Category Archives: DietBet

DietBet: An Honest Review After Participating

Quick Recap:  A friend who knew I was trying to lose some weight invited me to join a Dietbet game with her, which was the first I had ever heard of this.  I thought it sounded like it would make all this hard work a little more fun, so I signed up.

How It Works – (mostly) Just the Facts:  Players have 4 weeks (28 days) to lose 4% of their body weight, and anyone who achieves this is a winner.  There is usually a buy-in (ours was $10), and the money is split between all the winners at the end of the game.  It’s not the one person who loses the most wins all the money; anyone who loses 4% wins.

Sometime during the two days before the game begins, players have to take two pictures of themselves on the scale – one full body shot and one showing the number on the scale.  Players can set up their profile to either show their weight, or it can be kept private, but no one except the rulers of the Dietbet world will ever see those pictures.  When the game ends, winners have 48 hours to submit pictures again.

During the 4 weeks, players can self-report weight loss as they like, though Dietbet send emails encouraging players to weigh-in often (too often in my opinion).  No pictures are needed for self-reporting.  Players can post updates on the game’s wall (looks like a Facebook wall), cheer each other on, ask questions, etc.  They call this “social dieting”, encouraging players to be active about it.  Our group wasn’t overly social, just a few people here and there posting that they had worked out or drank lots of water that day.

The game I participated in had 16 winners out of 54 players.  Winners received a little over $30 (so $20 on top of the $10 buy-in).  264.5 pounds were lost – and that is awesome.

My Thoughts:  Everyone knows weight fluctuates throughout the day.  Since I joined the game the day before it began, my initial weigh-in was done at the end of the day (heaviest part of the day).  I got on the scale the next morning, already a few pounds lighter than the evening before.  I don’t consider this weight loss; however, on Day 1, many players were reporting major losses since their initial weigh-in.  I’m talking, people had already hit 100% of what they needed to lose.  Cheating?

Now let me talk about healthy weight loss for a minute.  There are tons of sources that say healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week.  4% for me was 6.4 pounds, which averages to 1.6 pounds a week.  This is in the healthy range, but I’m sure that’s not the case for every player.  While it is possible to lose more than 2 pounds a week, expecting that kind of weight loss 4 weeks in a row is not healthy.  What would  have to be done to lose that kind of weight each week?

And then what happens after the 4 weeks are over and someone who was “detoxing” , fad dieting, etc to lose the necessary weight starts eating normally again?

So that leads me to wonder what some of the players were doing to lose weight.  Is Dietbet really encouraging HEALTHY weight loss, or are players making extreme decisions to win money?

I noticed people weighing in every day.  Maybe it’s just that Weight Watchers ingrained in my head that you should only weigh once a week, but I think getting on the scale every day can be detrimental – and can lead people to do some of those extreme measures just to see some movement…particularly players who are just trying to lose a few “vanity pounds”.  I know I should not judge any one else because I don’t know their situations, but there were a few players (who made their weight public) who seemed like they didn’t have 4% to lose…and they would weigh everyday…and a few of them would write how frustrated they were that there was no movement.  I Judged.

Also, I feel like this is giving the scale too much power.  Yes, I want to lose weight, and I have more than 4% a couple of times that I’d like to lose.  BUT, I don’t exactly have an ideal weight that I want to get to (if you think my “Visual Motivation” goes against everything I’m saying now, read this post when I first made it).  There are so many other ways to visualize what’s healthy that what the scale says to you.

I was also a little disappointed that the group wasn’t a little more social.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss healthy weight loss, encourage others, share tips that work for you, and get support when you’re struggling – but it didn’t develop in to that.  No one really shared tips.

So all of that has been a little negative:  I worry that Dietbet fosters people to take extremes to lose weight because there’s money involved, and I feel like it is a missed opportunity to share and support.   I REALLY FEEL THAT DIETBET IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, but it does have some positives.  I did have a lot of discussions about healthy weight loss with a couple of my friends who joined the game which I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.  So even though all 54 players weren’t involved, it did foster a social aspect for me.  It did help to keep me motivated – particularly in keeping up with the 30 Day Shred.  It’s awesome to see the total pounds lost (imagining that people did it in a healthy way…).  And I did win a little extra money (turned $10 into $30 – not much, but a little).

Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Probably.  Okay – honestly –  since I “won” and I can use my winnings,  Yes.

Would I recommend it?

  • Can you afford to lose the money it takes to buy-in?
  • Do you really HONESTLY have 4% to lose?
  • Is 4% in 4 weeks in the healthy weight loss range of 1-2 lbs per week?
  • CAN THIS BE ACHIEVED IN A HEALTHY WAY?
  • Can you handle the pressure of a deadline and competition in a healthy way?
  • Are you willing to keep doing what you have to do over the 4 weeks (meaning it’s a lifestyle, not a diet) to maintain your end weight (or continue to your goal)?
  • Do you realize that there are MANY other measures of health, beauty, self-worth, etc than what the scale reads?

If you answer no to any one of those questions, then NO, I would not recommend it. In all honesty, I would never just go out and say, “If you’re wanting to lose weight, you should join a Dietbet”.  I like the idea of Dietbet more than the actual realization of it and what I feel like it fosters:  an unhealthy idea about weight loss and the scale.

