Losing weight is not fun. It is a grueling activity that requires not only patience but also dedication and grace (to yourself) to get you to the metaphorical finish line. Despite this, weight loss can be a rewarding experience for those who willingly choose to go through it either for health, self-esteem, or general health reasons.
If you’ve chosen to shed some extra pounds, one of the best ways to get started on this journey is by coming up with some fun weight loss challenge ideas. That said, finding fun and interesting ways to go about it ensures that you not only stick to the plan but follow through with it to the goal.
In today’s article, we shall be outlining some fun fitness challenge ideas, to not only get you moving to burn some calories but also to motivate you to keep working towards your goal.
What Is A 30 Day Challenge Weight Loss?
As the name suggests, a 30 day weightloss challenge is a temporary program that people choose to go on in a bid to shed those stubborn extra pounds. These challenges come in different forms and can involve either dietary changes, workout challenges, lifestyle changes or – in most cases – a combination of all three.
The main goal of such challenges is to not only lose weight, but also to help people build healthier long term lifestyle habits that will serve them and their health in the long run.
How Do I Organize My Weight Loss Challenge?
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘he who fails to plan, plans to fail’. While this quote is often used when people are referring to huge life goals in their careers, it also applies to something as simple as a weight loss plan. Without a clear path to take, you will most likely keep falling off the wagon and eventually give up.
Here are some things to keep in mind before taking up any 30 day challenge ideas for weight loss, to ensure that you are not only organized but also making the most of the challenge
- Pick a start and end date – When do you wish to start your challenge and how much time are you giving yourself to complete it? Picking a starting and end date not only gives you a visual goal to look forward to but also allows you to –
- Schedule a time that works best for your – Most monthly or even weekly weight loss challenge ideas always include a workout of some sort. It could be anything as easy as walking 30 minutes a day or something as demanding as a crossfit session at the gym. Whichever workout you are going to be doing, make sure to schedule it as you would any other important activity in your life. Pick a time that works best for you and stick to it. Remember that consistency is the key to great results.
- Determine how to measure success – When it comes to losing weight, the most obvious measure of success would be the scale, i.e. to know how much weight you’ve lost by the end of your challenge. While this is certainly a good thing to see while on a weight loss journey, sometimes when the scale doesn’t go down as fast as you want, it can be discouraging. Instead of always relying on the scale, we suggest using other measures of success e.g.
- The fit of your clothes – Are they still as tight as before or are they a little looser?
- Take pictures – This might be hard at first especially if your weight adversely affects how you see yourself, but it can be rewarding in the long run. When you take pictures, you are able to see yourself getting smaller as the days go by – even if the scale doesn’t change that much
- Get a body scan – According to Harper’s Bazaar, this is one of the most accurate ways to measure your body composition (1). Body scans will measure not only your body fat percentage but also your muscle, and bone which gives you an accurate measurement of how much fat you have, muscle you’ve gained etc. Getting this done before and after your challenge is a great way to see how far you’ve come.
- Meal prep – One of the hardest things on any weight loss challenge is staying true to a healthy, nutritious and filling diet. Remember that weight loss starts in the kitchen and without a proper diet, you are most likely not going to get your anticipated results.
To counter this, we encourage you to take about an hour a day or two before your challenge starts, make a menu of what you’d like to eat for that first week, go and do your grocery shopping, then prep all your meals before the week starts and store them in the fridge.If you do not enjoy eating the same thing over and over again, or just prefer having fresh food, do a food prep instead. Clean, slice, dice and store everything carefully. This way all you need to do is take them out of the fridge and throw a quick meal together. Do this once a week for the rest of your challenge
- Sleep – According to the Sleep Foundation, not only are most adults not getting enough sleep as it is, but research has also shown that lack of sleep leads to weight gain (7). Research states that the two main reasons behind this are the increase of the stress hormone cortisol as well as overeating when we should be asleep. Try fixing your sleep schedule so you can get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
- Practice mindful eating and watch your calorie intake – Eat when your body wants it and stop once you are full. Also, remember that for you to lose weight, you must be at a negative caloric balance i.e. you’re burning off more calories than you are consuming. Download a reputable calorie counting app to help you keep up with this
- Find support – While some people may prefer to do things on their own, doing a weight loss challenge with friends is almost always a good idea. Not only does it make the process less lonely and fun, but these friends are also a source of encouragement in case you are ever discouraged and feel like quitting.
