There comes a point in everyone’s weightloss journey when they’ve just had enough.
They’ve had enough of starting diets but not being able to stick to them.
They’ve had enough of looking in the mirror or at photographs of themselves and not being happy with what they see.
Many have had enough of hearing they need to lose weight from their doctor because they are weighing in too high.
It’s not a great feeling – to say the least – but it’s also in this moment that many of us experience a turning point.
We seek out the best diet and exercise system to help us to succeed and we do what needs to be done to lose the weight.
If you’re in this position, then you probably already know you want to lose the weight, and how you might want to do it.
Maybe Keto’s your thing, or maybe you prefer to eat a bit of everything and reduce the portion sizes, with a Weight Watchers program for example. The decision has to be yours as you will be the one following the diet.
But there is one more thing that could turbo-charge your determination to lose the weight and give you the best chance of success.
That’s combining your healthy lifestyle changes with…a bet.
A bet you place on yourself.
A few years ago a platform emerged that allows you to place a bet on your weightloss, either as an individual or as part of the group.
If you win, you get a cash prize. If you lose, you forfeit the wager that you paid at the start.
It can be a win-win situation if you are determined to succeed and need the extra cash. Or a lose-lose if you don’t see it through.
The platform is called HealthyWage and here we take a closer look at the bets they offer and most importantly, whether they pay off.
What Are Weight Wagers on HealthyWage?
HealthyWage is a platform that lets you set yourself a weightloss challenge.
You pay a ‘wager’ to begin and in return they pay you a cash prize at the end if you reach your goal. These prizes range between $100-$10,000.
The concept centres around the finding that financial rewards actually help increase people’s chances of success at losing weight.
A 2008 study published by the Journal of American Medical Association found that those who were given financial incentives were 5 times more likely to lose weight than those without them.
So the concept of losing weight to get a financial reward, is clearly effective.
In addition to this, HealthyWage offers a supportive community element for your weightloss journey as well.
You can invite friends and family to follow along and they can be added to your account for free. These are people who are meant to encourage and motivate you along the way.
Alternatively you can make a wager as a group. Here you set a weightloss goal together with your friends or with other HealthyWage members. You all try to lose the weight together.
Having other people involved can give you that positive reinforcement that you need to help you stick to a weightloss plan.
So dieting in this more ‘social way’ is also more likely to be successful. And it’s much more fun too!
Let’s take a closer look at how exactly a HealthyWage wage works.
HealthyWage Feature Summary
|How much can you win?||$100 to $10,000.
The exact prize is calculated based on the 3 factors that you enter (see below).
|Prize Factor 1:
How much weight do you want to lose?
|Minimum of 10% of your starting weight.
You set the weightloss goal. The more you lose the bigger the prize.
|Prize Factor 2:
How long will you take to complete your challenge?
The longer you take the more months you pay for and so the higher the prize you are given.
|Prize Factor 3:
How much do you want to pay for the wager?
|$5-$995 per month.
You set the fee you want to pay each month. The more you pay, the higher the prize amount.
|How do I calculate my prize amount?||You can get a prize range straight away with their: Instant Prize Calculator|
|Can you invite friends and family?||Yes, there is even a referral program. Every person who joins adds a sum to your prize pot.|
|Ease of signing up||Very easy, you just do a quick questionnaire to set your challenge.|
|Can you join more than 1 challenge?||Yes. You can join as many challenges as you want to maximise your winnings from 1 weightloss. Each challenge will have its own monthly wager.|
|Can your wager be paused?||It can only be paused if you’re pregnant/think you are pregnant or for certain medical conditions.|
|What is the refund policy?||Refunds aren’t available after a challenge has been placed.
You can change the goals of your wager within 30 days of starting.
|When do you verify your weight?||Once at the start.
Once at the end.
|HealthyWage Reviews||Scored an average of 4.6 stars out of 5 from 146 reviews.|
Who Are HealthyWage?
HealthyWage was set up in 2009 by David Roddenberry and Jimmy Fleming.
They wanted to help people achieve their weightloss goals by offering cash prizes, social motivation and some gentle peer pressure.
Their system is based around research showing that even small cash rewards increased someone’s chances of success at weightloss significantly.
