Weight loss isn’t just about numbers on a scale. The real success lies in how much healthier your clients feel and the lifestyle changes they’ve made.
But developing healthy habits can be tough. Some people have unrealistic weight loss goals they expect to accomplish in a short time frame. Others believe their fitness level holds them back from losing weight. And this is all easier to overcome with the power of community!
A weight loss competition can empower your clients to take control of their health and make a lasting change. Whether you start a 30-day weight loss challengeor shorter mini-challenges, engaging your community in these fun activities is vital to their success. Let’s dive into some fun weight loss challenge ideas that your members will actually see to the end!
The U.S. has been obsessed with calorie counting and BMIfor decades but the rate of obesity is still at 42%– it’s clear we need to support weight loss methods beside slashing calories and obsessive weigh-ins. Nutrition challenges can be an effective alternative. These activities provide structure and specific goals to help individuals lose weight in a sustainable way by improving their nutrient intake. This allows people to focus on adding to their diet , not limiting themselves, which can make chasing their goals more enjoyable.
Encourage your clients to cook different healthy meals each day for one week. Challenge them to get creative each night with new types of food and displays that surprise their friends and family. Then have them post their meals to social mediawith a hashtaglike #chefchallenge and pick a winner from the bunch based on predetermined criteria, like most vegetables or creative presentation.
Sugar detox challenge
To make a sugar detox fun and engaging, you can start by setting realistic goals and incentives that motivate everyone. For example, you could develop a plan to gradually reduce sugar over a certain period. Instead of going cold turkey, they can start by limiting sugar intake to once per day. Then once every other day, and so on. Slowly (and as it becomes more of a habit) they will reduce their consumption over time, possibly eliminating it altogether! You can also turn these reduction periods into mini challenges and reward people with sugar-free treats each time they successfully lower the amount of sugar they eat per day.
Whole foods healthy recipe challenge
In this challenge,competitors create recipes from only whole food sources such as fresh produce, meat, nuts, seeds, and beans for an entire month. Once a week, you can set up a potluck where your members bring their original recipes and compete for the best-tasting meal. At the end of the month, award prizes to those who created the most delicious and healthiest meals!
Encourage your audience to replace unhealthy snacks with healthy food for a month. Every day, they can find a healthy snack that begins with the letter of the alphabet in chronological order. For example, on day one, they might choose an apple; on day two, berries; on day three, carrots; on day four, figs; and so on. Those who successfully find a healthy snack for every letter of the alphabet win!
During a mindful eating challenge, participants focus on eating in a way that promotes savoring the experience. It’s the opposite of how we so often eat, answering emails or dashing down the road. When mindful of chewing before swallowing food and savoring the flavor, people often enjoy the meal more or notice when they’re full faster. Have your clients write down their experience in a mindful eating journal so they can track how often they avoided overeating and truly enjoyed their meals.
Increasing water intake can help your clients feel more energized and refreshed. Consider stocking up on branded water bottles with notches indicating how much water has been consumed. Hand out these bottles to everyone who wants to compete and a sheet to monitor their progress. Each time their water level goes down to a certain measurement, they get to add another tally mark to their sheet. At the end of the challenge, you can compare who drank the most water daily.
Regular physical activity increases calorie burning, leading to fat loss and improved overall health. Exercise also helps build muscle, further boosting metabolism and leading to greater calorie expenditure. In addition, cardio and strength training can reduce stress levels, which lowers cortisol levels and thus decreases fat storagein the body.
Most of your membership knows how beneficial exercise is, but setting a stretch fitness goal can still be intimidating. A fitness challengecan make losing weight through exercise more accessible and enjoyable. Rather than focusing on an arbitrary number of repetitions, the challenge is about the journey and enjoying what they’re doing while getting fit.
Hula hoop challenge
Ask your members to grab a hula hoop and see how long they can keep it spinning around their waist. You can make this game even more challenging by offering different size hoops or double hula hoops at once!
Take a weekly group hike
Challenge your clients to go for a scenic walk or trek in nature and enjoy the great outdoors every weekend for a month. They can try different paths to keep things fresh, and up the ante by adding stretching or bodyweight exercisesat specific distance intervals.
Whether they take a dip in a pool, the ocean, or a lake, challenge your community to work out in the water. You can mix up traditional lap exercises with fun games like underwater tag and water polo.
Ask your clients to tap into their inner child and skip rope! They can also play hopscotch on sidewalks and driveways, or try trampoline workouts involving plyometric exercises like jumping jacks, backflips, and mountain climbers.
Group sport challenge
Playing sports with friends or co-workers can make exercise more natural and engaging. Challenge your community to compete in a gym-sponsored tournament. Members can form teams and exercise together to prepare for the competition. Make sure you have a few MVP awards ready!
Parkour is an activity that requires people to move through their environment in creative ways. It combines elements of running, jumping, and climbing. You can host a parkour challenge at a local outdoor agility course, timing participant’s time every week. Whoever shows the most improvement after a month — whether that’s in number of obstacles added or time shaved off – can be crowned champion .
A healthy lifestyle challenge provides a framework to develop healthier habits and achieve weight loss goals. The lifestyle changes that your clients make through these challenges are intended to improve their physical and mental health. All these activities can help them de-stress, a key component of weight loss.
30-day digital detox
Challenge your community to unplug from at least one form of technology for one month. Members can abstain from television, computers, tablets, or phones. This will allow them to de-stress by spending quality time with loved ones and focusing on reading books, listening to music, or engaging in physical activities like your classes instead.
Blog or vlog about the journey
Documenting their weight loss journey is another way for your clients to stay motivated and hold themselves accountable. They can write about it in a blogor start a YouTube channel to post weekly updates about their progress, tips for losing weight, healthy eating habits, and personal experiences. This will not only help them stay on track with their goals; it can also be an inspiring story for other people trying to shed pounds. Make sure you share your fitness center’s hashtag with them so their media shows everyone who’s helping make the magic happen!
Mindfulness meditation habit
Challenge your community to stay after class for a few minutes of quiet reflection and meditation. They can use this time to notice and appreciate the present moment and all its beauty. You can also encourage them to set intentions about loving their body and being kind to themselves no matter what outcomes they experience.
Teaming Up with Wellness Experts
Engaging with your audience will only strengthen your weight loss challenge. You can offer them even more value if you team up with other wellness industry experts to spread the word about these challenges. This could be nutritionists specialized in weight loss programs, mental health specialists, or meditation teachers.
By offering additional resources from a wider network of professionals, you’re opening up your audience’s minds to novel ways of approaching their health and wellness goals. Ultimately, you’re building a larger community that helps people stay connected during their journey to better health!
If you’re looking for more ways to develop a wellness program for your clients, contact a Gympass wellbeing specialist today.
Partnering with a company like Gympass can help you bring those resources and learnings to a brand new audience. We’re building a community of gyms to offer fitness classes to corporate employees. Learn more about becoming a partner today!
- Adult Obesity Facts. CDC. Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html.
- Losing Weight. CDC. Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html.
- Overweight & Obesity Statistics. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity.
- Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. (2016). Pubmed. Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27345309/.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.