Gourmet Dining’s Biggest Loser Contest Changes More Than Just Waist Lines
May 7, 2011
Over the past 3 months, across 6 campuses, 275 students came together to make a life changing commitment. Together, students and staff at Seton Hall University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Fairleigh Dickinson’s Metropolitan and Florham Park campuses, Caldwell College, and Kean University took steps toward a life long commitment to weight loss and healthy habits. Their efforts in the Gourmet Dining Biggest Loser program resulted in a combined total weight loss over 650 pounds.
The Gourmet Dining biggest loser program is a ten week contest for, based on the TV show concept, that provides an opportunity for students and campus members alike to make the commitment to weight loss and lifestyle change in a supportive and educational environment. Under the guidance of Gourmet Dining’s Nutrition team lead by Dietician Jennifer Bostedo, R.D., participants met three times to evaluate their progress in weight, inches lost, and address the real challenges and rewards of achieving their goals. The Nutrition team planned a healthy, nutritious meal tailored for each participant’s goals and food preferences, provided interactive tools like a pedometer to encourage participants to increase their physical activity, and sent weekly inspirational emails to keep the group informed on the latest reliable nutrition and fitness information.
The biggest loser program, now in its third year, had the highest num ber of par, on average, weight loss at over 8 pounds per person. The campuses of Fairleigh Dickinson and Kean University had the highest average weight loss per person, 11 pounds and 10 pounds, respectively. The Seton Hall group had the highest total weight loss with 269 pounds lost collectively, with the grand prize winner losing over 38 lbs!
As the food service provider for all campuses involved in the program, part of Gourmet Dining’s nutrition mission is to raise awareness of future health risks that can be addressed by making healthy choices now. The motivation to get fit and stay fit, to maintain a healthy weight and to create nutritious meals will provide the participants with a decreased risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, even arthritis in the future. The Gourmet Dining nutrition team visits each campus for a monthly expose on nutrition topics including seasonal eating and nutrition focused cooking demos.