Summer Shape-up Weight Loss Challenge

Did summer creep up on you? It's funny, in DC we complained about it being the longest winter ever but then when summer finally hit, my friends and me made mad dashes for pedicures and flip flops; Gah! It's here and we're not ready!

There's been a similar sentiment about slipping into our swimsuits and during a recent get-together I sensed a little bit of dread among friends about upcoming beach trips. I decided this might be a good time to coordinate a last-minute summer shape-up (weight loss challenge) and I'm excited because we're set to start Sunday!

Summer

This will be the first time my friends band together to motivate each other to do something healthy, but I'm hopeful we'll be great motivation for each other! (I love the picture of friends at the pool above!)

We've decided to open it to outsiders, too, so if you're interested in joining, let me know!

The Official Rules:

The challenge begins this Sunday, June 1st and will run a total of 8 weeks till July 20th. There's a $20 buy-in and there will be two winners: the person with the greatest percentage of weight loss and the person with the most points. The person with the most points wins 25% of the pot for best effort.

Participants have to be paid up by this Friday to participate and must be willing to submit their weight (with a photo) at the start of the challenge. Each week (on Sundays), participants will be required to submit their current weight as well as their weekly points tally. If points and weight aren't submitted, we’ll assume you’ve forfeited.

The Point System: 

Each person begins the day with 5 points, add or subtract accordingly:

-5 for a flat-out cheat meal... meaning there's nothing healthy about it!  What constitutes healthy? That's left to your discretion but we all know the difference between a healthy and a not-so healthy meal. Obviously there's an honor system at play here, but if you lie, you really only cheat yourself!

Also note it’s a cheat MEAL, not cheat day! Therefore, if you eat an unhealthy breakfast, like french toast and unhealthy dinner, like four slices of dominos pizza, that’s minus 10 points for the day! Yes, you can end the day in the negative, though it’s not recommended!

-2 for each glass of alcohol - One glass of wine/alcohol per day is allowed; it's minus 2 for each after that.

-2 for eating (or drinking) anything with more 20 grams of sugar - 20 grams is the equivalent to 5 teaspoons of sugar (there's 4 teaspoons per gram); this includes soda, lattes, and more. Be mindful by checking the label of the food you're eating... sugar is often disguised as dextrose, evaporated cane juice, maltose, sucrose, frutose, lactose, and high fructose corn syrup... to name a few. If there's no label, Google it!

Please note this does not include naturally occurring sugar in fruit (any fruit is OK!) but be careful about fruit juices - there's often added sugar in those. For instance, a 12-ounce bottle of Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar.

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+1 for every 30 minutes of working out that you do - Any kind of workout counts, even a long walk!

+1 for sharing a healthy tip or recipe with the group - A simple post with a link to an article or a picture of your healthy breakfast or snack counts!

+1 for drinking 64 ounces of water a day - that's approximately 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day!

Bonus points: Throughout the competition each of us will have an opportunity to add a surprise challenge for points. For example, during the first week, I may post: “Get 2 points by practicing a handstand today! To claim your points, post a picture!” The second week someone else will have an opportunity to submit their extra credit idea to the group.

Free days: Every participant is allowed three full free days where they're allowed to eat and drink whatever they want and not receive a point penalty; however, please note those days should be marked as 5 points - you don't gain or lose any.

Participants are strongly encouraged to keep a log of their daily point tally because they may be asked to submit it to show how they came up with their weekly total. Below is an example of daily point logging.

Daily Point Log:

July 1, 2013:

  • +1 for posting a picture of my salad to the group!
  • +2 for one hour of working out (CrossFit)
  • -2 for that second glass of merlot with dinner! :p

Total Daily Points: 6

July 2, 2013:

  • +1 for posting an encouraging quote to the group! 
  • +2 for one hour of working out (CrossFit)
  • -5 for eating Five Guys for dinner

Total Daily Points: 3

July 3, 2013: 

  • Free Day! 

Total Daily Points: 5

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The weight loss winner will be awarded based on percentage so that it’s fair! For example:

170 lbs and lost 4 lbs - 4/170 = 0.0235 x 100 = 2.35%

140 lbs and lost 2 lbs -  2/140 = 0.0142 x 100 = 1.43%

In this case, the person weighing 170 lbs lost a greater percentage and therefore would be the winner!

Even if none of us lose weight, I think it's pretty cool we could win back our money for giving it our best effort. Not only that, but I think all of us will start some pretty healthy habits through this challenge and best of all, when we're together, we'll make better choices! :)

Have you ever done a weight loss challenge with your friends? 

Do you have any healthy summer goals?