I recently joined a group of friends in a health improvement and weight loss challenge.
The idea was presented by a friend, Cheryl Bailey - who has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UCLA and works as a Health Educator for a major health care insurance company. The goal is to use friendly competition and accountability to inspire us to change our behavior to effectively benefit our health and wellness.
Here is how it works; grab a couple of friends, decide on a day that you will start your program to lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks. Each of you will put in an equal amount of money, $25, $50, $100 etc., whoever loses the most weight at the end of the 6 weeks will win the money; if everyone succeeds then the money is evenly distributed. You must have a place and time each week where you can weigh in and discuss your week. We weigh in on Sunday mornings and have a big healthy breakfast afterwards which as our reward.
The focus is to pay attention to what you’re eating and to exercise. Your group creates accountability for you and the money creates an additional incentive.
Cheryl recommends watching your portion size, eat healthy snacks between meals, like apples, laughing cow cheese, drink water and of course exercise; use the stairs instead of the elevator and take a walk each day. In addition, it’s a good idea to write down what you eat each day. Cheryl shared with our team members a list of fast food restaurants that have healthy, low calorie and low fat menu items such as Corner Bakery, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Subway, El Pollo Loco and Panda Express.
Cheryl says, the key things to remember are 1) Think about your portions 2) Make your meals lower in fat 3) Add fruits, vegetables and whole grains and 4) Choose your beverages carefully; alcohol has lots of calories.
I plan to use all of these healthy words of wisdom from Cheryl to place me on the road to optimum health as we approach a new year. More health and wellness tips coming soon.