Scale Back Alabama, UAB style, kicks off with weigh-ins the week of Jan. 21


scale_back_webUAB employees “took the ton out of rotund” during 2012’s Scale Back Alabama competition — almost three tons, in fact, with 5,533 pounds shed by more than 600 employees.

So how many pounds can employees drop in this year’s competition? That big reveal will come at the end of the 2013 version of the 10-week weight loss challenge, which will begin with weigh-ins across campus Monday, Jan. 21.

“Our employees embraced the Scale Back campaign in 2012 with excitement, and that was clear by the fact that our participants shattered the 2011 weight-loss results by 1,800 pounds,” says Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., adjunct professor in the Department of Human Studies and director of UAB Wellness, which oversees the Scale Back challenge for UAB.

It was great to see so many employees take charge of their health, and the Scale Back challenge is a great starting point to help reach those goals in a fun, healthy way,” Whitt says. “So if your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, it’s not too late to get started.”

Employees can form teams of four people to weigh in and register at one of several UAB campus locations the week beginning Jan. 21. Weigh-in times and locations are online at www.uab.edu/wellness. Team members do not have to weigh in at the same time. The contest is free, and there will be cash prize drawings when the contest concludes the work week ending April 12.

Incentives and goals

The rules for the 2013 challenge are familiar. Employees can form teams of four people to weigh in and register at one of several UAB campus locations the week beginning Jan. 21. Weigh-in times and locations are online at www.uab.edu/wellness. Team members do not have to weigh in at the same time. The contest is free, and there will be cash prize drawings when the contest concludes the work week ending April 12.

The goal is to lose a pound a week during the 10-week period. Whitt emphasizes that this is an opportunity to learn how to lose weight in a healthy way.

“We really don’t encourage crash dieting, because that’s not going to help you change your habits for the long term,” Whitt says. “We hope participants will use this as an opportunity to review their shopping lists, family meals and exercise activity and make a conscious decision to change their lifestyle for the better. UAB Wellness wants to help our employees realize these are attainable goals.”

scale_back_logoUAB Wellness will provide advice on eating healthy portions and how to make exercise a part of a normal routine. Daily tips and words of encouragement will be posted on the UAB Wellness Facebook page and @UABWellness Twitter accounts, and an ongoing blog at www.uab.edu/wellness will provide other insights into building a healthier you. Health tips and other resources also are available at www.scalebackalabama.com.

Scale Back Alabama also offers other incentives to participants.

For every team that completes the 10-week contest with each team member losing at least 10 pounds (an average of one pound per week), the team will be included in a drawing for one of three grand prizes on April 26. The members of the first team drawn will win $1,000 each, the second team will win $500 per member, and the third team will win $250 per member. Everyone who loses at least 10 pounds will be included in a drawing for one of 50 achievement prizes of $100 per person, regardless of their team’s achievement. Everyone who lost any weight and weighs out also will be included in a drawing.

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