They also found that people are more effective at losing weight if their own money is at risk.
Since setting up they’ve been a huge success. HealthyWage have an impressive record of helping participants lose more than 2 million pounds of weight.
They’ve also paid out over $9 million in prizes in the last year alone.
They are the first company in the US to offer financial incentives and peer support as a motivation for weight loss.
They also hold an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
How Does HealthyWage Work?
On the HealthyWage website you can find a number of different wager options.
You are able to do any one of these or all of these at the same time:
Bet on Yourself
Here you create a bet that you will reach your personal weightloss goal. This is the most common type of wager on HealthyWage.
You start by having a play around with their instant prize calculator to see how much money you could win.
Here you enter in 3 main factors and depending on what these are you are shown a prize range that your prize would fall within.
The 3 factors are:
- Weightloss amount.
- Length of time to lose the weight.
- Amount you want to pay each month as your ‘wager’.
When any of these 3 factors go up, your prize range goes up.
In order to see your exact prize amount you fill out a brief questionnaire in the next step. This gives you the prize sum which is fixed once the bet is placed and won’t change.
If you’re curious how much you could win, have a play with the instant calculator:
Bet as Part of a Team
Here you sign up through the team portal. After signing up you can choose to:
- Join an existing team.
- Create your own team.
When you bet as part of a team, all the members put their monthly wager into a pot.
Those who win the wager from the group split the pot. Those who lose forfeit the monthly wagers they have paid.
Losing weight as part of a group can be a great, if you thrive off of positive reinforcement from friends, colleagues or other HealthyWage members.
Find a team to join or set up your own team with HealthyWage Teams.
Bet Against Your Co-Workers
If you have a competitive streak you might want to bet against friends or colleagues.
Compete with your co-workers to see who will lose the most weight. Employers can set up challenges on HealthyWage specifically for their employees.
Can I Do More Than One Wage On HealthyWage?
Yes you can do as many wages as you want at the same time.
So you could take out 2 or 3 wages for the same weightloss challenge.
It does mean you’re paying out more on monthly wager fees for each one, so it increases the risk if you don’t reach your goal. But it also means that your prize will be greater if you do reach your goal.
As it’s higher risk we only recommend doing this if you’re absolutely 100% certain you’re going to lose the weight.
Additional Things to Consider
HealthyWage do have a “Yo-Yo Rule”. If you have won a prize of over $200 from a previous HealthyWage challenge then you can’t repeat the same weightloss.
You have to set your weight at or below the weight that you ended the last challenge with.
This is to encourage long term weightloss over putting on and losing weight all the time. It also stops people taking advantage of the program.
It’s great to see a platform that truly cares about their user’s health by stopping them from doing things that could be bad for them.
Users are also encouraged to set Lifelines. These are friends or family members who help encourage you through your challenge.
You can invite them to join you and they can sign up to for a free account with HealthyWage.
Then you can customize what parts of your challenge they’ll get notified about.
They will never see your weight as that is private.
The goal of Lifelines is to give you support with your weightloss.
They are completely optional but they are a positive way to improve your chances of success.
You can have as many Lifelines as you want and HealthyWage recommend having at least 5.
HealthyWage averages 4.6 stars out of 5 stars from 146 reviews across 4 independent platforms including SiteJabber and the Better Business Bureau.
Reviewers commented that:
- HealthyWage was a gamechanger. It helped people remain motivated, even on the hardest of days, thanks to the support that was available.
- It is real with no gimmicks. It offers the motivation users need to get going and to stay on track but with no bells and whistles.
- They offered great customer support. Users could contact them via email or phone if they needed customer support or had a query.
Some users noted that they did fall foul of the ‘Yo-Yo rule’ which is stated in the terms and conditions but they did not realise.
This means they attempted to start a new challenge with a higher weight than their end weight from a previous challenge.
The rule was put in place to avoid people taking advantage of the program and to stop unhealthy habits of repeating weight gain and weight loss.
How To Start A HealthyWage
To start a HealthyWage you head over to their website where you have 3 options:
- Calculate the prize for your own challenge.
- Join or create a Team Challenge.
- Create a Corporate Challenge.
Here I’ve looked at the process of setting up a personal weightloss challenge so I started by calculating my prize.
