenge to support participants such as health coaching, on-site fitness classes and dietitian counseling. Expert guidance and support will help employees understand the best way they can meet their goals. Requiring participation in these activities as part of the overall incentive is ideal!
- Timing: Make sure you allot an appropriate amount of time for the challenge. We recommend no less than 12 weeks.
For more tips on creating – and evaluating – the success of your wellness program, contact us.
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- Healthy Competiton
- Wellness E-Book
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