Employees at agencies all throughout the state worked hard for six weeks to lose weight as part of the WellMASS Weight Loss Challenge, but ultimately, only one agency could come out on top. That honor went to the Department of Public Health’s Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain, whose 27 participating employees ended up winning the state-wide weight loss competition by losing a high average percent body weight and earning two extra points toward their weight loss total by having all eligible employees complete their online Health Assessment. State Lab employees beat out 28 other agencies to earn the title of “Biggest Losers,” and they were rewarded for their efforts with a certificate of achievement and a healthy catered lunch.
When I met with the State Lab’s Weight Loss Challenge participants, they all looked healthy and happy to have embarked on a weight loss journey. Many participants are still following the eating and exercise habits they adopted during the challenge, including participating in the three weekly exercises classes offered at their worksite. Wellness Champion Jacki Dooley is one such participant:
“The Challenge gave me the incentive to go back to Weight Watchers and really work hard at it this time. I am also exercising more than I ever have!” – Jacki
Since the group was so successful in losing weight, I asked them to share some of their weight loss tips. Below are some helpful strategies to help you become a successful “loser.”
“Tips: Plan and be on track! Be accountable (to the group, to yourself). Measure. I was surprised how off I was on estimates of portion sizes.” – Deb
“After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, I switched to a non-dairy, mostly vegetarian diet, which I think helped me to jump-start my weight loss. I expect this will be the way I’ll continue eating.” – Denise D
“My tip is juicing! It’s a wonderful, healthy way to cleanse your body of nasty toxins while at the same time replenishing it with loads of vitamins and minerals.” – Trisha
“Lots of veggies!” – Cyndi
“I love water bottles, and have fine on my desk to prove it. I have Weight Watchers, sports, and bubble bottles, and a diamond purple drinking glass. Instead of drinking sodas, I drink water with and without Crystal Light. I have changed from eating out to bringing my lunch every day, and therefore I know what I am putting in my mouth. I get up from my desk and walk on good days and bad.” – Sadie
Although the WellMASS Weight Loss Challenge may be over, that does not mean your attempts at weight loss have to end. Our Challenge toolkit can be used any time you or your agency would like some motivation and ideas to help you lose weight. As the Hinton State Laboratory employees have proven, weight loss does not have to be difficult or time-consuming; small changes, many of which can seem like fun, are all it takes to safely and successfully work toward your weight loss goals.