Seven of us started a 12 week “Operation Look Good in a Swimsuit” Weight Loss Challenge. We had an 8th member join the group 2 days into the challenge. Everyone put in $50.00 so that the winner would receive an additional reward.
The social experiment we are conducting asks the question, “Does group and public accountability, along with tools such as Fitbits, and a monetary incentive increase weight loss in a group of friends?”
Our first week is a short week (4 days), with the remaining weeks being full weeks. The seven of us had a total of 151 lbs we wanted to shed in twelve weeks. The amount of weight loss varied from 12 pounds to 30 lbs. We all committed to increased exercise, decrease calorie consumption, and decreased alcohol consumption.
The 7 of us lost a combined 10 pounds! The amount lost ranged from .7 lbs to 3.2 lbs. One person (who spent most of the week working with weights and building up muscle) gained .4 lbs. She was disappointed, but cut back on food and alcohol and increased her exercise, so she knew she was building up muscle.
What did we do that made us lose roughly 6.7% of our weigh loss goal?
1. Factbook Group
Our private Facebook page is awesome! Everyone posted words of encouragement, questions, healthy recipes, and much more. If we tried a new recipe and it was great, we shared it. If we tried a new product that wasn’t good, we shared it.
Everyone linked to each other’s fitbit accounts and we created a 4 day challenge. We could all see each other’s steps and encourage one another.
3. I-Phone Apps
Many of us used additional I-Phone apps to keep track of our weight and food. Jessica used My Plate app and I used the Lose It app. I thought it was really cool how you can scan a bar code of something you are about to eat and the nutrition information automatically loads.
We hit is HARD exercising! We exercised at home and at the gym. My first couple of days my group members could not figure out how I was averaging at least 20,000 steps per day. My trick was that I have a treadmill that I would get on first thing in the morning. I would do lots of steps and then a couple of hours later I would do more steps at the gym.
I polled all of our members and everyone overwhelmingly agreed that they were more likely to exercise when they didn’t feel like it, not drink that extra glass of wine, or not eat something they knew was bad because of peer pressure. We all knew that everyone else was working hard, so it made it harder to not care.
In the middle of our challenge Christa got the results of her colonoscopy. The doctor found a few large (non- cancerous) polyps. He told her that she was not very overweight, but that she needed to change her diet (cut back on red meat, eat more fiber) if she wanted to try and avoid cancer.
Overall, we are all still pumped about our challenge. We are all nervous about the weekend, but know that we will “care” about our choices more than usual.
Our next weigh in occurs in 7 days. Wish us all luck!
Our question for you is, who is ready to start their own fitness challenge? You are only 1 week behind, and have time to start! If you have questions, please ask. We would love to have a SISTER group participating at the same time!