Benefits of a Weight Loss Bet

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Benefits of a weight loss bet

Do you need to lose weight? A weight loss bet can help you lose weight. Having a defined goal as well as accountability can help take the pounds off. When you use money as an incentive people seem to respond.

Why do a weight loss bet?

According to Time Magazine, “A 2017 study found that obesity now drives more early preventable deaths in the U.S. than smoking. ”

According to the CDC,

  • “Percent of adults aged 20 and over with overweight, including obesity: 70.7% (2013-2014)”

How does a weight loss bet work?

weight loss betThere are a few weight loss bet companies you can choose from. Healthy Wage id one.

Here’s how HealthyWage  works.

If you use a company like HealthyWage which is found online, you will use a calculator to determine how much weight you should lose as well as the duration of the bet. The calculator then determines your prize amount, up to $10,000. You can play with  different numbers on the calculator until you get the prize and goal that you want. You will know your prize amount before  placing your bet.

You will need to agree to pay the monthly amount for the duration of the weight loss bet. If by chance you do not reach your goal you will not receive any money back.

HealthyWage isn’t a diet program or weight-loss regimen. While you’ll benefit from joining the community, reading tips and exchanging recipes, the company’s main purpose is facilitating your bet. When you put your money into it, your determination is affected.

The benefits of using a program where others are trying to lose weight is that you  are not alone, you will be able to share recipes, weight loss tips and encouragement. This will make the weight weight loss journey easier.

What does  the literature say about a weight loss bet.

An article from The journal of the American Medical Association shows that “The use of economic incentives produced significant weight loss during the 16 weeks of intervention that was not fully sustained. The longer-term use of incentives should be evaluated.”

Dieters in the incentive group lost almost three times more weight than dieters in the non-incentive group. The incentive group were also more likely to reach their goal weight., and dieters in the incentive group were almost five times more likely than dieters in the non-incentive group to achieve their weight loss goal.

There was significant weight loss initially but the participants tended to put the weight back on after the contest was over. The authors suggested that a longer competition may increase long term success. A support group that continued after the competition may have helped as well.

A 2013 study from the Mayo Clinic concluded, Weight loss study participants who received financial incentives were more likely to stick with a weight loss program and lost more weight than study participants who received no incentives.” This study was conducted over one year and these patients were less likely to regain their weight then the previous study that was mentioned.

A 2016 study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  in Preventive Medicine Reports suggests that an online healthy competition motivates people more so that an online support group.

Corporate weight loss bet

If you need a program to encourage your employees or co-workers to lose weight then consider using HealthyWage. Employees lose an average of almost 5% each during the the Team Challenge.

Financial incentives which help keep the weight off are offered for up to a year after the program ends.

Employees losing weight can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

One study in the New England Journal of Medcine suggested that people were more likely to gain weight if their counter parts were overweight.  “Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties. These findings have implications for clinical and public health interventions.”

The researchers stated that “[a] person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval.” The researchers also concluded that “weight-loss interventions that provide peer support that is, that modify the person’s social network, are more successful than those that do not. People are connected, and so their health is connected.” The opposite is also probably true, if your  fitness is important to your fiends, it is probably important to you.

Team weight loss bet

Teams offer an advantage over trying to lose the weight by yourself. There is a built in support system.

An article published in Obesity suggested, “These results suggest that teammates affect weight loss outcomes during a team-based intervention. Harnessing and maximizing teammate influence for weight loss may enhance weight outcomes in large-scale team-based programs.”

The team has to win as a group, every member has a stake in the other members’ success. The result is a lot of support and positive peer pressure. The challenge and desire to beat the other teams adds to the excitement and motivation of the competition.

Whether the weight loss bet is at work or outside of work with your friends, losing weight with a group of motivated people makes the process easier, not to mention a lot more fun.

According to Healthy Wage website, “Our programs work great for companies and governments interested in jump-starting new and existing wellness programs, decreasing healthcare costs and sick days, and building employee morale. We’ve also acted as a complete solution for smaller companies that lack a full-time wellness solution.”