This is done using their Instant Prize Calculator where you can play around with the goals: weightloss (minimum 10% of current body weight), timeline (6-18 months) and the monthly wager you want to put down ($5-$995).
The fact that you can set the goals however you want to is one of the best features of HealthyWage. It means you can create your own personalized weightloss challenge, rather than having to join an existing challenge and meet the preset targets.
To give you a rough idea of the prize ranges, I’ve listed what the HealthyWage calculator gave me for different combinations:
HealthyWage Prize Estimates
|Weightloss||How Long?||Monthly Bet||Prize Range|
See how much you could win: HealthyWage Instant Prize Calculator
After you’ve got an idea of your prize range you go to Step 2.
This is where you fill out some simple questions to finalize your exact prize amount and place your wage.
Confirm the Goals are Right for You
Here you enter in your weight and height. You then confirm that the goals you entered earlier are right for you. HealthyWage calculates:
- Your end weight and if this is really the goal you want. You can make it more or less if you want to here.
- The average weightloss that you would need to achieve every week. It’s important to keep it realistic so that you don’t have a high risk of losing the challenge. Recommended weekly weightloss rates are between 1-2lbs per week.
You then continue on through a few steps to get the final prize calculation at the end.
HealthyWage show you how to get motivated to lose the weight.
You tell them what your main reasons for weightloss are, and your stumbling blocks in the past.
You can also see some real winners who’ve won thousands of dollars before.
The Prizes are Real
HealthyWage shows you your final cash prize and confirms that these prizes are fixed and real.
After verification of your weightloss they pay out in 3 days for Paypal and around 7 days for checks.
HealthyWage have paid out over $9 million in cash prizes in the last year alone.
Place Your Bets
You then see your fixed cash prize and the amount you have to pay to place the wager.
They break this down as the overall prize, the overall profit (taking away your monthly wager) and your weightloss goal.
You can then go on to place your bets.
You can choose to pay your wager every month or as a lumpsum at the start of the challenge.
Get Access and Support
Once a user has set their challenge up, they will have access to their HealthyWage dashboard and the HealthyWage forums.
The dashboard tracks where you are in your challenge. The forums are full of supportive members also going through the same journey.
You can use the dashboard however you like. The forums are there if you need them but they’re entirely optional.
Make Changes Within 30 Days or ‘Buy More Time’
HealthyWage make it clear that once the bet is placed they can’t offer refunds.
However they do consider changes to your goals if you request them within 30 days.
These changes would affect the overall prize amount as it would mean the prize is recalculated again.
You also have the option to:
- Weigh Out Early.
- Buy More Time – which is offered every 6 months. You can do this more than once but your prize stays the same which means that the extra monthly wager comes out of that same prize amount.
Reach Your Goal and Win Your Prize
When you’ve reached your goal you can verify your weightloss with them in one of 3 ways.
- Through their app. It takes about 30 seconds and you can do it from home.
- Make a short video of you weighing yourself. They provide a guide for how to do this.
- Get a fitness or health professional to sign a form for you confirming your weight.
HealthyWage pays out your prize to your account in about 3 days for Paypal.
Is HealthyWage Worth Doing?
HealthyWage is a great option for anyone who has struggled to lose weight or stick to a diet.
It not only helps you to take the plunge and start your weightloss program, it also helps you to stay with it until the end.
If you like to have motivation from friends and family then the free HealthyWage Lifelines – the contacts you can add to your account – can help give you positive reinforcement as you complete your challenge.
You can also choose to join a Group Challenge where you all try to lose the weight together. The winnings are then split between those who achieve the goal.
The support and positive reinforcement from the HealthyWage community are all designed to help you to win. You really feel that the program is designed for its users to succeed, through the tools and encouragement you are given along the way.
I think it’s a great program for anyone who wants to finally achieve their weightloss goal and win some much-needed cash as well.
Is HealthyWage a scam?
Not at all! HealthyWage is a legitimate business, the first in the United States to have offered cash weight loss incentives directly to consumers.
Is HealthyWage legitimate?
It is. With plenty of years in business and plenty of press attention, HealthyWage has an array of testimonials and also has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Press attention includes coverage from Good Morning America, Fox News, NBC News, the Wall Street Journal as well as good reviews across a range of different platforms.
