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Lose those pounds and win some cash

THE TEAM: Behind fitness campaign Fit To Win are NTU students (top left, clockwise) Felicia Lee, Heng Yih Fang, Lei Hoi and Venelyn Chin. PHOTO: FIT TO WIN


    Jan 24, 2014

    Lose those pounds and win some cash

    A NEW fitness campaign in Singapore has a unique weight-loss proposition: Slim down, and we will fatten your wallet.

    Called Fit To Win, its premise is simple.

    Go for a weigh-in, throw $20 into a pot and pay a $5 registration fee. If you lose 5 per cent of your body weight at the end of eight weeks, you get to split the entire pot with others who have met the same target.

    The top three players who have shed the largest percentage of their body weight will also win up to $3,000 worth of prizes.

    Quite aptly, the top prize is a one-year gym membership.

    This not-for-profit campaign is the brainchild of four students from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), who are doing this as part of their final-year project.

    Even before its launch on Monday, all 400 slots for the challenge were snapped up. Another 200 would-be participants had to be turned away.

    Similar challenges which reward weight loss with money have also been popular in the United States.

    Fit To Win co-founder Venelyn Chin, 23, said she was inspired by her own struggles with losing weight. Early last year, the communication-studies student gained 6kg over six months.

    "I was shocked and tried to lose weight over six months, but with no success. It wasn't until I started going to the gym four times a week that I started to lose the excess weight," she said, adding that she has lost 4kg so far.

    The team hopes that Fit To Win will help participants kick-start an active lifestyle, instead of turning to crash dieting or fasting to lose weight.

    Participants took part in a weigh-in last week. To help shed weight, they have joined free fitness classes for zumba, pilates and kickboxing.

    Undergraduate Alex Yip, 26, is looking forward to the challenge as he has not exercised consistently.

    He said: "It's a win-win situation. I will get healthier and possibly win some cash."

    Dietician Angela Ng, 30, sounded a note of caution. Losing 5 per cent of your body weight is a healthy target for most people, but participants might want to go for a health screening first.

    She said: "Some might not have exercised in years and might not be able to handle the sudden increase in physical activity."