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Social Dieting

April 29th, 2014 at 11:07 am

Let me start with saying, I don't look overweight, but my BMI was a little high, and I'd gained some 20 lbs. since college. These past couple of years got really bad as I experienced the dreaded relationship gut. After we broke up, I wanted to lose the weight, but couldn't seem to find the motivation.

Enter DietBet.

It's a website where people host games which involve people losing 4% of their body weight over a month or 10% over 6 months. At the end of the game, everyone who has met their weight loss goal splits the money in the pot (minus what DietBet takes to keep running). I just successfully weighed out of my first game, but with mixed feelings.

My favorite part was the motivation. Suddenly having money on the line made me want to move and make better food choices. I haven't touched fast food in about a month, and I don't even really miss it. Being able to join multiple games at once was even more motivating because I just had to lose the weight once and then I'd potentially get paid multiple times Smile

My biggest detractor happened in the last few days. Those who had slacked off or weren't making steady progress suddenly felt the pressure, and some went to (what I believe are) extreme measures. To me, this was about steady, measured progress and changing my attitudes towards food and exercise. I think juicing or fasting for a week before to get rid of 5 lbs. to make weight is cheating yourself (and me and others who lost it in a more healthy way). To me, there's little point in working so hard all month to regain it right after weigh-in and then have to join another dietbet...unless that's just some people's plan to continually 'win'.

Regardless, DietBet helped me successfully take off 7 lbs. (10 total from my heaviest weight), so I can't be that mad at it...

9 Responses to “Social Dieting”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    How do people weigh in? Do you just take their word that they are losing weight?

  2. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    CB, you do two weigh-ins, one at the beginning and end. Each weigh-in consists of two photos. A full body one on the scale with your face followed immediately by one of the scale number with the word of the day (a randomly generated word like paprika, bat, or lily) written on a card in the photo.

    The system's not cheat-proof, but the money is not great enough to warrant cheating. I don't know how much I made yet, but I'm guessing on my $30 bet, I'll probably get about $45.

  3. doingitallwrong Says:

    I'm doing the six-month DietBet currently, month two ends this weekend I think. I don't spend much time on the site so I don't really see what other people are doing; I have heard about the 'cheating' and ways to beat the system, and even though those people are decreasing the amount I win, I decided to just focus on my own progress. I may look at some of the one-month games now to see if I can add on some winnings.

    I'm already doubling up (and more) on my potential winnings, though, by doing a six-month, 10% wager at HealthyWage.com. At my weight, that pays out about double what the Diet Bet challenge will; if you've got less to lose, it doesn't pay out as much. You can only win the Healthy Wage six-month challenge once, I believe, but they have 12-week team challenges you can join and I'm pretty sure you can repeat those.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I did one and it worked -- big time -- for motivation. I lost about 4 lbs. more than I needed to. I even lost weight over Thanksgiving! But I've put most of the weight back on. (Actually I think I put it all back on but then managed to lose some of it.) I was definitely dieting and when I stopped calorie counting, my intake gradually increased.

    For me it didn't help with learning slow and steady lifetime habits. I'm still trying to come to a balance, and I think I do all right. Working out comes in fits and starts, but I have enough walking in my everyday carless existence that I'm always exercising a bit daily. My family has done pretty well keeping our portion sizes down -- not eating out much really helps! And if I "must" snack, I usually try to dole out a portion of whatever treat it is and put the container back in the cupboard before I start eating, so I don't feel as tempted to go back for more.

    It was kind of fun, though, and I won about $20 over my initial ante.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I'm definitely working on the "slow and steady" method, so I don't think this would work for me! But tracking works great for me. I log everything I eat into myfitnesspal and just the act of writing it down and adding up the calories keeps me in line.

  6. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    Doingitallwrong, that's awesome that you're doubling up. I did that too. My second one ends later this week. I'm currently only .3 under goal using my weigh-in from this morning, but that was actually a poun heavier than my average for the past week. I don't think I'll be doing anymore as I don't have much more to lose and I've sort of been stuck for the past two weeks, so I wouldn't want to risk losing my money if my body didn't cooperate. It was a great kick in the pants though Smile
    Ceejay, it certainly sounds like you've picked up some good habits...although maybe not from dietbet. And I admire your control. I certainly would not have been able to control myself at Thanksgiving!

    CB, my goal allowed for about a pound a week. I went fast and lost it all in about 2 weeks, but I definitely think slow and steady is the way to go to instill habits.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I did two dietbets - a one month one and a six-month one. I definitely preferred the 6 month one. I did lose 15lbs over the 6 months (actually stalled out at the 4 month mark, then yo-yoed ....) I only won the first round of the 6 monther. It was fun, although also frustrating since my body didn't seem to want to cooperate with the % goals. Smile

  8. doingitallwrong Says:

    I think if you only need to lose 10-15% of your body weight, the DietBets would be a lot more difficult, because you do tend to plateau near the end and that could mess with your percentages. I have way more than that to lose, so as long as I can stay on track I should be able to meet the goal.

    CB, if you're using MyFitnessPal already, you might look into joining Pact. You commit $5 (or more, whatever motivates you) to a certain goal (tracking your food x days per week, in this case) -- you don't pay unless you miss your goal. If you meet your goal, they pay you for it. Food logging is about $0.10-0.20 per day -- nothing major, but still $1 or so a week for something you're doing anyway. Smile The website is www.pactapp.com

  9. carnegie mellon essay is it the right choice for entrant Says:

    The process of weight loss can have a different motivation. However, such actions imply much unexpected results for those who aspire to them.

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