Determining the winner for the 8 Week Challenge has always been a fun but difficult task. The number on the scales is only such a small part of what the challenge journey is all about.
The challenge has always been seen as a kick start or reboot to stay on the right track with diet and exercise. A lot of members have become “serial challengers” for exactly this reason.
The use of the InBody Body Composition Scanner has played a large part of the “weigh in” process. The Scanner is a body composition scan that breaks down the overall mass into body fat as well as muscle mass. It also shows exactly where in the body you are holding your body fat and where there is muscle.
Having a before photo taken and a body scan was something every challenger did as they began their journey. At the half way point, members took up the offer of discounted body scans to be able to see how they were travelling. This was offered as a way to keep motivated and stay on track. However, a noticeable result of these midway scans, when trying to determine the winner at the end, revealed that many of those who had a scan at the mid-way point had showed a relatively small overall mass lost, this was due to the fact that they were increasing their muscle mass whilst losing body fat.
This would be due to a change in the way they trained; they may have increased their cardio and dropped the weight work. It is also a reflection of a change in their diet. When resident Dietitians, Rebecca and Jarrad from Nutrition in Focus were approached for their guidance, they responded “that when we go on a really low calorie diet, or really restrict our eating we will lose weight rapidly but most of the time we will lose muscle mass as well as fat mass, this is unavoidable during rapid weight loss”.
This is why rapid weight loss is not encouraged, and not always the healthiest way to lose weight. Muscle mass is metabolically active which means it burn calories (even while you are just sitting there), this is why we really want to hang on to it, other than wanting to maintain our strength. It is really difficult to lose fat mass while increasing muscle mass because in order to lose fat mass we need to consume less calories (or exercise more or both) to encourage our body to use up our fat stores for fuel BUT in order to build new muscle tissue we need some extra calories so our body can use the protein from our diet to build new muscle tissue. Achieving this is like walking a tight rope, it can be really difficult to balance diet and exercise just right, and generally it is best to aim to go for slow, sustainable changes.
When deciding on the winners there are many aspects taken into consideration: participation in group sessions; interaction on social media; a visual difference in their before and after photos; and a change in body composition. This doesn’t mean that if you missed sessions because of illness/injury or didn’t have access to Facebook that you are not able to win, it just means that the challenge is about more than the number on the scales.
Determining the winner has never been easy however, with the scanner we are promoting a more healthy, sustainable, lifestyle change with a nice little kick start or reboot to keep you on track!
Blackwood Fitness would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who participated in the challenge.
Don’t forget to grab your ticket to our 8 Week Challenge Awards Night to celebrate all the effort our challengers have put in, and see who has taken out prizes this round!