Team weight-loss challenges can provide motivation and a support system to help participants lose more weight than if they attempted to lose weight on their own. You can set up a team challenge in a variety of settings, such as workplaces and online communities. An important consideration as you design the challenge is to promote an encouraging environment that allows all participants to become healthier.
Challenge Another Department or Organization
Recruit employees who want to lose weight and work in your own department or organization, and have your team challenge a team from a nearby department or company. The winner can be the team that loses the most total weight or the highest percentage of body weight during the challenge. Ask each participant to send weekly weigh-in results to her team captain, and email weekly updates to inform participants on each team's progress.
Track Individual Progress
You can start a single-team weight-loss challenge in your workplace. In this competition, everyone who participates is on the same team. The winner is the team member who loses the most pounds during the competition. Put up a poster displaying the names and starting weights of each contestant, and have contestants write their new weights and total weight loss each week so that all employees know how they are doing relative to the other employees.
Carry Out Your Challenge Through Support Groups
A potential advantage of participating in team challenges instead of trying to lose weight alone is the group-oriented nature of the challenges. When you are losing weight on your own, you might become discouraged or not know where to go to find the answers to your questions. In a team challenge, other participants can be good resources for information and encouragement. Hold regular meetings to discuss weight-loss strategies as you work toward winning your team challenge.
Offer Individual and Team Incentives
Losing weight is an incentive that is intrinsic to team weight-loss challenges, but additional incentives can provide additional motivation. You might offer prizes to the team that loses the most total weight in addition to giving awards to individuals on each team who lose the most weight or percentage of original body weight. Prizes could be related to health and weight loss, such as a free month's membership at a local gym. An example of a prize unrelated to weight loss is a gift certificate for a massage or another luxury gift. In a workplace, the team that loses the challenge could become responsible for catering the next conference.
Join an Online Team Challenge
Those who are participating in weight-loss challenges can use online discussion forums for social support and information. One study, published in the journal "Computers, Informatics, Nursing" in October 2013, found that regularly receiving informational and motivational text messages increased weight loss among individuals who were trying to lose weight in community-based program. Online websites and smartphone applications can let participants look up the nutritional content of the foods they eat and track their dietary intake and physical activity. Search online to find weight-loss communities and join an existing challenge or recruit team members for a new challenge.