Saturday, 14 January 2017

DietBet - One Mom's Honest Review




In case you haven't already noticed, food is my friend. Last year when I was struggling under the weight of postpartum anxiety, moving, and a fair bit of single parenting, food and I became very very close. The last half of 2016, I decided to take control of my health and begin making small changes to bring my eating and my overall fitness back in line with my personal values and the example I want to set for my kids. 

Also, hiking the West Coast Trail while extremely out of shape was a humbling (and really amazing) experience... 
ARE WE THERE YET??   Photo by The Lost Girl's Guide to Finding the World
and I vowed to get back to a level of fitness that would let me really enjoy the outdoor pursuits I love (besides picnicking).

A few months of fairly consistent exercise (thanks gym childcare!) and vaguely tracking my macronutrients and calorie intake (I use the free MyFitnessPal and try to hit a balance of 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat every day), I started to feel like a healthier version of myself. 

Along the way, I saw this thing called 'DietBet' advertised. I think it was Jillian Michaels or some celebrity trainer hawking it on Facebook and I had a look. 

That's what the app looks like!
The premise is simple: you have one month to lose 4% of your overall body weight in 4 weeks. Through an online app, you record and photograph your weight at the beginning of the challenge and then at the end. When you log into the free app, you can scroll through all the different groups that are running and choose a time period and a dietbet that interests you.  

DietBet has a bunch of "weight-loss celebrities" running groups and people can start their own group as long as enough members join in. Some of the groups offer special features like diet plans or exercise support. If you're into a specific diet or exercise trend, your people will be there for you to find, from the 21-Day-Fix to the Biggest Loser to the Paleo-Diet-Plan.

Some current DietBets open to members joining.

Once you've decided which bet to join, you commit to a specific DietBet by paying a set amount into a pot (ranging from $20-200). I made my payment through Paypal and stuck to the $20-30 range. The more people who are in the online group, the bigger the pot.  Since I already had weight loss goals and a fitness plan, I decided to try it for myself. What better motivation to follow through on my goals than the possibility of winning a little money?

I found the DietBet challenges to be strangely addicting. When you log in through the app and scroll through all the different challenges, (including longer ones spanning 6 months), you start thinking about strategy.  There are high stakes games with fewer members and low stakes games with thousands of players. DietBet guarantees that if you win your game (by losing your set amount of weight) then you will never lose your money. There is a small possibility that if enough people win and the pot is split (after DietBet takes their cut), you might not make very much money, but honestly, I wasn't in the DietBet to scam the system. I just wanted an extra little reward for my hard work and for resisting all the chocolate bars.



Simple to navigate on my phone? Check!

Since I was starting at a lower weight (under 200 lbs), 4% of my weight was a smaller number of pounds than if I were heavier. I decided to register in two concurrent dietbets (because why not?) to double my incentive to succeed. 

At the beginning of the bets, I stood on a scale in "airport attire" and took one full length photo on my scale and one close up photo of my feet on the scale with the DietBet generated word on a cue-card.
https://images.dietbet.com/files/weigh-ins/86933/714840/5182450-attire_preview.jpg
That's roly-poly. You're welcome, internet.
I think "airport attire" basically means no giant baggy sweats or hoodies. Since both my bets were so close in dates, I was able to submit the two photos once for both challenges. Easy peesy. 

I received email updates and reminders about the DietBets throughout the four weeks and I did weigh in and unofficially log my weight throughout the challenge. At the end of four weeks, success! I retook my two photos and within 48 hours of the bets closing, I won and chose to have them paid out through Paypal. Yay free money!


https://images.dietbet.com/files/weigh-ins/88528/714840/5407597-attire_preview.jpg
Real life actual after photo.

I enjoyed the challenge and took on two more bets for the following month and won those as well. 


Here is a rundown of the actual challenges I joined, the number of people in the games, the pots and my winnings:

Jillian Michaels October DietBet: Oct 18 - Nov 14 had 5610 players, 2630 winners and $168,330 in the pot.  I won $48.02


Jenn's Fall DietBet: Oct 17 - Nov 13 had 671 players, 351 winners and $20,130 in the pot. I won $43.01


Healthy Through the Holidays with PaleoBailey: Nov 16 - Dec 13, had 682 players, 309 winners and $20,460 in the pot. I won $49.66.

Love Sweat Fitness Fall Slim Down: Nov 14- Dec 11had 1285 players, 645 winners and $38,540 in the pot. I won $44.86

So far, in the 2 sets of dietbets I did, I won $185.55 but keep in mind that my buy-in for each dietbet was $30 (x4) so really, I won $65.55. 

Like I said, I don't think I can use this as a full time employment, especially as I close in on my goal weight range, but it definitely gave me some added incentive in the short term. 


A Few Final DietBet Observations:
  • The app is very user friendly. It's easy to figure out, scroll through and it's sort of fun.
  • If you don't invest a little more money, it would be easy to take the loss. You'd have to decide if you are financially and intrinsically motivated enough to do the work.
  • If you are really close to your goal weight, you might not want to use this tool. Even if you only have a few pounds to lose, if you don't hit the weight, you're going to lose your money.
  • If you're a game player strategist, I can't decide if you'd be better to join a giant pot with low-stakes pay-in (since many people might just walk away and take the loss, giving you a better chance of winning more) or join a higher stake game with a much larger pay-in and pay-out (except more people may win). 
  • If you have a lot of weight to lose, this could be a great motivational tool and community. The chat boards and encouragement from other members is available and seemed lively.
Basically, DietBet is making money off people's weight loss and as long as you're not using it as a second job, it's a fun and useful tool that might let you earn some money too. It gave me the extra motivation I needed to hit my goals, all from the safety of my home (and smart phone). 

In fact, since I enjoyed my yearly "eat my own weight at Christmas," I might just join one more to get me back on track with my goals! See you there?

This post was not sponsored by DietBet and is 100% based on my personal experience. 


Let me know if you have any questions about my experience below in the comment section! 

What weight loss/health tools work for you?

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