Is Gambling the Best Way to Lose Weight?

“Could you really win thousands of dollars by losing weight?” I asked myself. The television advertisement for HealthyWage caught my attention as slim people (were they actors or actual dieters?) showed off their new figures and accepted checks made out to them for thousands of dollars.

According to the ad, dieters get large amounts of money if they reach their weight-loss goals. Maybe it could work. I had heard of people betting each other that one of them would reach a weight-loss goal sooner than the other, or others donating money to charity based on how many pounds they lost, but this was different. How could people win so much money by losing weight?

An Internet search a few minutes later gave me the answer. HealthyWage allows a dieter to place a “bet” on his or her weight loss. According to their web page, when you sign up for their program, you indicate how much you are willing to bet that you will reach your weight-loss goal in a stated period of time. You pay the money you bet either in advance, or once a month for the duration of the dieting period. If you meet the challenge — i.e. you lose the weight you wanted to lose at the end of the period you designated — the program pays you a prize. To forestall cheating, you must have both your starting and ending weight verified using their app that measures your weight electronically.

Excerpted from Psychology Today

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