Motivation Articles

Canned Fat Drive: Donate Pounds Lost to People in Need

Find Weight Loss Motivation by Feeding the Hungry


Monthly Donation
As you lose weight, place your weight-loss equivalent in cans somewhere where you'll see it often. Bag up those cans and lift them each time you pass by. At the end of the month, donate your cans. If possible, carry them--even if it means parking a couple of blocks away. Actually feeling your loss by carrying it makes a huge impact.

Weight Transfer
As a variation, buy the canned weight you’d like to lose in the next month. As you lose, transfer cans from a separate bag. Lift both as you go by. The day the pounds-lost bag outweighs the other is especially motivating.

SOS Motivation
On days when your motivation sinks really low, put all the cans you’ve lost so far that month into a bag or backpack and wear it around for an hour, or better yet through a workout or hike. You’ll be reminded of just how far you’ve come. If you’re up for it, keep walking, right out your door and to the food bank. Leave those cans--that fat you lost--behind you for good.

Pledge of Honor
If you want to put yourself on the line, call your local food bank, soup kitchen, or animal shelter and tell them what you’re doing. Say, “I plan to donate the equivalent of how much weight I lose this month and would like to know what kinds of supplies you need right now.” When they say, “We’re desperate for baby food this month,” you’ll have that extra motivation of knowing that if you don’t stick to your program and stack up those cans, you won’t be able to give as much to those in need. Then stick to your pledge--don’t give more than you've lost when the month is over.

There are, of course, dozens of ways to use "Canned Fat" as motivation. Stack up a can each time you exercise or donate an hour of your time for each pound, for example. Be creative with those cans.

Where and How to Donate
Most communities have some sort of food bank, although some are small, often run from the basement of a church. Food banks tend to run low on canned proteins, fruits, peanut butter, and baby food. They are often most desperate in the summer and winter months, especially during the holidays. Homeless and women’s shelters also need food, as do AIDS outreach programs, elderly care programs and soup kitchens. Your local animal shelters are always in need, and this is an especially good option if your grocery budget is tight.
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Member Comments

  • What a great motivating idea! Will start to set aside cans for every 5 lbs. lost. - 6/30/2013 5:02:20 PM
  • what a great idea!! I will plan on donating to our animal shelter and also to our human shelters.We try not to use anymore canned products than necessary but I will try to keep track of all food weights(packaged as well as canned) and donate my lbs. lost at the end of the year or sooner. - 6/3/2013 11:29:35 AM
  • What a great idea! Help others while helping yourself... - 1/6/2013 7:25:53 PM
    I feel really good about it and it is something that I will start doing myself. It is so important to reach out and help those who need it but it is also such an encouragement and motivation!!! - 11/15/2012 3:33:54 PM
  • I love this article! I want to donate in food or litter to my local shelter how much weight I have lost in the new year and every year thereafter. When maintenance comes, I want to continue donating. What a great idea! I can't wait to carry 40lbs of litter up the steps of the ARL. :D - 10/4/2012 4:32:47 PM
  • Thank You for such a wonderful idea. I was looking for another way to keep motivated and now I believe I found it.. Was looking for a way to share this to facebook as I know many people that aren't on spark that are always looking for ways to lose and then to help the community.. Thanks for being the blessing you are. - 9/6/2012 10:53:25 AM
  • What a great idea!!!! I'll start with the 45 lbs lost for my first year and go from there! Including my maintaining loss..... - 9/6/2012 10:35:23 AM
  • I would not have thought of this but thanks it is a good idea - 9/6/2012 10:13:26 AM
  • Amazing idea. Imagine if everyone on Spark People did this. If we all donated our weight lost to date it would be a phenomenon. - 9/6/2012 9:55:56 AM
  • This is a very thoughtful and inventive idea. Think of it as donating the calories you would have eaten to someone who needs them. - 9/6/2012 9:37:22 AM
  • I really love this idea. Well done! Having a visual is a great way to stay on track. - 9/6/2012 9:22:04 AM
  • What a great generous idea! Helping other people while helping yourself! Thank you. - 9/6/2012 9:07:12 AM
  • I really appreciate this member taking the time to write this motivating piece. Thank you. - 9/6/2012 8:44:58 AM
  • How rewarding to be able to help others while helping yourself! What a blessing! - 9/6/2012 7:38:06 AM
  • What a great idea! Thank you for sharing it with all of us... - 9/6/2012 7:13:26 AM

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