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Diet: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

Jun 27, 2013 12:00 am

There's a new game in the weight loss world, and it's called social dieting. Here's a rundown of some the more popular challenges:


Dietbet: DietBet is a weight loss wager program, and was the first social dieting program that I heard about. I'm actually participating in a challenge right now! Here's how it works:

- Each challenge is 28 days long, and requires a joining fee, usually somewhere around $25 (which is what I paid).

- Each participant's joining fee is put into "the pot", and at the end of the 28 days, those players who have lost 4% of their starting weight are declared the winners and get to divvy up the money.

- Technically, the company says that because the outcome is in the control of the player, the challenge isn't gambling. However, if the idea of betting makes you uncomfortable, you can choose to play for charity.

- The official weigh in process includes taking a full length body pic and a picture of your feet on the scale. Each challenge is given a special code word, and that word must be clearly visible in the photo of your feet on the scale.

- You then repeat the process at the end of the 28 days to verify your weight loss.

You can start your own challenge with friends, or join a larger challenge with people you don't know. I chose to join a challenge that was starting on a Monday. It has 787 players, which makes the pot $19, 675. That sounds like a lot of money to split, but I figure that 75% - 80% of people are going to be winners. In addition, DietBet take out a 20% fee before the money is divided. If you do that math, I'll just be getting my $25 back to break even. The Today show has an interesting interview with the founder Jamie Rosen, and five participants which you can find right here.


Healthy Wage: Healthy Wage is a very similar idea to DietBet, but is played over a longer period of time with more money at stake. They have three kinds of challenge to enter:

- 10% Challenge: Pay $150 when you register, and lose 10% of your body weight in 6 months to double your money for a payout of $300.

- BMI Challenge: You must have a BMI of 30 or over to participate. There is no fee to register. You must get to a BMI below 25 after exactly one year to win $100. You can up the stakes by paying $150 upfront for a $400 payout, or $300 upfront for a $1000 payout.

- The Matchup: This is a three month weight loss challenge completed in teams of five. The winning team is the one that loses the greatest percentage of weight during the contest. You pay either an upfront $75 fee, or $25 a month for three months. The team that wins takes home $10 000.

Healthy Wage seems like a good option for people with more weight to lose, as it takes place over a longer period of time. I think I would have done this when I had 28lbs to lose, which would have just scraped in as 10% of my body weight.  

GymPact: Now if you're the kind of person that has a gym membership languishing in your wallet, Gym-Pact might be just the thing for you. The company's tag line is: Commit to exercise. Check-in at the gym, track outdoor workouts via RunKeeper, or workout at work or home with GymPact Anywhere. Available for iPhone and Android, these apps use the same concept as DietBet and Healthy Wage to keep you accountable for the exercise you do:

- First you decide on your "Pact" which is your commitment to get to the gym. The minimum is 1 day per week.

- You then set the monetary stake you'll pay if you don't go, with the minimum being $5 for every missed day.

- When you get to the gym, you hit the Check In button in the app, and GPS will confirm you are there. There are over 40 000 gyms, but if your gym isn't in there, you can add it on your first visit.

- GymPact Anywhere uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to count your workout at work, home or outdoors. Just keep your phone in your pocket or an armband and be sure to reach 30 active minutes to count your workout towards your Pact.

Your pact is a weekly commitment running from Monday to Sunday. You can sign up and change your pact until Sunday at midnight in your timezone. If you meet your Pact, you get a cash reward for each day you went, usually about 30c to 40c per workout. Once you reach $10, you can withdraw your GymPact rewards via Paypal. But remember - if you miss a day, GymPact will charge the credit card they have on file for you. You can find out more in GymPact's FAQ section.


RunKeeper: Mentioned above, RunKeeper is a free app for iPhone and Android that helps you keep track of your runs, walks, bike rides, and hikes using the GPS in your phone. And it has just been announced that RunKeeper now works in conjunction with MyFitnessPal. With this new integration, you will be able to track your fitness activity on RunKeeper and push that information directly to your MyFitnessPal account.

Now, just a gentle reminder:


Do you have a favorite way to stay motivated while shaping up? Tell us about it in the comments below!

DietBet, Healthy Wage, RunKeeper, GymPact, diet, dieting, weight loss, fitness, jogging, exercise, gym, body, wellness

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