When I decided to try DietBet, I chose the largest pot I could find.
DietBet is a website that allows you to bet money on your own weight loss. Typical bets run in a range of $25-50. The more players, the larger the pot. Once your game starts, you have one month to lose 4% of your body weight. If you win, you split the pot. If you don’t, you lose your bet.
For me, competing to win almost $40,000 just seems more motivating then trying to win $400 (even though I knew my chances of winning more than $50 were slim.) So I joined Danny-J’s DietBet with over 1,000 players and prize of $38,520. And we were off…
The very first thing I discovered is that $35 is not enough money to motivate me to lose weight. I almost immediately forgot about it. What did motivate me to stay on track, however, was the idea of coming back here and telling you all that I failed. Consider that your psychology lesson for the day.
What I Liked About DietBet
- It was fun: The money I had the potential to lose wasn’t enough to scare me into cutting my calories, but the money I had the potential to win did cross my mind every now and then. Eat a bagel at work, or win $40,000? Have whipped cream on my strawberries, or win $40,000? It was fun to imagine the possibilities.
- It was interactive: DietBet sends daily emails during the bet with fun tips and tricks and reminders to check in frequently. Each game has it’s own wall where members can comment, report on their progress, even upload a photo, and cheer each other on. This is, after all, social weight loss. If that’s motivating for you, then this feature will definitely be a plus for you. I can barely manage my personal Facebook page, so I didn’t participate in commenting.
- It was easy: The weighing in process was simple: Take a full-length picture in simple clothing — no shoes, nothing in your pockets, etc — while standing on the scale. Then take a picture of the number on your scale, then take the same picture with your own weigh-in word. The weigh-out process was the same. I did all this with my phone in less than 5 minutes and was approved quickly.
- It was quick: I have a short attention span, so 30 short days from start to finish was long enough for me.
What Turned Me Off
- It was almost too easy: I logged into DietBet on day 2 of my game and over 200 people had already hit their weight loss goal. Let’s say you’re a 145 pound woman. That’s 5.8 pounds overnight! I couldn’t figure this out, but it left me feeling like some players weren’t honoring the spirit of the game.
- It’s still sending me daily emails. My game is over, but every day there is still an email from DietBet in my inbox. I just want to be friends, DietBet. It’s not you, it’s me.
My Own Results
And finally, here’s what you really want to know: How did I do?
I hate admitting that to you right now. I worked hard. I passed up dessert, I passed up a lot of carbs, I didn’t work out as often as I should have, but I did work out. But I still lost.
I did reach 72% of my goal, however, which isn’t a small amount of weight for me. So though I’m $35 poorer, my pants are looser and I feel good about my weight loss progress this month.
When the final report came from DietBet, I cringed to see what the winners took home with them. I learned that $35 might not motivate me, but the idea of not winning $100 or more for that last 8% kind of hurt. The winners took home $50 and some change. Not bad, but not too painful.
All in all it was a fun experience. I may sign up again sometime if I find myself struggling, but overall I discovered that it’s my own personal goals and my dedication to them at the time that motivate me to make healthy choices, not money.
Have you tried DietBet or a similar weight loss betting website?