PLYMOUTH – Area residents, regardless of age, are being encouraged to take part in a unique, three-month team contest, “Best Loser 2011: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.”
The annual weight loss contest has become a popular challenge, with up to 400 people participating yearly. The reward: a healthier body, renewed lifestyle, higher self-esteem — and $1,000 cash to the winning team.
This is the fifth Marshall County Best Loser challenge.
Co-sponsored by The Pilot News Group and Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness at the LifePlex in Plymouth, the “team concept” of the contest fosters support, encouragement and accountability to achieve weight-loss goals, organizers say.
“The ‘Best Loser’ challenge is a fun way to lose weight with friends,” points out Sandi Allen, aquatics director at Fitness Forum. “Your teammates will be your support and your encouragement to help you lose excess weight.”
Four-person teams can be comprised of family members, co-workers, Bible study groups, bowling teams, etc.
Deadline to enter a team in the contest is Jan. 15. There is a $40 entry fee per team ($10 per member).
Teams must “weigh in” as a team three times during the contest at Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness. The first weigh-in will be at multiple times during the week of Jan. 17, second weigh-in the week of Feb. 21 and the final weigh-in the week of March 28.
There’s no overlooking the fact that the “Best Loser” challenge is being conducted right after the holidays.
“This is a natural time of the year for people to re-energize their fitness routines, along with making a few New Year’s resolutions,” said Rick Kreps, publisher of The Pilot News Group. “Having friends and fitness professionals available to help motivate and answer weight-loss questions will keep participants on track. Three months of working out and eating healthier will give a person plenty of time to see results and hopefully form habits that will lead them to a healthier lifestyle for the rest of their life — and the $1,000 cash prize won’t hurt much, either!”
At each of the three weigh-ins, weight will be recorded. At the first and last weigh-in, team photos will be snapped. The contest is determined by the team’s total percentage of weight lost, not individuals. Additionally, two special publications in the Pilot News during the contest period will track the teams’ progress. Again, only teams’ total percentages of weight loss will be published, not individuals.
“This year, participants can put their money where their mouths are too,” said Allen. “We will encourage each participant to set a personal 12-week weight goal and place their ‘commitment money’ in a signed, sealed envelope. This money is a voluntary personal stake. If the weight goal is met, the money will be returned at the last weigh in. If not, the money will be given to a local, non-profit charity.”
Mary Holm, owner at Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness, mentions other contest benefits.
“The ‘Best Loser’ isn’t just about losing weight,” Holm says. “It’s about reaching for a goal, teamwork, and a healthier community. Assisting others in being good stewards of their God-given potential is at the heart of the mission of Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness. That’s why we’re so grateful to partner with the Pilot News in promoting activities to create a healthier community. Healthy people can enjoy life more, be more productive, share a positive attitude, and may even live longer.”
Although the weigh-ins will be conducted at Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness, there is no contest requirement to use its facilities. Weight loss can be accomplished in whatever manner team members may choose.
Allen, however, has definite thoughts on best methods of weight loss.
“The best and most successful ‘diet’ is not only a diet, but also has an exercise component and is something you will stick with,” says Allen. “It is very hard to lose weight just by cutting back the amount of food that is consumed. It’s much easier — and the weight comes off more quickly — when some sort of exercise is added to your daily schedule.
“Let me make it clear,” Allen continues. “You can lose weight by not eating as much; however, the risk you run if you do that is your body goes into a ‘save’ and sometimes ‘starvation’ mode.”
She explains these “modes” can cause more hunger, with your body wanting to store whatever extra calories you consume for later use.
“This is stored in the form of fat,” she explains. “If you add exercise, you can still eat an amount that feeds your cravings and you get added benefit of burning extra calories and gaining important muscle. Muscle is very important. If you lay in bed all day, one pound of muscle uses approximately 50 calories; one pound of fat uses approximately three calories.”
It’s simple to see that the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at burning those excess calories.”
Additional details about “The 2011 Best Loser Challenge: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” including rules, regulations and registration forms are available at the front desk at Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness, located at the LifePlex. Questions can be answered by calling Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness at 574-936-2333.