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Shedding the pounds on company time

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Energize your weight-loss plan by making it an office affair. When healthy living becomes part of your 9-to-5 routine, you’ll not only feel better while you’re on the job, but you’ll sense a positive change among co-workers, as well.

“Losing weight can be an incredibly life-affirming experience,” says Thomas B. Gilliam, co-author of Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy. “People gain confidence. They see, firsthand, the rewards of working hard to meet goals.”

Here’s how:

Organize a field day, in lieu of a company picnic, where departments compete against each other. Plan volleyball games for adults, hula-hoop contests for the kids and three-legged relays for everyone. Bonus benefit: Games can help build a sense of team unity within your organization.

Start a lunch-hour walking group. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator.

Create a recipe bulletin board where employees can share recipes for healthful dishes. Put out a veggie or fruit tray in the afternoons.

Sign up for a “fun run” or biking event as a department or company, and encourage co-workers to invite their families to come.

Ask your employer to offer gift certificates to sporting-goods stores if employees reach predetermined milestones. “Even small incentives are powerful,” says Gilliam. “Walking every day and forgoing your coffee and doughnut break can be a drag. People like working toward a concrete reward. Be creative. Make it fun.”

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