- Reaching out to friends or family (your “teammates” during the challenge) to help keep you motivated and feel supported
- Drinking more water (and not sugary drinks!)
- Cutting back on late-night snacking
- Getting more servings of fruits and vegetables
- Limiting (but not completely excluding) sugary treats
- Keeping a food journal and
- Exercising 30-45 minutes 5 days a week
At first glance, it may seem like a lot of things to be focusing on, but there is a simple way to keep track of allllll of it.
How it works:
The challenge is broken down into 8 weeks, starting on a Monday, and each week you can earn a certain amount of points for successfully completing (or avoiding) the tasks mentioned above. Each day, you keep track of your points on a calendar provided, tallying them up at the end of the week. Starting on week two, there is a “double point challenge” that is highlighted in yellow. While the focus is not specifically on weight loss, you will still keep track of your weight each week. At the end of the challenge, there are two challenge “winners” – one who has earned the most points, and one who has lost the largest percentage of their starting weight.
- Weekly weigh-in: Weigh yourself anytime each Sunday, just make sure that you weigh yourself under the same circumstances each week (for example: Morning/Night, Empty/Full stomach). Be sure to weigh yourself the Sunday before it starts and to send in your results that night and each week to your challenge leader.
- Challenge Leader: Choose someone in your challenge who will be the one you send a weekly email/text to with your total weekly points and total weight loss. They will have to keep track of everyone’s numbers using the spreadsheet at the end of the challenge PDF or a system they feel comfortable with. Each week, they will be in charge of sending out an email or text with everyone’s standings on Mondays. Usually, we say that all points have to be emailed/texted by midnight on Sunday. To make it fair to the challenge leader, we agreed that if you didn’t send in an email/text by that time, you received no points for that week.
- Challenge Fee: We always do a challenge “fee” to join – and that money is split between the two winners at the end. The “Challenge Leader” collects the money before it starts, and then gives it to the winners once the challenge is completed and tallies have been totaled. We’ve done everything from $5 to $25. This isn’t necessary, but we’ve found that people tend to be more committed for the entire 8 weeks when they’ve paid to be a part. A few times we’ve just waived the fee and you get bragging rights if you win – so it’s totally up to you and your group and what everyone is comfortable with.
- Food Journal: Included in the challenge PDF is a sample food journal that you can use to keep track of what you eat. You can also use an app or website like MyFitnessPal, or you can just write it down in your way.
- Daily contact with teammate: It’s amazing the strength that comes from encouragement from your teammates! We decided as a team that you could email, call, snap, talk to, or text someone on your team to encourage them to have a healthy day. It helps knowing that you are all in this together and makes you accountable for what you do or don’t do.
- Challenge winners: Cash prize money (from the initial challenge fee) will be divided equally between the person who loses the largest percentage of weight and the person who has the most total weekly points.
You can include as many people as you like! We’ve done it with entire companies, as a family, with neighborhood groups, between us and our spouses, or just as a personal guideline and challenge to live healthier.
It’s up to you as a group to decide. Usually we come up with a list of things we consider “treats” as a group so everyone is on the same page. We usually include all candy, baked goods, and sugary drinks (including diet sodas). You can make the list really long if you’re up for more of a challenge, or keep it simple and short – whatever your group is up for. Either way, when that treat day rolls around, things will really taste delicious. 😉
To calculate your percentage of weight lost, take the total number of pounds lost and divide it by your starting weight, then times it by 100. So, if you have lost 4 total pounds, and your starting weight was 150, you would use this equation: (4 ÷ 150) x 100.
- Have a big group? Add in additional prizes or incentives for weekly winners to keep things exciting (sometimes 8 weeks feels like forever!).