In the first section of this blog, we outlined some of the core elements that frame Maintain Not Gain. They’re the pieces that give the program its powerful punch: it’s team-based, with a little grace, and big time visibility. In part two, we’re going to dive into the facts and see how the program actually works.
It’s not enough to set up a great program where participants form teams, then sign up with the best of intentions, and weigh in on a gigantic scale. It simply doesn’t guarantee their success. We take very seriously that it is our job to educate the participants, to motivate them and to provide constant reminders and reinforcements that they CAN be successful at maintaining their weight. We provide that support in a variety of ways such as:
- Weekly emails. Over the years we’ve changed the topics, added emails about current trends, low-fat recipes, stress tips. You name it, we’ve touched on it. In fact, we’d written so many emails over the years for this program that we started wondering about their effectiveness. So in 2012, we evaluated the program and asked participants what other topics would they like to see in the weekly emails. We were expecting to hear about new exciting topics to cover for the next year but what we discovered was that people still wanted to know about the basics; blood pressure, BMI, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. You would think by now with the internet, the news, health magazines, Dr. Oz, the constant feed of this kind of information, that people would be sick of it and know it by heart. For our audiences, that was not the case. So, for our 2013 weekly emails we covered the basics again meeting the requests of our participants.
- Nutrition education. We know that our members seem to have an insatiable appetite for health education. In particular, they routinely ask about nutrition. Our staff constantly get asked about food, drinks, supplements, fad diets, cleanses, juicing, etc. Turns out, when we asked our participants if they felt the food in their corporate environment was supportive of their Maintain Not Gain goals over the holidays, 15% said no. While we weren’t happy with that percentage, we used that information to communicate with department leads about making different options when providing food for their departments. We have been able to suggest alternatives such as a less calorie dense yogurt bar filled with fruits, granola and healthy toppings, providing smoothies or even bagels made from whole grains and low-fat cream cheese. We’ve also worked with cafeteria vendors so they can put together a healthier spread if they provide the breakfast, lunches or snacks for departments.
The Numbers Tell The Story
We’ve surveyed participants regularly throughout many offerings of the program. We’ve learned a lot from the data about how we can provide a better program, and we’ve also learned about what participants are gaining from their efforts:
- 90% of the participants said Maintain Not Gain has positively influenced their lifestyle choices for the duration of the program.
- 72% of those who responded said that they were able to reduce their calorie consumption
- 56% said they increased their daily activity
- 60% said they ate healthier at holiday parties, and
- 30% said they reduced the fat in their own recipes.
The biggest reason we’ve been running this program for so long is because it works. From the participants we surveyed, 87% were successful in avoiding any holiday weight gain and 97% said they will participate next year if the program is offered.
Not only have our participants maintained their weight but we also have many participants who actually LOSE a few pounds. That’s quite impressive over the holidays. In 2013, with one client, we had 2,242 associates sign up for Maintain Not Gain and 1,780 of those participants were successful in maintaining their weight over the holidays. That’s an 80% success rate. Bottom line, we are tipping the scales in the RIGHT direction with our Maintain Not Gain program.