How to Host a Weight Loss Competition at Work

As many of you know, I have hosted SEVERAL weight loss competitions at my work. I am a teacher and we always have teachers who are wanting to lose weight. I was recently asked the question HOW to go about having one of these competitions at work. I thought there would be other people out there who might be interested in this so here you go. Step by step on how to host a weight loss competition.

BEFORE the competition starts:

  • Send out an email or an information sheet telling people about the competition to see who is interested.
  • Poll those interested to see how much they want the “buy in” to be. Ours are usually $25 or $50 (and we are poor teachers).
  • Decide if you want it to be winner take all, first second and third place winners or just a first and second place winners. Mine have usually been winner take all.
  • Decide how long the competition will last. A good time frame is anywhere from 10-12 weeks. I like to have a natural cut off like from September to Thanksgiving or January to Spring Break.
  • The winner will be decided by the person with the HIGHEST percentage of weight loss over the time period.
  • Use THIS Google doc spreadsheet to calculate all of the information for you.

Weight loss competition spreadsheet

DURING the competition:

  • On the starting day of the competition, have everyone give you their starting weight. You decide the time that people should come weigh in. Have a scale there to weigh everyone in on. I used mine from home or we have one in our gym that I have used in the past. Reassure them that all weights will be kept confidential. I always tell them that I used to weigh almost 300 pounds so NO weight will scare me!
  • Enter their name and starting weight onto the spreadsheet as they weigh in front of you.

Weight loss competition starting weight

  • Collect their money via cash or check. If they give you a check, have them make it out to you or “Cash.”
  • Cash any checks they have given you and keep all of the money in a safe place at home.
  • Take a picture of all the money spread out to send out to the participants about mid-way through to motivate them.
  • Each week, on a certain day, have the participants come and weigh in in front of you. I always had people come on Friday morning before school started. Next to the person’s name as they weigh in, enter their weight into the spreadsheet in two places:  Current Weight and under the week you are currently in.

Weight loss competition weekly weights

  • Each week, after everyone has weighed in, send out an email to all the participants telling them who is in the lead with what percentage. I always did second and third place too!
  • You can also have a group email for the group to email one another sharing tips, recipes, motivation, etc…
  • The host of the competition (You) are the biggest cheerleader for everyone. I have done competitions where I participated and some where I did not. That is up to you.

AFTER the competition

  • On the day the competition ends, have everyone come in for their final weigh in. Most people will want to weigh in first thing in the morning.
  • Take their final weight and put it into the spreadsheet.

Weight loss competition total percent loss

  • Tally the final percentages and give the winner(s) the money owed to them. With us, it was usually winner take all so the whole envelope of money would be given to the winner.
  • You could have a “winner” reveal party at lunchtime that day or later in the day to reveal the winner in front of everyone or you can just give the winner the money after you know.
  • Send out a final email telling everyone who won, who came in second and third places and the total overall weight EVERYONE lost. Thank them for their participation and encourage them that even though they didn’t win, they DID win because of how much healthier they are now!
  • Pick a date for a new competition if you found this one to be successful!

There you have it. Step by step on how I have hosted competitions in the past.

I know there are other ways to have them other than this way but I found this works the best if you want to host it yourself.

If you want someone else to do all of the work for you, I would recommend Dietbet.  They do ALL the work and it is a much shorter time period.

One variation I did do was last summer. We weighed in the last day before summer vacation and the day we came back. Winner take all. This was not as successful as other competitions have been. No one really lost much weight for that one!

I have also heard of competitions where people have to pay each week to play. If they want to continue playing, they put in like $5. If they don’t, they drop out and are out of the competition. That just seems too hard to keep up with.

I really love to do these competitions because not only does it promote a healthy workplace but it also helps you get to know your co-workers.

Have you ever hosted or been involved in a weight loss competition at work?

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  • Tony Bernard

    I’ve been involved in 3-4 weight loss competitions at work. The person who hosted was completely trustworthy, so we didn’t mind weighing in for her. She was SO GENEROUS with her time and her willingness to motivate us during the contest. I hope everyone can have the positive experience that I did!

  • firstcamethebaby@hotmail.com

    How do you use this spreadsheet? How do I export it to excel to be able to edit it?

  • http://twitter.com/UncommonWine Carrie

    Love this step by step tutorial! Thank you!

  • Candie

    This is great…just what I was looking for! Thanks

  • Julie Gaddy

    Can you give me the formulas? I can send outside emails to my work email so I can’t load it into my computer. Thank you.