Need a little nudge to take that first step to a healthier lifestyle? How does $10,000 sound?

That’s how much H-E-B will award the final four winners of the 2017 Slim Down Showdown, a 12-week weight loss and healthy habits contest where contestants lose as much weight as possible through exercise and meal planning.

H-E-B will select 28 contestants – 14 community members and 14 of H-E-B’s 96,000 employees – to participate this fall.

Contestants will travel to San Antonio on Jan. 9 for a week of “Fit Camp,” where they will receive personalized fitness and nutrition training, cooking classes, and meal planning. They will then take these strategies home, where H-E-B health coaches, registered dietitians, and past contestants will support them in their weight-loss goals.

Applications are currently open and will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 16. To apply for the contest, click here.

The Slim Down Showdown originated in 2010 as a program for H-E-B employees, but the company expanded the contest to the larger community in 2012. Since its inception, it has inspired 185 participants to lose more than 4,000 pounds. In 2016 alone, contestants dropped more than 879 pounds and logged more than 30 million steps.

Michelle Giles flashes the audience a smile on the runway at the HEB Silmdown Showdown finale at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Photo by Bria Woods.
Michelle Giles flashes the audience a smile on the runway at the HEB Silmdown Showdown finale at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Photo by Bria Woods.

Participants will share their experiences by blogging and participating in H-E-B Community Challenge events in their hometowns, such as 5K races, Zumbathons, and food demos.

After Fit Camp, contestants will meet with an H-E-B dietitian for a Pantry Makeover, where they will restock their pantry with healthy items from their local H-E-B store. From Feb. 17-19, contestants will undergo a midpoint evaluation in San Antonio and also reconnect with fitness and nutrition experts, who will provide them with more fitness tips, meal plans, and cooking training.

The contest will close on April 1, with a final screening and makeover that includes hair styling, makeup, and a new outfit. Contestants will present their new selves to friends and family at the grand finale, where the final four winners will be announced.

Last year’s winners included San Antonio’s Jabbar Al Tameemi, who lost 12% body fat, improved his cholesterol level by 21%, and got rid of 57 pounds.

Jesse Cano, an H-E-B central checkout operations manager from Corpus Christi, lost 8% of his body fat, dropped 42 pounds, and received 9,534 likes, comments, and shares on his blog. In addition to walking away with $10,000, Jesse was able to control his Type 2 diabetes and significantly limit his need for insulin.

You can read the stories of all four 2016 Slim Down Showdown winners here.

H-E-B will notify contestants that they have been selected this December and announce them publicly in January.

Those who are not selected for this year’s contest can still participate in H-E-B’s Slim Down Showdown 6-Week Challenge, which provides workout and recipe tips and offers prizes to contestants who log 15 meals per week.

Top Image: Contestant Rebecca Lockridge masters the art of cooking healthy meals at the 2015 Slim Down Showdown Fit Camp. Photo by Josh Huskin, courtesy of H-E-B. 

Related Articles:

H-E-B Slim Down Showdown Inspires Contestants to be Better Role Models

2016 H-E-B Slim Down Showdown Now Accepting Applications

Slim Down Showdown: The Road to Health and Happiness

Contestants Gear Up for H-E-B Slim Down Showdown

HEB Slim Down Showdown: Let the Weight Games Begin

Daniel Kleifgen graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., he came to San Antonio in 2013 as a Teach For America corps member.