Weight loss challenge focuses on changing mindsets

A new weight loss challenge is looking beyond the calories and exercise, to change participants’ mindsets about living healthy lives. 

Michelle Lemisio is an instructor in charge of the nutritional side of the Xtreme transformation challenge. Her partner, Chris Apineru, focuses on the fitness side.

They recently held a four-week challenge which attracted the interest of 49 participants.

One couple, Erika and Desmond Chan Ting, won both of the challenge's two main categories.

Mr. Chan Ting came first in the category of most kilos lost after he shed 9.9kg. His wife lost the greatest proportion of body fat with a decrease of 4.8 per cent. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Ms. Lemisio said that while the challenge mostly aimed to help participants to lose weight, it's important aspect is a healthy diet and mindset.

During the challenge participants’ progress is judged on how many kilos and body fat they have lost.

“We manage the nutrition and fitness sides throughout the whole challenge,” she said.

She said that instructors wanted to make sure that while they are training, participants they are also teaching them about eating right. 

“The idea is to also change their mindset during their health journey,” Ms. Lemisio said.

“In this day and age, it is very hard especially with the food choices because it’s much cheaper to buy fast food but we want them to know that eating healthy is not expensive. However, medical bills are extremely expensive. Prevention is better than cure.

“It is better to choose a healthy lifestyle than continuing down a pathway that will lead to sickness.”

She also explained that training is easier to accept than trying to break unhealthy diet patterns.

Participants can go home after intensive training and undo their progress by eating oily, fried food or snacks. Commitment, she said, is the ultimate determinant of success. 

“I think each individual’s diet was a barrier that we had to break through in instilling the right mindset of clean healthy eating,” she said. 

“Some of our participants have shared that it is hard to give up their usual preferences of unhealthy food to more healthy choices. We are kick-starting another challenge soon.”

 The Xtreme Challenge donated $500 to Samoa Cancer Society.

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