Dieting For Dollars

thin woman holding dollars

Weight Loss Motivation

How Many Of Us Are Overweight?

More than 35% of the adult U.S. population are obese.  That means over 1/3 of our entire adult population (about 38 million people) have a BMI (body mass index) of over 30.  Another 33% or so fall into the overweight category.  Cities, States and the Federal government have been making efforts to educate people about the health risks of being overweight and what steps can be taken to remedy the problem.

What Motivates Me?

Most likely you are well-aware of the problem.  You may be a professional dieter (like I am) or weight loss is just one more thing on your never-ending-list of things to do in life.  So, what does it take to motivate you to lose weight?  I can share with you a few of my motivators and I suspect most will be all too familiar to you if you need to lose weight.  Tight clothes, so tight you can barely sit still in a meeting because you think you're going to burst.  Nothing to wear; I've worn the same black slacks and black shirt to every evening out for two months.  Self-loathing when I look in the mirror, remembering what I looked like 30lbs ago. The list goes on and on.  Then, for me, there is some kind of seminal event, like I see a picture of myself someone took at a gathering (OMG) I want to burn it (thank heavens it's not on Facebook).  Or, I realized I've barely gone out of the house or done anything social for 6 months and I can't bare it any longer.  I know I must do something.

Dieting For Dollars - Will This Do It?

So, on the way home from a recent drive to San Francisco I tuned into a local radio station and happened to hear a consumer reporter interviewing someone from a website called Healthywage.com.   This guy is saying they'll pay me to lose weight.  What, huh?  I can diet for dollars? I get excited about the prospect.  I'm just not sure it is quite enough money to be my motivator.  I mean, if physical discomfort, fear of being seen in public and wearing the same clothes month after month doesn't make me do SOMETHING, could this work?

HealthyWage - A Company That Pays You To Lose Weight

For some people, money is a motivator.  Now combine that with a will to lose weight and you may be able to score some real cash.  Enter, Healthywage.com.  This company sets up weight loss challenges that pay people when they lose weight.  Business appears to be booming since Yahoo reports Healthywage paid out over a half million dollars on weight loss wagers and increased their membership by 500% in 2011.  Here is how it works.  They have three types of challenges.  

Three Weight Loss Challenges

  • The Matchup - You join a team of five contestants and try to win the first price of $10,000.00.  You can do this as a work team, friends, or any group you wish.  You can just join in any group with an available slot.  There are corporate rates available.  There is an entry fee of $25.00 a month for 3 months or you can pay a one-time fee of $75.00.  The challenge covers a three month period and the winning team is the one that loses the greatest percentage of weight during the contest.  Groups can really help to encourage one another. Prizes:  1st-$10,000; 2nd--$5,000; 3rd--$3,000; $2,000 in other prizes.  
  • The 10% Challenge - Prefer to go it on your own?  With this challenge you pay a $150 fee to participate.  If you lose 10% of your body weight over six months, you win $300. You do have to do a verified weigh-in.  The company has a video tool you can use OR you can do this at your Dr.'s office, your health club, or they have a list of authorized health clubs across the U.S. you can use.  After that you have a weekly weigh-in and you have to report in online (this does not have to be a verified weigh-in).  If you miss more than 2 consecutive weigh-ins, or 3 in total, you lose!  At the end of 6 months you have your last verified weigh-in.  If you've met the challenge you get your check, yep, double your money.  There are not too many investments you can make today that allow you to double your money in 6 months AND get healthier!
  • The BMI Challenge - Invest $300 and get $1000 back. This is an amazing incentive for those who have a lot of weight to lose. You can be paid up to $1000 if you move from an obese BMI (greater than 30) to a normal BMI (less than 25) over a year's time. Clearly this is a longer commitment but it gives you a year to meet your weight loss and BMI goals.  The process is the same as with the 10% Challenge; you provide a verified weigh-in,  weekly non-verified weight check-ins, and a verified weigh-in at the end.  The BMI is determined by the Presidents Challenge BMI chart.  Not only are you going to improve your life but you'll get paid back over three times your investment.  There is also a FREE challenge if you don't have $300 to invest but you still want to participate you can just meet all the requirements and at the end of one year you'll win $100.00.

Verified Weigh-In

You can do this at home.  You have to use either a Dr. upright scale OR a digital scale.  You have a friend or family member video you as you do weigh.  The video is posted as a private link on You-Tube (private, no one else can see it).  Or you can send in a verification from your Dr. or health club.

The Contract

You should really read the contract over carefully.  They do have the "three strikes" and you're out clause so if you are prone to forget weigh-ins, be careful.  I suggest setting up a weekly Outlook reminder, or a reminder in your smart phone.   Just select a day of the week to update your weight, it's incentive for you and keeps you on the up and up with the challenge.  We did read a few reviews from people that insisted they did weigh in but received a "strike".   I have not used the program but I suspect there might be a way to do a print screen of the verification so you have a solid record of it.  Given it seems a point of contention I'd think they might consider creating an internal verification system that sends you an email assuring your verification was received (nothing I know of is in the works at this time).

The challenge is not open to pregnant women, or those having surgical weight loss procedures.  Their contract has many "outs" if you are thinking of trying to scam some quick cash including a "sour grapes" clause.  That clause covers those who think they can use Facebook or Twitter (or any social media) to blackmail them into paying out when suspicious activities have taken place.

What The Plan Is Not

This site does not offer weight loss planning or advise.  If you are looking for recipes, menu planing, caloric, nutritional or health information, this is not what you will find here.  It is not a nanny-program.  We suggest you visit one of the scores of weight loss sites such as  South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins or Metafast.  Healthywage simply promotes a program for monetary weight loss incentives.

In Summary

We listened to a radio interview with Michael Finney (KGO Radio) and David Roddenberry of Healthywage.com and the company stated their payout is about 30%.  (Listen to the podcast).

So, 30% of the people that participate in the program follow through and win.  If money is a motivator for you, and you have the money to invest this may well be a good tool for you to help you to reach your weight loss and health goals.  Even if you don't have money to invest you can still benefit from the Free BMI Challenge, get some additional support and net a $100.00.

To Join Or Get More Information

Contact Healthywage.com- The website explains all the plans, provides copies of all the contracts, has lots of FAQ's, and the necessary information for joining and getting started.

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author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.