Biggest Loser or 10%?

Losing weight has to be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, it’s one that most people fail to achieve.

Often, companies, friends, or co-workers set up the biggest-loser type of weight loss competition, thinking this will help. But unrealistic expectations combined with vague goals of losing a certain number of pounds result in unsustainable weight loss or simply giving up.

If you have clients or employees who want to lose weight, steer them in the right direction with our 10% Weight Loss poster. Instead of the biggest loser competition, encourage them to set a reasonable goal to lose 5-10% of their body weight. The 12 Lessons of Wellness and Weight Loss can be a great program to keep them on track all year. Best of all you can use the code NYEAR to get 15% off all products through the end of November.

Here are some ideas to get them started:

  • Help people calculate how many pounds they need to lose to achieve a minor weight loss of up to 10%.
  • Emphasize the many health benefits of modest weight loss.
  • Remind them that even if they want to lose more, up to 10% is an excellent first step.
  • Ask them to write down why they want to lose weight and refer to this whenever they get discouraged.

Everyone wins with a 10% weight loss!

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

When Does Small = Big?

When it comes to weight loss, small equals big. That is, losing a relatively small amount of weight can bring big health benefits. This is exactly what our Lose 10% Poster teaches – modest weight loss can lead to improvements in:

  1. Energy level
  2. Physical mobility
  3. General mood
  4. Self-confidence
  5. Blood pressure
  6. Blood cholesterol
  7. Blood sugar

This can be a comforting message for your clients who are overweight or obese. Consider this scenario:

Janie is 5’3” and weighs 200 pounds. Her doctor says, Your BMI is 35.4, which means you are obese. A normal weight for your height is between 104 and 141 pounds. Janie does the math and is instantly overwhelmed. I need to lose between 59 and 96 pounds, she tells herself. How will I ever lose that much? It will take so long! I’ll never get there!

But what if Janie talks to a registered dietitian about her weight? Losing just 10% of your body weight will make you feel better and be healthier, so let’s focus on that for now, says the RD. Ten percent of 200 is 20 pounds. Janie smiles and says, I can do that!

Here’s an activity that goes along with our poster:

  • Part 1: What’s Your 10%? Show participants how to calculate 10% of their body weight. They can do this using the calculator on their phone, but it would also be nice to have some inexpensive calculators on hand (get a few with big buttons). Tell them to multiply their weight by 0.10. That is their 10%. Have them write this number on an index card.
  • Part 2: Why do YOU want to lose your 10%? Go over the benefits of modest weight loss. Have each participant write why they want to lose 10% on the index card (“I want to lose my 10% so that I’ll have more energy and keep my blood pressure under control”). Tell them to put the index card where they’ll see it every day, as a reminder of their 10% goal and motivation.