Fun Weight Loss Challenge Ideas To Try Today
For this list, we are going to divide these challenges into three sections. While each section can be done by itself for 30 days, we suggest that you pick a challenge from each section and do all three together.
- Nutrition challenges – As mentioned above, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Your nutrition plays an incredibly important role in your weight loss (3) and without fixing it, your results may be slow in appearing or may not appear at all
- Exercise challenges – After nutrition, exercises are the next most important thing on any weight loss regime. Working out helps burn calories, boost your metabolism, and builds muscle – all things that are essential in helping you achieve your body goals (4).
- Lifestyle challenges – Other than exercise and nutrition, how you take care of yourself on a day to day helps keep your general and mental wellbeing in great condition, which inevitably is good for weight loss.
Nutrition Weight Loss Challenge Ideas
- Eat at a calorie deficit every day – This helps create a negative caloric balance which helps with shedding those extra pounds. Use a calorie counter to help you keep track.
- Do not order food delivery – It may be convenient but most restaurant meals are high in trans fats which are not good for your health or weight loss. Try food or meal prepping to ensure that you always have something ready to eat, no matter how tired you are.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day – Not only does water help boost your metabolism, but it also helps you eat less throughout the day.
- Pack healthy snacks – If you know that you like to snack a lot throughout the day, challenge yourself to make and carry healthy snacks to work with you. This prevents you from eating all the unhealthy snacks that are full of calories but lack nutrition.
- Go sugar free – Sugar has been touted as one of the biggest culprits of obesity today (6). Try going sugar free for at least 30 days and see what happens.
If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!
30 Day Fitness Challenge Ideas
Because doing the same exercise everyday can become redundant for some people, we suggest mixing up these workouts weekly. However, if you have an exercise that you really like, we suggest increasing your distance/intensity weekly so as to challenge you body and muscles more
- Walk for 30 minutes a day – This is the easiest weight loss exercise that can be done by anyone whether young or old.
- Jog or run for at least 30 minutes a day – If walking is too easy for you, increase the intensity by jogging or running
- Do some yoga every morning –It might not seem like much, but research shows that yoga is quite beneficial for weight loss (5, 2)
- Take on a squat challenge – Squats are great weight loss exercises as they work not only the lower body muscles, but also your core.
- Hike/Swim/Dance on the weekends. It’s not just good for the body, but also the soul.
Lifestyle Weight Loss Challenge Ideas
- Stay away from the weighing scale for 30 days -While some sources may suggest weighing yourself daily, we suggest that you put your weighing scale far away from you. Weighing yourself everyday and watching your weight fluctuate from simple things such as water weight, bloating, just eating, etc. can have a horrible effect on your psyche.
- Sleep more – at least 7 hours a night – Not only do you get to rest more, but sleep has been proven to help with weight loss
- Practice mindful eating – This goes beyond counting calories and involves actually paying attention to your food as you consume it. Have your meals in silence, without distractions from the TV, your phone, a book, etc.
- Take a self care day every weekend – It is very easy to feel out of touch with yourself, especially if you don’t like your body or how you look. Try changing this and appreciating the body you are in by doing simple self care activities like going for a massage, doing a body care routine, standing in front of a mirror and just looking at yourself, doing your makeup and taking pictures just for you (not for social media), etc.
- Meditate and practice gratitude
Can You Do An Office Weight Loss Challenge With Your Co-Workers?
The Bottom Line
Weight loss challenge ideas are a dime a dozen. The best way to find one that works best for you is to try as many of them as you can and see which out fits your lifestyle and goals the best. Please remember that at the end of the day your physical and mental health are what matter above all else. Do not pick challenges that promise drastic results as they are most likely unhealthy and are bound to land you in a hospital – weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 7 reasons to get a Bodyscan this January (2018, harpersbazaar.com)
- A Different Weight Loss Experience: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Behavioral, Physical, and Psychosocial Changes Associated with Yoga That Promote Weight Loss (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dietary intakes associated with successful weight loss and maintenance during the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Study Sees Beneficial Role of Yoga in Weight-Loss Program for Adults With Obesity or Overweight (2021, nccih.nih.gov)
- The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Weight Loss and Sleep (2022, sleepfoundation.org)