Wining a weight loss bet?

Here are a few contestants that won a weight loss bet with HealthyWage.

Teresa S took part in a weight loss bet. She bet $125 for 6 months that she would lose 60 pounds. She crushed her goal, losing 69 pounds and won a total of $2,415.

Her advice

“It’s not impossible,” she wants people to know. “No matter how big that number is on that scale, it’s not impossible. Everyday is a new beginning; you have a fresh start to get it right every day. Don’t beat yourself up for a mistake. Life gives you a new chance every morning.”

weight loss betJennifer D bet $150 for 10 months that she would lose 100 pounds. When that final weigh in confirmed she had actually beat her goal and lost 102 pounds, she won $4,180.60 ($2,680 profit).

During the weight loss bet, Jennifer hit a plateau. She reevaluated her diet. After some research, she realized she was not eating enough healthy fats (such as olive oil and avocado).  After switching to a higher fat diet, the weight began coming off again. Her updated diet mixed with more intense workouts (because her body could now handle it), is what helped Jennifer scale down over 100 pounds. HIIT exercise has been shown to help with weight loss.

Jonathan bet $50 for 9 months that he would lose 80 pounds. He beat his goal and lost 82 pounds, winning a total of $1,509.77 ($1,059.77 profit).

Switching from  normal pre-packaged meals to all fresh foods, vegetables became a major staple in Jonathan’s diet.  He also walked after work every day. At one time Jonathon was barely able to walk ¼ a mile, Jonathan is happy to announce he’s completed a 5k and looks forward to participating in more.

weight loss betKristin W lost over 100 pounds and won $4,000 on the weight loss bet.

How did Kristen lose over 100 pounds? She writes,

I started with just walking and tracking my food using MyFitnessPal. I started around 1200-1500 calories a day, and have gradually increased my calories so that hopefully maintaining my weight will be a little easier and less a shock of adding a bunch of calories back in. I’m training now for a half marathon in the fall, and planning on a full next year. “

Losing weight too quickly with a weight loss bet

The weight loss bet can get you motivated as you will see results but long term success will require lifestyle changes, otherwise you are more likely to put the weight back on again. It is generally recommended that you lose 1 pound a week for optimal results.

Pricing for a weight loss bet with HealthyWage

Cost is $25 a month for 3 months.

Teams can win $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000.

Individuals can win $169 or more depending on how much they bet.

I am not a fan of gambling, in this case you are betting with yourself and there is a possibility of living a healthier life.

What do you think of a weight loss bet?

References

Volpp, K.G., John, L.K., Troxel, A.B., Norton, L., Fassbender, J., and Loewenstein, G., “Financial Incentive-based Approaches for Weight Loss: A Randomized Trial,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(22), 2631-2637 (2008).

N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years,” New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-79 (July 2007)

Leahey, T.M., Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., Wing, R.R., “Teammates and Social Influence Affect Weight Loss Outcomes in a Team-based Weight Loss Competition,” Obesity, 20 7, 1413-18 (2012).

 

 

 

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About Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS 192 Articles
I am a physician who is interested in providing health information and health tips so that we may live healthy lives.

17 Comments

  1. I hadn’t come across the concept of weight loss bets before! I suppose there must be some control factor to make sure you don’t just lie and claim the winnings!

    I can certainly attest to competition with friends working as a motivator. My sister and her friends are competing with one of those step counter gadgets, and they do sneaky things like going for long walks at 23:30 to snatch the day’s victory LOL

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

  2. What an interesting idea. I’d almost be tempted to try it just because it appeals to my competitive streak, and the thought of not getting my money back would really make me work for it.

  3. This is what I call innovation. With a bet mixed with weight loss, It is not surprising that it is on the radar and has had some success. Thanks for sharing. Take care

Please comment, I would love to hear what you think about this information.