Double Down and Win! My Review of Social Dieting Site DietBet

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Do you have a few pounds to lose? Do you want to make money online while losing that weight?

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 review

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:

dietbet weight scale

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:

dietbet weigh-out

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:

dietbet winner

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:

DietBet payoutsDietBet review

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!

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:

dietbet

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.

Photo credit by devenrue

28 Comments

  1. Might be worth mentioning that the diet bet transformer (6 month challenge) has either changed or not been understood completely 🙂 Month 1 you need to lose 3% or more. Month 2you need to have lost 6% or more. Then 8% 9% and 10%. Then hold for a month. You can be under that for 3 months each time, so doesn’t matter if you lose fast at the start or steady, as long as you meet the requirements from your baseline by the weigh in each month (I.e. I’ve just weighed in for month 4 at under my goal weight for the 10%, but will continue to lose or hold steady til the end).

    Reply
  2. Being heavier than you are, for me a 4% weight loss over a month is 8 pounds, 2 pounds a week. That’s pretty fast, and faster than I’ve ever been able to lose weight intentionally. My usual weight loss goal is 0.5-1 pound a week. I might try a 6 month game, where the weight loss goal is slower. But not until I’m done breastfeeding I think. Don’t want to risk my milk supply for a bet.

    Reply
  3. Halina Zakowicz says:

    It does seem that you get a bigger payout with the smaller bets, probably because participants don’t care as much about losing a $25 bet compared with a $100 bet. However, as long as you actually win your bet, you’re not losing any money. Yes, DietBet does take a cut…but it’s there to make a profit too.

    Reply
  4. Janet Portillo says:

    Never again!! I bet $100 and the pot was $36,900. After working hard for a month to meet my goal, I won a measly $13. It was pathetic. This app takes advantage of the players. They made out with $7,380?! Yeah, they rape you with their fees. My Game was Bet Big, Win Big…what a crock. More like Bet Big, Win Pennies!!!

    Reply
    1. HI Janet, I think you have the wrong approach here. This site is about losing weight, and putting some money on the line to help motivate. It is not about making money. It’s a great idea, and if the site developers make a decent living from hosting it – good for them. The fact that you lost some weight, did not lose any money – actually came ahead at the end – that sounds like a good deal.

    2. Just a thought, as a therapist and survivor myself I find it deeply offensive when people use “being raped” in the context of voluntarily paying too much for a service. The 20-25% of women and 10% of men around you who know the other kind of rape and are constantly trying to put it behind them do not need their deeply traumatic experience to be trivialised in the context of first world problems. There are many other expressions you can use, in particular “being fleeced”… Unless you are a 15-year old gamer, then I simply don’t expect you to show any kind of eloquence.

  5. Halina Zakowicz says:

    Hi Ujay,
    Dietbet pays out your winnings through Paypal, if you just want to pocket the money. Or, you can just use the money to place new bets.

    Reply
  6. Hi

    Thanks for the detailed informative post. My question is there a way you will be given the amount of your winnings or you just get credits in form of chips to keep participating?

    Reply
  7. Can you do it if you do not have a full length mirror? Say,if someone else takes a photo of you?

    Reply
    1. That is the way I have entered my dietbets, by having my daughter take my pic.

  8. I just finished my 4th diet bet. I have won $205 and lost 12 pounds in 2 months! I’m starting a new diet bet on 5/1/15. If you want to join me, the link is below.
    http://diet.bt/dRX0gq

    Reply
  9. What are your thoughts on pot size bigger the better or the smaller ?

    Reply
  10. Halina Zakowicz says:

    Hi Whitney,
    You don’t lose your bet if you report a 5 or 6% weight loss, just under 4%.

    Reply
  11. Whitney Bryant says:

    Hello! So do you lose your bet if you weigh out at more than a 4% loss? Like if you lose 5-6%?

    Reply
  12. Awesome review. The breakdown helped. I thought the payouts would be higher but it looks like you at least get your money back.

    Reply
  13. So you actually get a check in the mail if you loss the weight. When I looked at your information I saw “available credits”….is that actually money that you get or just some credits?

    Reply
  14. I just encountered your site while searching for a good comparison of the betting-based weight loss programs. I have searched for weeks but haven’t found a more thorough review of the payouts and programs as yours. Thanks so much- I will take your valuable experience into consideration in choosing which program to participate!

    Reply
  15. Halina Zakowicz says:

    Hello again AmD,
    Whoops, sorry about the misunderstanding. No, Dietbet doesn’t care if you’ve gained weight since your last dietbet, just as long as you lose your 4% by the end of that particular bet. In my case, I had gained back almost all my weight that was lost in my first bet…and Dietbet didn’t care. The site does post your “lifetime” loss though….which meant I came in at a whopping -1 lb when I started my triple down in Feb. Heh!

    Reply
  16. Sorry I wasn’t clear I mean once you finished a dietbet before you start a new bet what did your weight have to be. I’ve probably gained a pound or two do I have to loose this before competing again?

    Reply
  17. Halina, I too just finished a dietbet this week I bet 25.00 won 36.00. I wanted to know when you competed again did you have to be at the same exact weight you weighed out as or do they give you some leeway? I don’t see anything about this thanks

    Reply
    1. Halina Zakowicz says:

      Hi there AmD! Congratulations on winning your bet! In two of my weigh-outs I think I was exactly the weight required by Dietbet, but in some of my weigh-outs I was a bit lighter. There is NO leeway…you have to be at either the required weight or less than that. So you have to very careful towards the end of the bet and not even have coffee before you weigh-out. I hope this helps!

  18. Halina Zakowicz says:

    Hi Kristina,
    Funny you should ask- I just finished my last dietbet (of the three I started) this morning and received confirmation that I am the winner. So, I have now won all three of my dietbets! I have only received the final cash out from one of them so far, because each dietbet takes two days to close down and then another day or two to tally winnings. I will be posting my triple down results soon, so stay tuned! And thanks for asking! Yay- I finally get to eat!

    Reply
  19. Kristina A says:

    I just came across your blog – just curious how your most recent $175 bets went?! I am interested in trying this out 🙂

    Reply
  20. I guess money is the ultimate motivator! Even though we know how important it is to maintain a healthy weight, there’s nothing like having some dollars on the line to really make it happen.

    Reply
  21. http://www.healthywage.com is a similar site, but the payouts come from insurance companies and other healthcare corps. that have a vested interest in people being healthy. In other words, I think the 25% fees aren’t an issue. Might be worth looking into. Good for you for meeting your goal, and for signing up again. Keep us posted!

    Reply
  22. Hmm, interesting concept, Halina. Thanks for such a thorough review. The site does seem like a good motivator, which I guess is what a lot of people lack. But I wonder if it’s a healthy way to lose weight? What are your thoughts on this, having tried it?

    Reply
    1. Halina Zakowicz says:

      Hi Koren! Thanks for your comment. I wouldn’t say DietBet promotes any unhealthy weight loss- and losing 4% over the course of a month is actually pretty slow. The site doesn’t promote any particular diet, just general calorie reduction and exercise. It’s pretty tame compared with other diet plans I’ve seen…so I’m OK with the site.

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