Lose weight, help the Boys and Girls Club

Considering that two-thirds of American adults have a BMI that meets the criteria for being overweight or obese, it’s not like anyone really needs a reminder of the benefitsof losing weight.

Even dropping a relatively modest amount of weight – 5 to 10 percent – can result in lower risk of developing chronic disease, improved sleep, fewer medications and, of course, better-fitting clothes.

But what if your weight loss actually helped more than your waistline? That’s the idea with an upcoming weight-loss competition to benefit three New Castle County Boys & Girls clubs.

The second-annual Weight Loss Challenge kicks off Friday, with about 60 people slated to spend the next 90 days eating well, exercising and seeing who can lose the most weight. But their success won’t be their own – it also will benefit the Metro Wilmington Boys & Girls Clubs, Claymont Boys & Girls Club and Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club.

Weight-loss participants agreed to raise a minimum of $250 – either through donations and sponsorships for pounds lost or reaching a weight-loss goal.

Although the contest starts Friday, participants are still being accepted through the end of next week, said Rebecca DePorte, who serves on the board for the Wilmington Boys & Girls Club and the state organization. Participants must register online atwww.bgclubs.org/weightlosschallenge.

In return, they receive a complimentary 90-day membership to one of four local gyms: Plexus Fitness, Hockessin Athletic Club, 1614 Fitness & Aerobics andFusion Fitness Center. They will have access to trainers to help them develop a healthy plan. Their progress will be followed by Out & About Magazine.

Last year’s Boys & Girls Club challenge raised $13,000 for the Wilmington club, DePorte said. The response was overwhelmingly positive from participants, some of whom lost almost 40 pounds during the competition.

This year, the program was expanded to benefit clubs in Claymont and Newark. More gyms also have been added. The goal this year is $20,000 for an organization known for its hard work helping kids to grow up physically and emotionally healthy.

“We really wanted to do something fun, and this was,” said DePorte, who will be participating this year. “You do more than help yourself.”

A side note – For those who have been looking for details of the News Journal’s Be Healthy Delaware’s annual challenge – keep watching. This year’s health challenge should begin later this year.

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