When my husband and I opened our wellness studio, our purpose was to help people reach their fitness goals by promoting a consistently healthy lifestyle. We were resistant to suggest any quick fixes, like weight loss challenges. I can’t stand behind something that makes people go crazy just to get the number on the scale to go down, and then watch them gain it all back. But I also hear the requests for structure and accountability. As a therapist, rule #1, is to meet people where they are at. So we have been offering weight loss challenges as an option at Whole Body Fitness. I must admit these challenges are fascinating from an observational perspective. I learn something new with each weight loss contest that we host. We are always tweaking the details in an attempt to maximize motivation and weight loss. Each contest has been a little different. The 5th, and most recent challenge just ended. We saw the most dramatic losses in this contest. I get the privilege to witness everyone’s technique. The most recent winner is a vegan and doesn’t exercise. Second place went to a vegetarian who didn’t exercise either. The participants who came in 3rd, 4th and 5th place exercised consistently and watched what they ate. The people who lost the most were able to tap into a groove that helped them lose a ridiculous amount of weight. They also offered and asked for support in person and on our private Face Book page. Is it a coincidence that the least engaged people lost the least? Winners also expressed the desire to initiate additional healthy behaviors like exercise. WBF offers the basic foundation. We don’t tell anyone what to eat, what plan to follow or how much to exercise. The contest provided accountability and support. This time we also offered a cash prize for the winner. This combination proved to be profoundly motivational! The winner wasn’t the only one who kicked ass! There were many contestants that lost an impressive amount of weight! My husband and I still preach a consistently healthy lifestyle. We wish everyone could experience the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. But we also see the power in…Getting The Party Started! When initiating a weight loss endeavor, it is very motivational to see the scale go down. It just is! That’s fact for everyone. People like to see a payoff for their effort. I’m not promoting a quick fix. I’m just sharing my observations of what seems to get people in the game. Now it’s time to focus on, keeping people in the game!