If you're a long-time reader of the blog (hi, Mom), you might remember that I've written about diets before. I've written about diets from seemingly every angle: bootcamps, what to say to someone on a diet, diet updates, the rollercoaster of dieting, the struggle with losing weight (in that it's just as easy to gain it back) and I've even written a think piece on not talking about weight (clearly that's not holding up with time).
So you might be wondering, what on earth could you possibly have left to say about weight loss, Sara? And that's a fair question. I want to talk about DietBet.
For starters: What is DietBet?
DietBet is an app which allows users to pay money into a weight loss challenge. The winners split the pot at the end. I hemmed and hawed about doing one. I knew from Biggest Loser that money motivated me to lose weight, but I only knew one person who has done it before. I also couldn't decide how much to bet or which type of game to do.
A Kickstarter game challenged you to lose 4 percent in a month. Then there was the Transformer, which was 10 percent in six months. And then a Maintainer option, where you lose no weight for a year. I quickly decided to do the Kickstarter, since I needed some fast action so I could go home to Connecticut and my parents not think their child has turned into a puff pastry.
I then needed to pick which game. I went with a $35 buy-in, because it was enough to make me annoyed if I didn't hit my goal, but not enough to make me want to die if I didn't hit my goal. I didn't want to do a $10 game I found because that wouldn't be enough to motivate me.
What's cool about Dietbet is there were all of those options and more. You could bet almost any amount on yourself and you'd be able to find a game that was at that price point.
How does DietBet Work?
Another solid question. I'm not going to sit here and type out rules when they have it perfectly outlined on their website, but the basics are you just weigh yourself in before it starts and then at the end.
You have to use a special passcode and two pictures every time to make it official, and there are judges who make sure you're not cheating. Cheating is actually one of the topics people asked me most about when I told them that I bet on myself, but inevitably, if you're joining a DietBet program to lose weight, you want to lose weight. Cheating might help you win the game, but what does that really matter if you're not losing weight like you want?
Why I loved DietBet:
Whoa, Sara. Bold statement. LOVED DietBet?! In a word: yes. As you can tell by the plethora of blogposts about weight loss and weight gain, weight has always been something I've struggled with. I know what's healthy and what's not. I know when I'm not working out. I can feel my pants tighten. I can see my cheeks rounding in the mirror.
But it can be really difficult to pull yourself out of that downward spiral once you start. What's one more slice of pizza when you've already ate like crap today? I haven't worked out at all this week, why bother now?
I have been getting fat for a while (please don't interject with "Nooo, you don't need to lose weight," because I did, and I honestly still do). My waist has expanded past the suggested weight circumference for my body type. My BMI puts me in the overweight category (and nearing obese). Say what you want about BMI, it's obvious I'm not skinny so I do still use it as a metric.
Anyway, so I've been getting fat and doing nothing about it except making excuses and saying things like, "It's summer," and "It's a hobby." Whatever. I needed a wake-up. I needed a reason. DietBet was my reason and my accountability partner.
I didn't do a ton of engaging with other users on the app, but I appreciated the push notifications reminding me to step on a scale and the game organizer pushing us with mini contests throughout. I wanted to win something, which meant I had to lose.
I just weighed in this week for our final weigh-in, and I lost 10.2 pounds and smashed my four percent, which would have been just under 7 pounds to lose. I am about to add back in some carbs and drinking, but am aiming to try to lose another 5-6 pounds. To get into the healthy BMI range, I actually would need to lose another 10 pounds.
Before this gets too longwinded about my outlook on my body type, what's healthy and so on, I want to make sure to get out my thesis:
While there's no safe bet, the safest bet you can make is a bet on yourself.
If you need a push to get you going and to rethink your lifestyle and bad habits, DietBet is a really good tool for that.