August 27, 2012

Starting a diet can feel about as enjoyable as enduring a root canal. But now there's a service that seeks to turn the process into a good-natured game, replete with rules, winners and cash prizes. Essentially a tech-savvy version of the age-old weight-loss competition (or, you know, The Biggest Loser), the new website DietBet facilitates one-month "games" between friends to see who can drop the most excess baggage. It's up to the organizer of each competition to invite participants and determine how much money is at stake; you can bet nothing, though recent studies show that money might be the most persuasive motivator. Once everybody is ready to go, contestants enter a starting weight (don't worry, the actual number is hidden from your pals) along with a telling "before" picture. At the end of the four-week period, dieters submit their final "after" shots and weigh-in numbers (to be reviewed by DietBet employees to weed out cheaters), and anyone who has lost at least 4 percent of their body weight wins or splits the pot. DietBet discourages dangerous behavior by disqualifying people who lose more than triple their goal, and of course a general air of sportsmanship is expected. After all, nobody likes a sore loser. Read the full article.

Fit Fight: Challenge Friends to Lose Weight with DietBet

June 26, 2012

The idea is called The Fun Theory and it's what inspired the creation of DietBet, a site that turns losing weight into a game amongst friends. Participants ante up via PayPal or credit card. After the initial weigh-in, competitors have 28 days to reach their target weight. The winner gets the pot; if multiple players succeed, the pot is split amongst them. The official rules keep players honest and safe (you can be disqualified for losing too much weight). And while the game is afoot, you can talk smack, devise a strategy, and add photographic evidence to prove your dominance. At the end, you'll have lost weight and had fun doing it — not just in theory. Read the full article.

Wagering on Weight Loss: Diet Bet Websites

May 29, 2012
by Lynn Langway

Blogger Amy Oztan decided it was time to kick her diet into higher gear. She turned to, a new website that lets you wager on future weight loss. Although she'd previously managed to shed 18 lbs. on her own, Oztan figured that she'd be spurred on by the combined threat of online humiliation if she failed, plus the thrill of prize money if she succeeded. Read the full article.

Would you lose weight if money were at stake?

May 28, 2012
by Elizabeth Landau

You might want to lose weight, but the noticeable benefits seem so far off in the future that you continually procrastinate. You need a reason to get more fit right now - how about money? A new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces this idea that if money were on the line, you might start on a healthier path. In fact, there's other evidence to suggest that money does matter. A 2008 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that financial incentives did get people to lose weight. You can find websites that offer rewards for healthy behaviors. Others offer you the opportunity to punish yourself financially if you don't meet your goals (that may sound harsh, but it's a motivator): This website lets you join with other people in betting on weight loss. You sign up with at least one other person and get 28 days to lose weight. If there's only one winner, he or she wins the entire prize pot. Multiple winners get equal shares of the pot. Read the full article.

Scale Wages: Taking Bets and Dropping Pounds

May 1, 2012

Testing the outer limits of your willpower is DietBet, a website that combines healthy old-fashioned weight loss with a healthy old-fashioned gambling competition… the Kentucky Derby of dieting. Read the full article.