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Trying to lose weight? DietBet puts your money where your cake-hole is


Trying to lose weight? DietBet puts your money where your cake-hole is - CNET

Everyone wants to lose weight, but for many folks, the rewards of looking better, feeling better, and living longer aren't sufficient motivation.

Ah, but what if there's money involved?

That's the idea behind DietBet, a "social dieting game" with a twist: You bet some money with friends and/or strangers, then spend 28 days trying to lose 4 percent of your body weight. Winner takes the pot -- which can end up being pretty sizable. If there are multiple winners, they split the cash.

In other words, here's your chance to lose weight and make a few bucks in the process. Talk about a win-win.

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There are some huge pots!  48K, starts in 12 hours.  I wonder how they keep people honest?

http://www.dietbetter.com/games

Mostly they encourage the honor code:

One or two days before then, you'll need to perform your official weigh-in, which involves snapping and submitting a couple photos. (DietBet uses a photo-review process to prevent cheating. Even so, be on your honor, people!)

NOT everybody wants to lose weight. Also, any kind of short term stimulus in that direction tends to perpetuate the most unhealthy behaviors like yo-yo dieting. Did you see that lady who "won" the Biggest Loser recently?

Yes, you could go overboard with this, especially with money on the line ;)  Haven't watched Biggest loser, I'll search around.

The season was won by Rachel Frederickson weighing in at only 105 pounds. Mass-media have raised concern, if that still is a healthy weight loss.

  • Rachel's 59.62% loss is the highest percentage lost in Biggest Loser history. T
  • Rachel is the first person in Biggest Loser history (Worldwide) to be underweight at the finale.

She went from a BMI of 44.6 to 18  IMO, that's a bit over the top, too much, too quick, bordering on obsessive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Biggest_Loser:_Second_Chances_2

So the television show encourages them to lose weight in a dangerous, obsessive way?

Gaining back 20 pounds made her feel better:

Rachel Frederickson, the Biggest Loser whose dramatic weight loss prompted a series of uncomfortable discussions about what the fitness competition show is actually promoting (a lot of people's guess: exploitative, unhealthy self deprivation sold as entertainment), has gained about 20 pounds since the show's finale. And she says she feels great.

Wow, she doesn't even look like the same person.  If she hadn't lost all that weight, she would come across as a normal lean girl, she doesn't look, at least in that picture, like she has crossed into anorexia, but because of the before picture, it is quite shocking!

I believe that repeatedly losing and gaining weight is worse for you healthwise than just keeping the weight on and working out more -- or even better, working out more and eating more vegetables and letting the chips fall where they may on weight. It makes sense to me that the more externalized and short-term your reason for wanting to lose weight -- winning a contest or bet, looking nice for a social event, etc. -- the more likely you are to do things in an unsustainably extreme way.

Janill, it does look like she crossed into anorexia.

Halibutboy, I think you're right. Lifestyle is much more sustainable than yoyoing.

Halibutboy, yes, a contest overall probably isn't going to be the most sustainable way to keep weight off, and maybe you lose the weight for the wrong reasons, but on the other hand, if people can't find motivation in any other way, maybe it adds some value in that capacity?  Maybe you lose weight in a gimmicky way the first time, and it comes back, but one thing you have proven to yourself is you can do it, but maybe you want to try a different way next time?  The same could be said of quitting smoking, or any other lifestyle adjustments.  I think people try them many times, in many ways before they find something that works, and each time you learn more, to add to your repertoire to tweak next times go at it.

Eh, I have to say that I've seen so many people lose weight so many times and I don't think I have ever seen a single one of them keep the weight off. I'm pretty sure this is not just anecdotal, but that the "success" rate for long-term weight loss without surgery is basically zero -- and even with surgery it's not a slam-dunk. I mean... if a person were THAT motivated to be thin by relatively simple motivations like competition or winning money or simple vanity or social pressure, wouldn't they be thin already? Certainly there is no lack of such motivations in our society.

That leads me to believe that it's not just a question of fine-tuning tactics, but very likely a much deeper issue -- starting with how we define the problem and how we define success. That's why I don't like the idea of "losing weight" conceptually. If that's our actual goal, why don't we go back to the days of everyone smoking and taking diet pills? I think you'd agree that improving our health, physical and mental, is the actual goal... it's just that everyone THINKS that "losing weight" is a panacea for health.

However I have reached the age in life where sudden weight loss in myself or my friends does not signal "wanting to look good in a bikini at the beach this summer"... it's much more likely to signal "medical problem that I hope is not too serious". So I hope you will forgive me if I cannot buy into the goal of losing weight as an unfettered good.

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