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Friday, May 30, 2014

Weight Loss Group Incentive Ideas

Like any support group, a weight loss group can help encourage you to meet your goals. Group members provide support, common point of view and accountability to your resolutions. When it comes to helping celebrate success, weight loss groups sometimes have a hard time coming up with appropriate incentives. In many other groups, the group incentive is food or alcohol-related. Keep these things in mind when considering your group incentives.

Setting Goals

    The first part of creating incentive programs is setting goals. A goal should be measurable and attainable. This means it should be expressible in numbers and reasonable for all members of the group to reach. Shedding a group total of 100 pounds is a good goal. Feeling slim is a bad goal.

    Some good metrics for weight loss goals might include lost pounds, lost inches, reduced body fat percentage, minutes of exercise or reduced calorie intake.

    You'll need to make some fundamental decisions about your weight loss goals. Decide whether you want everybody to reach an individual goal, or for the group to meet an aggregate goal. Decide if you want to set a time limit, and set up some basic plans for coping with slow progress.

Choosing Your Incentive

    The group incentive should be something everybody in the group enjoys. As mentioned earlier, it should not involve food or alcohol. At the same time, it shouldn't be something the group views as more work toward their goal. A group hike or trip to the local salad bar will not be a successful incentive.

    One method would be to poll each member for several ideas. Look at all the suggestions, pick the ones that more than one person suggested then vote from those choices. Another method would be to ask members to choose from a preset list of activities. Of course, keep in mind the financial and physical realities of all members in your group.

    Some incentives might include a movie outing, video game party, trip to a sporting event or concert. If your group has an operating budget, such as with a corporate fitness program, simple financial bonuses are very effective.

Setting Benchmarks

    Whatever your goal and incentive, setting benchmarks is an important step toward success. Your group should track its progress regularly, hopefully at every meeting. As you approach success, you should have progress points at which you have a small celebration. For example, if your group sets a goal of walking or running a group total of 1,000 miles this year, have mini celebrations at the 250, 500 and 750 mile marks.

    If appropriate, have each mini celebration stick with the theme of the final incentive. For example, if the final incentive is a karaoke party where the CEO sings "Rocket Man," a benchmark celebration might be a recorded congratulation from the CEO.

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