Holiday Weight Management Challenge

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Todays’ challenge is excerpted from the Holiday Challenge Program, so if you like what you see, visit to see the whole thing!

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Americans gain an average of .4 to 1.8 pounds each year during the holidays. That’s not really a surprise, right? We all know that the holidays offer some serious pitfalls for healthful living. Schedules get more hectic, and it’s harder to squeeze in healthful meals or exercise sessions. Foods get more calorie-dense and portions get more generous. Plus, it’s harder to say no to a friend’s homemade holiday treats, and friends have a harder time taking no (or moderation) for an answer. However, with a little know-how and some fun strategies, holiday weight gain can be avoided.

For the first week of a holiday health challenge, it’s a good idea to set manageable goals. For this exercise, participants will need to set a weight management goal for the whole holiday challenge.

The goal needs to be measurable. How will participants track their progress?

The goal should also be achievable and realistic. Losing 100 pounds over a10-week contest is not realistic. A weight loss goal of 10-20 pounds in that same period is much more reasonable.

Discuss reasonable and unreasonable goals as a group. What have people tried in the past? Was it effective? Why or why not?

Here are the details…

The Challenge:

Set a weight management goal for a 10-week period, or just over the holidays.


Participants will track their progress (perhaps on an excel spreadsheet?). They will need to hold on to that worksheet for the duration of the challenge so that they can track their progress.

Sample Goals:

  • Maintain their current weight throughout the holidays.
  • Lose roughly 1 pound per week. That’s a 10-pound total weight loss by the end of this challenge.
  • Spend more time exercising each week.
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