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You lose weight, charity gains

Online initiative facilitates healthy living with simple yet innovative fitness programme that benefits the one doing the workout and NGOs too.

entertainment Updated: Apr 03, 2011 13:15 IST
Sneha Mahale

Need motivation to lose weight? Just log on to www.bigloser.in and tweet your desire to become leaner. This online initiative by tweeple @b50, @SashG, @Aalaap and @Chhavi (their Twitter handles) offers a novel yet noble technique to facilitate weight loss by donating money to charity each time a participant loses weight. The campaign that launched in February this year already has over 80 participants and 30 sponsors.

The BigLoser initiative started when b50, as he is known on Twitter, tweeted his speculations about whether weight loss for charity would be motivation enough for people to lose weight. Dozens of people tweeted back with positive responses, and the whole idea began. “Healthy weight loss and fitness are constant topics of concern with working/urban folks. Sharing helps us stay motivated and connected, therefore it’s not surprising that we found an audience on Twitter,” says Sasha Gusain, co-founder.

To be a part of this initiative, all one needs to do is get a sponsor. For that, simply tweet with the BigLoser hashtag. The BigLoser team then promotes this tweet through the BigLoser team’s individual twitter accounts, as well as the BigLoser twitter account - @bigloserfeed. For each kilo you lose, a sponsor donates money to charity. The team is currently in the process of selecting charities to support and will donate the final amount to the chosen charity on February 2, 2012 - the day they complete a year.

There is also a lot of community support. “We reward one person each week as the BigLoser of the Week. This is either a participant who has lost weight in a healthy way, or a sponsor who has managed to motivate and inspire his/her participants,” says Gusain. Sonologue, Chhavi’s audio content and production house, produces a BigLoser podcast every week. Each podcast includes a round-up on bigloser news from @b50, along with participant and sponsor interaction, with a spotlight on one winner, as well as fitness and nutrition tips from healthylivingindia.org.

There are also features like 50 tips on evaluating what you eat, starting a fitness routine and introducing healthy meal timings. “We focus on user experiences. Our blog, Bigloser.in, features posts by each week’s winner. And if you read these posts, you’ll see that every weight loss discussion talks about sustainable and healthy weight loss — something that can only come from personal experience,” says Gusain.

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