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Creating An Effective Office Weight Loss Challenge For Your Employees

12 min read
Last Updated on 12 February, 2024

Research suggests that the work environment often plays a major role in determining one’s eating habits. It is also observed that most workplaces offer unhealthy food options, further degrading their employees’ dietary plans.

Moreover, employees often have to deal with work stress, accelerating their tendency to eat unhealthy. In addition, most occupations require employees to sit at a desk all day. All these can cause employees to suffer from unhealthy weight gain, a risk factor for chronic illnesses.

With chronic illnesses, employee absenteeismincreases. Reports cite that chronic illness-related employee absenteeism costs employers US $36.4 billion annually.

So, safeguarding your employee’s health is of utmost importance. If you are an employer who cares about your workforce's wellness, you should keep finding ways to make your workplace healthier.

In this case, workplaces can be the best place to motivate employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Working in a group dedicated to better health can be highly motivating and inspiring.

The first step to ensuring every employee in your organization is health-oriented is to create a corporate health and wellness program. With the help of a wellness program, you will educate your employees on the benefits of good health and help them become healthier and fitter.

Furthermore, wellness programs will show your concern for your employees, helping them feel valued in your organization. To learn how to create and implement a successful health and wellness program in your workplace, read our comprehensive guide on corporate wellness programs.

But in this blog, we'll learn specifically about the office weight-loss challenge and how to create one.

The Benefits of Office Weight Loss Challenges

The major benefit of arranging workplace weight loss challenges is - employees can achieve a healthy weight. But how can weight loss goals help your business? Here’s how:

1. Healthier Habits

Healthy habits are paramount for better health. Practicing healthy habits reduces the chances of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart issues, obesity, and depression.

So, if you arrange workplace wellness challenges, employees will gradually understand the value of healthy habits. The ones who take part in the challenges seriously will meet their desired fitness level. This, in turn, will increase their work quality and concentration levels.

Workplaces that promote employee wellness have low employee turnover rates and better employee performance.

2. Improved Physical Health

Woman doing yoga pose
Office weight loss challenges can also improve employees’ physical health. As the name suggests, the goal is to help employees lose extra weight. And employees who achieve their desired weight loss goals will eventually attain the state of being physically fit.

This, again, boosts the production of happy hormones, which brings in a sense of contentment, and zeal to work.

3. Enhanced Camaraderie

Arranging fitness challenges at the workplace is a great way to sow seeds of camaraderie. With this, coworkers build a positive equation among themselves. Ultimately, this enhances team spirit, work efficiency, and productivity.

Download Our Complete Guide on Corporate Wellness Program For Giving Your Employees a Better Workplace Experience

How to Create and Do Office Weight-Loss Challenge Fairly?

A workplace weight loss challenge will foster engagement and teamwork, help to create a fun and social work environment and keep employees motivated.

But it's essential to create your weight loss competition at work so that it does not encourage unhealthy behaviors and unfriendly competition. Also, you should not just make a "Biggest Loser Challenge," where an individual who loses the most weight is rewarded.

Instead, reward everyone participating in the challenge for their effort and dedication.

Weighing machine along with water bottle and dumbell

Also, body shaming is a strict no! Everyone has their personal fitness goals and preferences, and you should respect that.

Therefore, I have listed some critical points for you to help you create the best possible weight loss challenge. Here, I'll not only help you host just a weight loss competition, but a friendly contest where teamwork, discipline, and dedication are emphasized.

Planning and Preparation

HRs planning for office weightloss challenge

The first thing you need to do is to inform your employees about the benefits of creating a weight loss challenge in the workplace. Assure them that you plan to create a weight loss challenge because you care for their health and wellbeing. After everyone is informed, you can start the preparation and planning process.

  • Decide if you want your challenge to be a team or individual-based one. If it’s a team-based challenge, then divide teams into groups of four or five. Team-based challenges will make sure employees keep each other motivated, and it will build team-work.

  • Start researching and collecting proven diet and exercise tips and strategies.

  • Create an infographic that enlists the tips and strategies. Send soft copies to everyone via mail and pin a physical one to your office bulletin board.

  • Publicize the challenge among all your organization employees by mailing flyers and sticking banners in your workplace. Don't forget to include it in the previous month's company newsletter.

  • Buy a weighing scale and get the official pre-contest weigh-ins. Make sure to check if it functions properly and does not show fluctuating values.

  • Decide on the incentives you will provide your employees after they complete the challenge. You can also keep a grand prize for the winning team. Just remember to reward everyone else for their efforts. Some great reward ideas are gift cards, fitness tracking devices, gym memberships, paid vacations, etc.

