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Then welcome to DietBet, a social dieting site where you bet on your own weight loss and get paid to lose weight. If you have the necessary willpower, you make money…if you slack off, you lose your bet.
How DietBet works
Dietbet runs two types of weight loss bets on its site: a 30-day challenge where you lose 4% of your body weight, and a longer 6-month challenge where you lose 10% of your body weight. Official weigh-ins and weigh-outs occur with the participant standing on a digital scale in front of a full-length mirror and taking photos of himself/herself on the scale as well as the scale itself.
A unique word is generated for each contestant; that word needs to be written on an index card and placed next to the scale during the weigh-ins and weigh-outs. I myself had words like “carrot” “bat” and “caraway” assigned to me.
Participants must wear “airport security attire” and have nothing on their person except for the camera. The same type of clothing is expected to be worn at weigh-out. Oh, and participants can be audited and/or disqualified if there is any suspicion of cheating.
I double down on myself with DietBet
From January 13th to February 9th, I became one of 1,784 participants in the 30-day ShayLoss: MommyLoss Edition dietbet. I paid $30 to bet that I’d lose 4% of my body weight (or 5.8 lbs.). So, I had to go from being 146.2 lbs. to 140.4 lbs.
I then learned that I could participate in up to three dietbets simultaneously. So, to make things interesting (and win more money), I also placed a $25 bet on the 30-day Bikini Body Mommy Challenge that was occurring from January 14th to February 10th. This dietbet had a total of 1,329 participants.
I now had $55 in…and it was time to take my weigh-in photos. Luckily, I only had to do one weigh-in thanks to my contests being so close to one another. After I finished inputting my pictures, I received the following email:
DietBet took only about 5 minutes to verify my weigh-in weight, and then I was ready to rock and roll.
Initial weight loss success- and stagnation
Initially, feeling like all eyes were on me, I lost two pounds within a week and proudly logged my weight deficit; unofficial weigh-ins during the contest are encouraged and consist of you sliding back your weight numbers on the “scale” below:
However, over the course of the next few weeks, I lagged. I had “only” 3.8 lbs. to lose, after all, so why rush? My weight loss pretty much stopped until I realized that the last week of my dual dietbets was upon me.
Swinging into high gear, I put myself on a near fruit fast and ran several miles every other night. My efforts paid off; within a few days, I had already shed another two pounds. I proudly posted my renewed weight loss on the online forums associated with each of my dietbets.
However, the contest’s conclusion was drawing nigh. Would I be able to shed the last bit of weight before the official weigh-outs started? Check out my final tally:
I achieved my DietBet goal!
One day later, I completed my weigh-out for the other DietBet. At this point in time, my body was in burn mode, so I ended up being another .6 lbs. lighter during my second shoot. As a result, I achieved both of my dietbets. Great!
I received the following email just a few minutes after each of my weigh-outs:
I patiently awaited my bet payouts, which were not announced until after the contests closed and every winner had had a chance to input his or her winning photographs. My final DietBet winnings were then posted as follows:
In the end, I made a grand total of $81.86 on my two initial bets of $55, which gave me $26.86 in bet winnings or a 48.8% return on my investment. That’s not bad, especially considering that my stock investments don’t do as well!
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My overall DietBet experience
I found the DietBet site to be really on top of verifying weigh-ins and weigh-outs; it literally took only minutes for an email to be sent to me stating that I was “good to go” following photo submission. Also, the site is well put together and you can usually find the answer to your question on its growing FAQs or via user comments.
You can also set up your own betting group on DietBet and specify whatever bet amount you want- and if you get at least eight participants, your own betting fee is refunded. This is nice because one of the things I wished for with DietBet is that its bets were a bit higher. After all, if I’m going to make the same effort to lose weight, I’d rather have $100 or even $500 on the line versus just $25. However, I also noticed that the larger the initial bet required to join a bet, the fewer the number of participants.
I was a bit surprised to find out that DietBet’s fees run as high as 25% for the lower-range bets under $100; that seems a bit steep to me. However, site fees go as low as 10% if participants are plunking down $500 or more. I never saw any bet run that high, however- the highest bet that I noted was set at $150 and had just over 10 participants.
Dietbet also offers 6-month-long 10% weight loss bets. Initially, my plan was to join one of these bets after finishing my 30-day dietbet; however, as I read more about these 6 month bets, I found out that they actually consist of six 30-day long bets where you re-bet a prescribed $25 or $30 or whatever fee amount each month. Plus, you have to lose about 2% of your body weight each month or forfeit that month’s bet. The last month’s bet, incidentally, consists of simply maintaining your weight loss.
To me, the 6-month plan seemed a bit too rigorous; I know that, when it comes to weight loss, most people lose much more weight at the start of their diets than later on. Thus, you could really encounter an issue with your 6-month dietbet if you lose 10 lbs. one month and then only 5 lbs. the next month, then 2.5 lbs the next, etc.
The only real advantage I could see in doing a 6-month dietbet is that there are random prize drawings each month for the winners. However, you can’t really win free stuff unless you buy tokens (which are $20/each). In a large pool of participants, you’re not very likely to win anyway.
Triple down and win?
As I was tabulating my results for this post, I happened to see that another dietbet was about to start and that the fee was $50. So, I decided to participate. Immediately afterwards, I found a simultaneous dietbet about to begin with a $25 buy-in. So, I bought in. And then yesterday, I found a third dietbet about to start with a $100 fee to participate. I thought about it- and also enrolled in that dietbet. So, as of today, I will be on three simultaneous dietbets. We’ll see if I make even more money this time around.
Update as of March 20, 2014:
Having successfully finished my three dietbets, I just wanted to show off my winnings:
The monetary amounts of these bets, moving from top to bottom, were $100, $25 and $50. As you can see, my payout ratios were actually better for the smaller bets versus the larger ones; for example, I made a nearly 43% return on my $25 bet versus just over 18% on my $100 one. I guess people are less inclined to let $100 go! Anyway, I’m off to blow my winnings on fish fry.