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Health and Fitness

Social weight loss: How much would you pay to slim down?

Stephanie Ashley
by Stephanie Ashley Published on February 17, 2014

A new trend has cropped up in the health world, and it’s taking off like wildfire! It’s called social weight loss. There are, and have been for a while, countless websites where you can find support groups to fuel your weight loss dreams. The new twist? These new sites, like DietBet, turn social dieting into a competition, with real money on the line! So tell us: how much would you pay to reach your dieting goals?

For a long time, women have been able to pay for weight loss. Yes, it’s called liposuction, or a tummy tuck, or some other plastic surgery option that is usually quite expensive. Anyone can hire a personal trainer to kick their butt into gear every week, or pay for expensive meal plans, like The Zone diet, to keep the weight off.

But what about, instead of paying for all these things that may or may not work for you, trying to use your money to hold yourself accountable to healthier standards?

A new form of paying for weight loss has recently come to light: social diet betting. On websites, like DietBet and HealthyWage, you put down real money in a bet that you can reach your weight loss goals.

Sounds risky? These sites use the psychology of reward strategies and competition to motivate us to reach new highs, er lows, in healthy weight.

Studies published by The Journal of the American Medical Association and the Mayo Clinic, praise proper incentive programs as a great way to lose weight and keep it off.

They work, simply enough, with you making a bet. On DietBet, there are two set betting challenges. In one challenge, you try to lose 4% of your start body weight in 4 weeks. For the other competition, you attempt to lose 10% of your weight in 6 months. What makes it even more fun? This is a game with and against others! Everyone who reaches their weight loss goals splits the pot of money at the end of the time period.

Another site, HealthyWage, makes the bet more of a competition against yourself. You make a bet that you can lose a certain amount of weight within a certain amount of months, and you put down betting money for each month until the end of the challenge.

What makes this site social is its motivational aspect. While you’re only competing against yourself, you can gather a group of social cheerleaders! Those who know you, or just those who want to see you win, can go online and bet on you too.

Both these sites try to keep healthy standards. DietBet has a disqualification policy for those losing weight too quickly and dangerously, and HealthyWage keeps their challenges to a minimum of ninety days to help users truly create new habits and lifestyle changes.

Though these sites do caution against dangerous and unhealthy weight loss tactics, it is important that you yourself don’t get carried away just winning money. Stick to healthy weight loss strategies!

Bets on these sites can range anywhere from $10 to hundreds. It all depends on what you’re willing to lose, and how badly you want to win.

Social dieting can be a great way to stay motivated and have fun with weight loss. Instead of focusing on what you can or cannot eat, you can focus on proving to yourself that you can lose weight!

What do you think? Will you be pulling a group of friends together to bet on your weight loss, or would you rather stick to a good old fashioned diet? Tweet us @wewomenUSA!