Suggested reading: The Relevance of an Activity Tracker in the Corporate World

Setting Parameters and Ground Rules

A list of parameters and rules for weightloss challenge

So, you have made all the arrangements and preparations to get the challenge ready. Now it’s time to set the parameters for the office weight loss challenge rules so that everyone can participate fairly.

  • Determine how long you want your challenge to run. 2 or 3 months are ideal durations, but if you want, you can even keep it running as long as 4-5 months. Remember, long-term challenges will yield the best results, and it will make sure no one takes drastic measures to win.

  • Set a specific time on a specific day every week when official weigh-ins will be taken. You can also appraise the employees who have shown the most commitment. Perhaps, you can reward them with a healthy snack to keep the interest in the challenge high.

  • Declare that you will determine the winners according to the percentage of total weight loss, not total kgs or pounds lost. To determine the percentage of weight loss, divide the amount of weight lost by the initial weight. This would make the challenge equal for everyone as otherwise heavier people would have had an advantage if they lost more kgs or pounds compared to a lighter person.

  • Also, this would be a more sensitive way of announcing winners, as the percentage of weight loss will be publicized, not the actual amount of weight lost.

  • Disqualify participants who use unfair weight loss methods such as starving themselves, taking diet pills, water pills, laxatives, and illegal drugs.

  • Encourage participants to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Also, ask everyone to encourage and motivate each other.

  • Discourage participants from tempting each other with junk foods and unhealthy treats.

Tracking Progress and Announcing It

Vantage Fit's interface showing leaderboard and weight tracker

Now that you’ve set the rules and parameters for your challenge, you can now go ahead and start it. But, you need to track the progress of your participants and announce the highlights of the challenge.

  • Assign a person to collect and keep track of all the data such as initial weights, weekly weigh-ins, and the final results. Choose someone who is honest, unbiased, and able to work with confidential data, preferably an HR executive.

  • Take individual pictures of all participants at the start of the challenge and ask them to provide pictures of their progress. They could also share their experiences on what and how they feel during the challenge.

  • Make announcements weekly as the challenge progresses. Highlight the efforts and achievements of participants.

Making Use Of The Weight Loss Challenge Time Frame

Vantage feature showcasing weightloss challenges

As your weight loss challenge progresses and everyone in your office is in a “fit and healthy” mindset, make use of this time to plan similar activities to help in team building and engagement.

Here are some great ideas that may intrigue you -

Provide Resources

Provide well-explained pamphlets and creatives to all your employees working onsite and remotely. This adds to the excitement of participation and winning the challenge. After all, it is important to boost your employees to take part in the challenge.

Make It Fun

Integrating the fun element in any wellness challenge is essential. This will generate an immense engagement and participation level. For example, you can create visually appealing badges to give away to the participants and winners.

10 Creative and engaging office weight loss challenge ideas

1. Step Challenge

A Step challenge is one of the basic fitness challenges you can incorporate in the workplace. It is a smart way to engage employees in a healthy competition wherein they have to walk a certain number of steps to win.

2. Healthy Eating Challenge

Woman preparing healthy food
Healthy eating is a concept that most people stay away from. The reason behind it - everyone perceives eating healthy as boring. But, if you integrate incentivization and gamification to create a healthy eating challenge at the workplace, you have a win-win situation.

It is no secret that humans love getting brownie points when completing difficult tasks. The same goes for an incentivized healthy eating challenge. Create a healthy food-eating challenge where employees have to eat everything healthy.

And voila, employees will witness the power of healthy eating followed by weight loss. And with that, they win incentives. To track progress, using meal-tracking apps is a great way to manage the challenge.

3. Fitness Class Challenge

This is a much more diverse idea in which you can list a number of fitness activities for your employees to take on. Fix the number of days and the duration for which the participants must partake in the activities.

Some common fitness activities that you can list for this challenge are:

  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Running or Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Aerobics
  • Jump rope
  • Dancing
  • Badminton

Suggested reading: Popular Group Fitness Classes: Essential Benefits, And Ways To Enroll

4. Water-Drinking Challenge

Did you know the average adult can survive only three days without water? This suggests how important water is for human life to sustain. Also, research points out that dehydrated employees tend to perform poorly at work. Moreover, staying hydrated is simply good for health.

So, arranging a water drinking challenge is a great way to promote employee wellness. You can hold a 7-day or even a 30-day streak challenge for the same. To get more insights, you must read our blog on Water Challenge.

Water is known to suppress your appetite naturally. This means staying hydrated increases the chances of weight loss.

5. No-Soda Challenge

Soda or carbonated water feels refreshing to drink, especially during the sweltering summer. While it quenches our thirst, little do we think about what soda water does to our bodies. Although, there is no scientific evidence that says soda negatively impacts the body. Yet again, if you consume it daily, it may lead to bloating or excessive gas.

