Weight loss contests are not reserved for the bright lights of reality television. When properly executed, these contests help fitness pros slim down community residents while beefing up the bottom line. In five steps, you can promote, run and celebrate a community-wide Thinner Winner contest. You can tweak details, but results will be the same: Your current clients will stay happy and engaged, you’ll attract new clients, you’ll generate buzz in your community, and you’ll amass a wealth of transformational stories to fuel your business.
Relaxation training, as part of an overall weight loss program, may be an important factor in helping people lose weight and keep it off, suggests a study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2013; doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.05.005).
Researchers from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, in Boston, conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive mind-body approach to weight loss. Twenty overweight and obese participants from an employee-based program took part in the 20-week intervention.
Is losing a significant amount of muscle mass part and parcel of losing weight through exercise and diet? A new report appearing in the September issue of The FASEB [Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology] Journal (2013; , 3837-47) challenges this belief.
Working with clients who have had gastric bypass surgery requires some extra caution and attention. I first met one such client about a year after her surgery. I asked her a ton of questions because I wanted to understand her motivation, why she decided to have the surgery, what her experience had been living with the result, what her restrictions and limitations were and how she was working within those limitations—her successes and challenges. One of the things I’ve learned about fitness and clients is that everything stems from their thinking process.
The secret to getting fit may simply involve a bit of teamwork. According to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2009; 36 , 133–41), workplace goal setting helped motivate employees to improve their health and fitness standards.
It’s not exactly a new strategy for aiding weight loss, but if you aren’t currently using food journals with clients who are trying to shed pounds, recent research suggests that perhaps you should be. Scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center summarized the following from their study, which appeared in the July 16 online edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: women who want to lose weight should faithfully keep a food journal and should avoid skipping meals and eating in restaurants—especially at lunch.
When you’re developing weight loss programs for niche populations, it may be important to understand the role that environment plays in successful outcomes. One example comes from the Journal of Black Psychology (2012; 38 , 81–103). The study’s primary goal was to determine compliance among 55 overweight or obese African American women entering obesity treatment. For 13 weeks, 36 of the women were involved in a program held in churches; the other 19 attended a program in a university setting.