Apps give chance for people to cash in on weight loss

Payouts can be given if weight-loss goals are met

By Tera Roberson - Special Projects Producer

HOUSTON - It’s a grind to lose weight.

Counting calories and working out, all in hopes of reaching your health and fitness goals.

It's a plight Dr. Latisha Rowe is all too familiar with since having her son Chase, seven years ago.

“I have been 30 pounds lighter than I am, and for me, that didn’t necessarily mean I was at my happiest point in life," Rowe said. "So, right now I’m exercising to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be. My goal is to lose 10 pounds this month."

And she's found a way to make her weight loss pay off for her.

Literally.

DietBet.com is an app and online community that allows users to “bet on themselves to lose weight.”

With challenges as short as four weeks, and buy-ins as low as $20, DietBet allows users to truly put their money where their mouth is.  

DietBet is simple to use. Find a bet to join, or start your own. If you reach your goal, you’re guaranteed to at least get back what you paid in, and maybe even more, when the total pot is split. 

“In all of my challenges, we’ve given out payouts as big as $500,” Rowe said.

She also said the money has been a great motivator to keep participants on track with their goals. She also loves the sense of community created in doing the bets.

“Every month I'm able to connect different people from different states, to the diet bet," Rowe said. 

And she keeps the numbers low, so anyone can afford to get in.

“It varies. Some months we do $25 buy-ins, some months we'll do $50. Some months, $75," she said. 

Rowe said usually about 75 percent of participants meet their goal.

“You end up getting your money back and a little bit more,” Rowe said.

If you and a group of friends or co-workers want to join a challenge as a team, www.Healthywage.com is a great option to help drum up some team spirit and cold-hard cash.

Teams of five compete against other teams to see which can lose the greatest percentage of weight over a three-or six-month period.

Players pay as little as $25 a month, and if their team loses the most weight—they win a $10,000 grand prize. You can also do individual bets as well.

Dr. Rocio Harbison, an endocrinologist with Advanced Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic, helps patients reach healthy weight loss goals.

She weighs in on the “pay to lose” trend.

“I think a lot of people are motivated by money and financial," Harbison said. "For some people, this might be the perfect choice. And for others, it might cause quite a bit of stress."

Harbison said if the stress of winning a challenge becomes too much, it could actually be counteractive to your goals.

“Stress does not let anybody lose weight," she said. "Don't (focus on the) goal at the end (of), 'do I get my money or not.' If you're losing weight, take advantage of that.”

Harbison also encourages users to keep a food log and monitor food and calorie intake.

She  points out that diets aren’t “one size fits all.”

So, what works for your friend may not work for you. The key is finding a program which allows you the ability to make appropriate lifestyle changes that will yield lifelong results.

Latisha says she’s already lost five pounds toward her current DietBet goal. To date, she says she’s earned over $10,000 dollars for hosting and winning weight loss challenges on www.Dietbet.com. 

“Money is a huge motivator. So, when that's in front of you, you're gonna want to stay consistent,” Rowe said.

Already exercising and eating right? There’s an app for that —www.Achievement.com — that lets you earn cash for things like tracking your steps, your meals, and even your sleep.

For other apps, which allow you to get paid to get fit, check out StepBet, RunBet and SweatBet.

To participate in Latisha’s upcoming DietBet, click here.

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