So, to create awareness and boost employee health, you can keep a no-soda challenge in the workplace.

6. Workout Streak Challenge

Given the rise in sedentary work lifestyles, the need to work out cannot be stressed enough. Most individuals indeed plan to engage in some form of physical workout. But, the real struggle is all about continuing this fitness journey.

Many lose the motivation and zeal to work out at a stretch. As a result, they eventually give up. This is where creating a workout streak challenge may give inactive employees a boost to continue their weight loss goals.

7. Weight Loss Percentage Challenge

The weight loss percentage challenge is nothing but an improvised weight loss challenge. Here, participants have to record their weight loss once a week to track their progress and compete against others.

8. Healthy Recipe Swap

Group of people eating healthy food
This is another engaging idea for motivating employees to eat healthy meals, which will help them to achieve their ideal body weight. You can hold a lottery to go ahead with this weight loss challenge at work. Here is one way you can host this challenge:

For instance, employee X picks up a chit with Y's name. In this case, X must share a healthy meal recipe with Y. Similarly; employee Z picks a chit carrying employee X’s name. And so, Z must share a recipe with X.

9. Lunchtime Walking Club

Walking is immensely good for maintaining a healthy body. It also helps with weight loss goals. You can make announcements and come up with a lunchtime walking club. The thumb rule in this regard is to walk within the workplace premises after lunchtime.

10. Mindfulness Challenge

You may be wondering about what mindfulness has to do with weight loss. The fact is being mindful can greatly improve an individual’s ability to control their portion control.

Portion control is a popular way to eat only what is required for the body to function properly. In doing so, a person eats just the right amount or in a lesser amount to be on a calorie-deficit diet. Additionally, practicing mindfulness brings a sense of calmness, which helps boost work performance.

To proceed with this challenge, you can create daily or weekly challenges where participants must meditate while listening to mindfulness sessions.

Following a calorie-deficit diet can boost the weight loss process.

Role of Wellness Platforms in Office Weight Loss Challenges

Wellness platforms are designed to create, track, and enhance the quality of life. These provide services like wellness challenge creation, progress monitoring, and impact on an organization’s overall growth. Wellness platforms are, infact, an innovative way to help employees adopt healthy habits.

So, is the health of your employees the topmost priority of your company? And if you are trying to shortlist an ideal wellness platform for your employees, Vantage Fit is a name that may interest you if you are planning to host office weight loss challenges.

This platform is built to create a happier and healthier workforce holistically. The platform also offers customized wellness features integrated with incentivization and gamification.

Summing up and Celebration

So, everything has been taken care of, and your weight loss challenge has ended successfully. It’s now time to get everyone together, announce the winners, and have a little celebration.

After announcing and rewarding the winners, here are some things you can do to follow up on your successful weight loss challenge.

  • Signify the success of your weight loss challenge by announcing the number of total participants.

  • Ask everyone to share their experiences, stories, and how their lives have changed since the beginning of the challenge.

  • Sum up the total pounds or kilograms of weight lost by all participants collectively.

  • Mention the activities and exercises participants practiced to lose weight, such as miles ran or cycled. Also, ask them to share their diets and the number of healthy meals consumed throughout the process.

  • Instead of just celebrating weight loss, mark the celebration by signifying the success of effort, teamwork, and discipline.

  • You can reward and honor personal achievements as well, such as "Best team player," "Strongest Willpower," "Most Disciplined," etc.

  • Encourage all your employees to maintain the pursuit of healthy living to keep reaping the benefits of healthy weight levels, healthy eating, and regular exercise.

So go ahead and make use of these weight loss challenge ideas to create a successful and exciting contest in your workplace to keep everyone engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the weight loss challenge at work?

Weight loss challenge at work is a wellness initiative that instills healthy habits and promotes employee weight loss.

2. How can an office worker lose weight fast?

An office worker can boost their weight loss process if they follow an active lifestyle and stay on a calorie deficit diet.

3. How to do a weight loss challenge in an office?

You can follow various ideas to carry out an office weight loss challenge, such as:

Step challenge, healthy eating challenge, recipe swapping, workout streak challenge, etc.

4. How to organize an office weight loss challenge?

The foremost thing to do while organizing a challenge is thoroughly research the different wellness challenges eligible for workplaces. After that, set the office weight challenge rules, incorporate a wellness platform to track the progress, and finally announce the winners.

Besides working as a content marketer at Vantage Circle, Shah Alif Ahmed is also an internationally certified nutrition specialist, competitive bodybuilder and a musician. For any queries reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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