Does that make me a hypocrite because I would do it again but not recommend it?  Maybe.  But there’s too many factors, especially psychological, for me to recommend it.  Only you know your situation, and only you can make the decision for yourself.

 

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Week 5 Weigh-In

Weekly weigh-in and final Dietbet weigh-in was Friday:  down another .8 pounds to 151 for a total lost so far of 5 pounds!  Averaging a pound a week; hope to keep that up, though I had (another) indulgent weekend.

My initial Dietbet weigh-in was a little heavier than the weigh-in that I’ve been reporting here – because I weigh in the morning and had to weigh in the evening for Dietbet.  According to the game, I lost 6.4 pounds, which was .1 pound more than the 4% I needed to lose to be a winner – so I am a winner!

I’ll post a Dietbet review soon.  I’ve found lots of reviews by people when they sign up, but I’d like to give an honest review, having completed the “game”.  I found both positives and negatives about it.

3.25b

Update:  Here’s a link to my Dietbet Review.

Week 2 Weigh-in and Day 16

If you think about the title, I’m 2 days over 2 weeks.  This is because I am weighing in every 8 days instead of every 7.  It doesn’t really make sense – I just noticed that the WW Excel tracker I downloaded has 8 days instead of 7, and I thought I’d go with it.  Eventually, I’ll pick a weigh day and stick with it rather than every 8 days.

So not only am I not sure about what day to weigh, as of this morning, I’m confused about what time of day to weigh.  I know it really doesn’t mater, as long as I’m consistent, but here’s what happened:  for the Dietbet, I weighed in last Thursday evening, right when I got home from work.  I was a little heavier than when I last weighed, but I just attributed that to weight fluctuating over the course of the day (I had been tracking my weight first thing in the morning).  Dietbet has been suggesting I do a progress weigh-in when I get on their website, so yesterday when I got home from work, I got on the scale.  Down 2.4 pounds – YAY!  That meant that my evening weight was now equal to my last morning weigh-in, which I expected when I weighed-in this morning, I’d be 2.4 pounds lighter than the last morning weigh-in.  Not the case.  I weighed-in this morning and I’m only down .6 pounds.

Whatever I lost last week – .6 or 2.4 – I’m happy with it.  Movement of the scale in the right direction is progress, and even though I’d be more excited about 2.4, I’ll take progress any day.  But now I’m confused about when to weigh.  While the Dietbet continues, I’ll keep doing the morning and night weekly-weigh-in…but when it’s over, I’m going to pick one or the other (as well as a day-of-the-week), and stick with it.

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Sorry for the rambling.  On to Day 16.

This morning’s workout:  Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, Level 2 (2nd time).  Kicked my butt again.  I’m using 5 pound weights and doing the easier moves during the strength sections, then trying to do the harder moves in the cardio and abs sections.  I say “trying” because those dang plank cardio moves are tough, and I usually make it 20 seconds doing them and then having to move to the easier move.  Maybe I’m just being a wimp – but it’s hard!

Yesterday’s food:  Stayed within my Points + Activity Allowance.  Ate my fruits and veggies.  Didn’t quite drink all my water (only 68 oz).  Put dinner in the Crockpot before I left for work, but the husband called on his way home and requested Jimmy Johns.  Fine with me – dinner for tonight is done!  I asked for my sandwich with no mayo…but it was still covered in mayo…and it was a delicious 12 points.  Oh well, I had them to use.  Skipped the chips and ate grapes instead.  Winning.

2.26

 

Day 11 and DietBet

Today’s workout:  9th time Jillian Micaels’ 30 Day Shred Level 1 w/ 5 lb weights and mostly modified pushups.

Yesterday’s food:  22 Points Allowed; 3 Activity Points; 26.5 Points consumed; 1.5 taken from the Weeklies, leaving a total of 33.5.

2.21

Had an unexpected date night with the hubby – I think because he was HUNGRY when he got home from work, and I refused to cook until all the dishes were washed…so it would have been at least an hour…and he just couldn’t wait.  Fine with me…I love Texas Roadhouse.  Small victory by only eating one roll!

Tuesday, I was thinking to myself, “This whole losing weight thing would be a lot more fun if it were a game, sort of like the Biggest Loser.  Who could I find to compete with?”.  Then yesterday, out of what seems like no where, one of my friends sends me a link to this thing called DietBet, a weight loss game.  Who knew!  The game is that a group of people all put in a certain amount of money (or it can be done without money – but ours is a $10 bet) and everyone who loses 4% of his or her weight in 4 weeks splits the money.  Technically, everyone could win.  Our game is up to 48 players, most of whom I don’t know, but a couple of my friends are doing this too.

I think this adds another level of motivation; I really do not care if I make money from this – though the thought of getting paid to lose weight is sort of nice – but I don’t want to lose my $10…even though it’s just $10.  That’s less than it costs to go to two Weight Watchers meetings, but enough that it brings out a little competitive edge for me.  But not a bad competitive edge; I have a desire to support all the other players and start discussions to pass along tips and help each other along – sort of like a Weight Watchers meeting.

I’ll report back in 28 days with a review.  In the mean time, I need to lose a little over 6 pounds to keep my $10.