How to Lose Your Office Weight Loss Challenge: Be a Genius!

Five Critical Mistakes Most Will Make in their Weight Loss Competition at the Office

It is weight loss season in workplaces across America.  Cash will be pooled together.  Walking partners will pair up.  Carbs will be cut.  The mad dash is on to prove who can cut weight like a high school wrestler before a big tournament.

When it comes to the weight loss challenge at the office, the good news and the bad news are one and the same: EVERYONE is a health genius!  Everyone knows to deprive the body of carbs.  Everyone knows cardio, and getting the heart rate in the "fat burning zone", is the ticket to exercise.  Everyone knows water pills and caffeine pills can help cut those last few pounds.

Hey geniuses, you are going to lose your competition.  And in the event that flawed logic and unwise health decisions leadyou to the winner's circle, you will also win the unoffficial "Biggest Gainer" competition in the weeks following your weight loss challenge.

In the month of September two of my clients won their weight loss/fat loss challenges.  The winnings combined to be worth over $3,000.    One guy lost 14 lbs in 21 days to win his competition...and did it the right way.  Another client (a lady) lost 9% body fat in 8 weeks to take the crown in her challenge.   While I am glad their efforts resulted in a competitive win, I am more pleased in the route that was taken and the focus that was paired with their effort.

How can you have success in your office weight loss challenge like my clients experienced?  Don't do what the geniuses do!

Genius Weight Loss Mistake #1: Not Sticking With Your Guns

Any time we are trying to slim down, adding muscle needs to be part of the equation.   Geniuses think muscle weighs more fat.  While it is effectively true, it is technically and tactically false.  The truth is that muscle cells burn 70% more calories than fat cells.   In addition, lifting weights can have a positive impact on metabolism for up to 39 hours after a workout.  The bottom line is that building muscle is the winning way to trim down the waist line...and the scale.  So grab some dumbbells and work those biceps and turn them into guns.   Challenge your big muscles with weights (back and leg groups specifically).  Weight training wins more weight loss competitions than cardio.

Genius Weight Loss Mistake #2:  Engaging the "Fat Burning Zone"

First, let me say that cardio is an important piece of any fitness plan.  But I will also say that there are a lot of overweight marathon runners out there.  Can I get an amen?

Walking and running same pace for the sake of getting the heart rate to obey the "fat burning zone" is bad math and bad science.  What?!  I can hear your inner John McEnroe saying, "You CANNOT be serious!  My trainer told me..."

While geniuses will be walking and jogging, my clients are changing their walking pace (or running pace) every 15-30 seconds.  Intervals are the way to go.  You will burn more calories in shorter time with intervals.  You will sweat more (calories burned!) and work your lungs harder...even with intervals at a walking pace.  Burning fat needs to be triggered by nutrition, not exercise.  To learn how to bust your fat with nutrition, you will need to contact me (   Short of talking with me, trust me when I say that walking and jogging same pace for over 30 seconds is a losing proposition for your weight loss goals.

Genius Weight Loss Mistake #3: Cutting the Wrong Carbs

Is America addicted to carbs?  Without a doubt.  Does that mean that all carbs need to go.  Not a chance.

Breads need to go.  So do pastas.  And even your brown rice.  Where should the focus be?  Legumes and veggies.

The people most likely to win a weight loss challenge are those who up their fiber significantly and treat their organs to slow-digesting carbs.  Legumes and veggies help you accomplish both objectives.

But what about fruit?  Cheat day, homey.  And yes you need a cheat day...which I'll cover in the next installment.

For now, if you want to win your weight loss or fat loss challenge at the office, contact me.  I'm good for 15 minutes of free advice.  If you are already a genius, get ready to finish a distant second.

Adam Erwin is a fitness and nutrition coach.  He helps people solve their biggest health problem.  To learn how to reduce/eliminate medications for cholesterol, blood pressure, type II diabetes, asthma,  and triglycerides, email Adam here: