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Would You Make a Weight-Loss Bet?

Cool or Not: Betting on Weight Loss

Gambling odds are rarely in your control; unless, of course, you're betting on your own weight loss. The New York Times reports that diet betting is gaining popularity among co-workers and friends, because money fills the lack of motivation blocking the road to weight loss for many. Nobody likes to lose money, and the whole idea surrounding diet bets is that you have to pay if someone else loses more weight than you.

Research has shown that weight loss goals fueled by financial incentives are typically more successful than when money isn't part of the plan. With the idea that people are adverse to losing money, the website is a place where individuals' credit cards are charged for weeks when users don't meet their goals. It's a similar concept to diet betting, but you're not competing with your peers.

I can see how diet betting would encourage someone to lose weight, but if not losing money becomes more important than actually losing weight, I wonder how many people keep the weight off once the financial incentives are no longer there. What do you think of diet betting: cool or not?


Join The Conversation
LindaMCC LindaMCC 8 years
Thanks for the informative article. It just seems like the world has turned obese at such a fast pace it really is scary. I have struggled with weight for my whole life and finally have a grip on it after 30 years of suffering from diet-itis!! It really helps to know what you are doing and you don't have to work nearly as hard when you do. Go to this site It was recommended to me by a friend and it really changed my thinking and helped me turn the tide and finally lose weight and keep it off without the constant struggle and fluctuations. I have lost over 50 lbs and kept it off. I finally have enough energy to keep up with my children. Best of luck to every one of you who knows what it is like to struggle to lose weight...hope this makes your life easier!!
ganjen ganjen 8 years
The most highly revered diet loss herb is green tea. Other types of herbs usually come with serious side effects, so it is usually best to stick with green tea. You add in healthy meals of veggies and low-fat proteins, and you have a week-long, healthy detox that is a terrific way to jumpstart a diet loss plan. I do this detox several times a year, just to help keep my system balanced. If you took good notes, then you’ll be able to use the review process as a learning experience to fine tune your rapid diet loss.
KirstenOlsen KirstenOlsen 8 years
this is a sily program. would love to see the true statistics of actaual people which it helped in any way in their pursuit to slim down.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Actually I just double checked and in addition to not letting you lose more than two pounds a week, also doesn't let you have a target weight below 18.5 bmi. Obviously, you could lie about how much you weighed and how much you were losing, but I'd think that would take the point out of the obsessive tracking that people are worried that people with EDs might have.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Well, you don't actually have to bet money, you can use the website without stakes. It's what you make of it. I work out at least four times a week and I'm only trying to lose a pound a week. I can assure you I don't have the desire to lose just water weight any more than you do, Spectra, so I wouldn't make any assumptions about the goals of the people on this site! I'm not sure why you would think people using this site would be more likely to use a diuretic. I can see the risk for ED-prone people, but I've never had any eating issues and made my goal reasonable enough. Also, it wont' let you try to lose more than two pounds a week. I'm not sure Fit did the best job describing this site, so maybe people should check it out for themselves? Or the NYT article about it and the economists' theories behind why it works.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's a good motivator but the biggest thing to remember is that everyone's different so others may lose faster or slower than you and then it's all going to blow up and be a problem. for example, i go to the gym regularly and i lose weight...but my fiance doesn't go to the gym AT ALL and he's been watching what he eats and is noticeably skinnier. it's just not fair :(
sushiflower76 sushiflower76 8 years
It really depends on the people involved. Everyone has different needs and is motivated by different things. As long as it's not taken too far.
zeppelinrules zeppelinrules 8 years
I have a deal going with a co-worker who left for the Army in January and wont be back again until June. He wants to gain 35 pounds and I want to lose 35 pounds, so we agreed that if one of us didn't reach our goal by the time he gets back, we'd have to pay the other one a pretty big chunk of money. It hasn't motivated me to do anything yet, but hopefully that's just because I feel like I still have so much time.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Whatever works, as long as people don't go about it in the wrong and unhealthy way just to win.
megania megania 8 years
I've done it. A group of co-workers and I had a series of weight loss contests at a former job. We didn't bet huge amounts of money and we extended the bets over several months to avoid unhealthy, quick-loss diets. I had a lot of fun. I lost a little weight and I lost a little money. I'd do again if I had anyone to gamble with.
almostloli almostloli 8 years
just to get you 'there' (desired weight), then you can stop betting
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I agree with Teagan and misskacie--betting on weight loss could lead people to try things like diuretics or enemas to try and lose "weight" quickly, even though the results wouldn't be permanent. I sort of made losing weight fun though when I was doing it: Every time I dropped a pants size, I allowed myself one splurge pair of jeans to wear. I always looked forward to being able to fit into the next size down and I knew I was losing actual weight, not just water weight.
ep24 ep24 8 years
whatever works! some people are competitive and this is a good way to feed into that competitive streak to reach a goal and great result
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I said not cool, but I'm blogging my weight loss to the world. I guess some people would say that's uncool too. I do agree with Teagan... it might just lead to some bad behaviors though.
misskacie misskacie 8 years
I agree, Teagan. Plus, weight loss can be frustrating and disappointing enough as it is. It seems more likely people will give up their goals with added negative reinforcement. I guess different things work for different people. Still, I don't believe for a minute this is a good idea for everybody, or even for "most" people.
Chicagomarie Chicagomarie 8 years
I understand the idea, but I think it can too easily lead to unhealthy behaviors in the name of not losing money. People will do crazy and stupid things for money. See this article from Carrie over at EDbites
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
I think its a good idea, especially for workout procrastionators like me! but at the same time some people shouldnt do it, might become obsessed and get sick. bu
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I think it would be good initially for getting started on weight loss, but not for weight maintenance. I personally wouldn't do it because I'd lose, and I hate losing money. That's why I don't bet! :D
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Yay! I was hoping you'd post about this! It is backed by research and it does make it a little more "fun." I joined at the beginning of January and I have two goals- one is to exercise at least four times a week, and the other is to lose, on average a pound a week for twenty weeks. Weight loss is not a necessity in my case, it's to move my BMI from 23 to 20. It was actually the fact that it wasn't a necessity for me to lose weight that I think makes me less motivated. The exercise one is really, really good because it's something I'd be doing anyway, but now I never make excuses, or I'll lose $20 for the week. In the fall, some weeks I'd only make it to the gym a couple times. The weight one is more frustrating, but so far I've met or exceeded my goal each week. You can also make a commitment to maintain your weight if it's a concern. My boyfriend is the beneficiary of my money, I didn't have the heart to give it to an "anti-charity" which is the most effective for weight loss. Anywaaay I really like the idea, and it's an easy way to monitor my progress.
kia kia 8 years
I think it is a great idea for situations where weight loss is a necessity. Any motivation can help if people are obese and need to lose weight in the face of weight-related illnesses.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
whatever keeps it fun
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