Does HealthyWage really pay out?
Yes it does! Payment is sent to you after completion of the challenge and after the weigh-out verification has been viewed and accepted by the company.
How does HealthyWage have money for the prizes?
HealthyWage works towards a goal of having as many members as possible winning their challenges, so it gets funding from a number of places.
This includes sponsorships by insurers, hospitals, food companies and the government. These organizations support HealthyWage because it costs less overall to have a fitter, healthier population.
They also take a 25% admin fee for running the challenges. Any lost challenges where the monthly wager is forfeited go into supporting the company. This includes making the prize payouts to winners.
What’s the catch with HealthyWage?
There is no catch with HealthyWage, the prize is fixed when you start and won’t change. Users simply need to achieve their goal in the timeframe that they allowed to win the money.
Conversely users also can’t cancel the challenge, so they don’t offer refunds after a wager has started. They do allow you to change the goalposts of the challenge if you need to within 30 days of starting.
Users can “Buy More Time” if they do not think they will manage to meet their original end date. However the extra monthly wagers paid will come out of the cash prize as this stays fixed after the challenge has started.
The challenge starts with the first verified weigh-in and will end with the verified weigh-out during the two week window leading up to the user’s end date.
Once the weigh-out has been done and it has been verified, users can cashout their winnings.
How long does it take to get paid from HealthyWage?
Once users have completed their challenge and had their weigh-out successfully verified, they can receive their money in one of two ways – PayPal or a paper check.
Paypal payments will be processed in two to five days whereas check payments will be received within one to three weeks after payout is requested.
How does HealthyWage verify your weight?
There are three ways to get your weight verified at the end of a challenge.
Users can download the mobile app after registration and follow the instructions there.
They can make a short weigh-in or weigh-out video that can be uploaded securely to the website.
They can get their final weight signed off by a health professional.
Can you cheat HealthyWage?
Cheating is very difficult on HealthyWage due to the video verification process which requires users to validate their identities and weight at both ends of the challenge.
The program has algorithms, weigh-in reviews and if completely necessary, outside investigators and law enforcement to catch any foul play.
Can you take advantage of the program to benefit financially?
A Yo-Yo rule has also been put in place for those who have previously won a prize of $200 or more in a single HealthyWage challenge.
These members can’t lose the same weight again. Their next challenge has to start at the weight that they achieved from their previous challenge.
This is both to avoid people taking advantage of the program and to avoid encouraging repeat weight gain and loss to get cash prizes.
Is HealthyWage legal?
Yes it is. Although the word bet is used to explain the concept, it isn’t gambling in the legal sense. This is because you are in control of the outcome at all times. You have to lose the weight to receive the money.
What does HealthyWage cost?
There is no set cost for HealthyWage as you set how much you want to ‘wager’ each month. This can be anywhere between $5 and $995 a month.
The more you wager the higher the cash prize at the end, but the higher the risk as well.
Users can play around with the algorithm to find the prize figure and monthly figure that they are most comfortable with.
How much weight can you lose in a month?
You set the overall weightloss you want to achieve when setting up the challenge and this will vary from person to person.
In general health guidelines state that healthy weightloss should be 1-2lbs a week (so 4-9lbs a month).
There is no mandatory monthly weigh-in although you can do optional weigh-ins on the HealthyWage app to track your progress.
HealthyWage vs DietBet
HealthyWage is the first and biggest weight wager platform, but since they were founded a few others have emerged including one called DietBet.
If you’ve heard of Dietbet you may be wondering what exactly the difference is between HealthyWage and Dietbet?
DietBet Has Group Challenges While HealthyWage Has Both Individual and Group Challenges
DietBet works in groups. You can join groups or create your own but you can’t set your own individual challenge as of yet.
On the other hand HealthyWage offers the option of both joining and creating groups as well as customizing your own personal weightloss challenge.
It even allows you to do both. So you can set your own personal challenge and then join a group challenge as well – as long as it’s for the same weightloss.
DietBet Group Challenges Have Set Targets
The weightloss amount and timeline are set by the groups that you join in DietBet. For example a Kickstarter group would involve a 4% weightloss from the members in 1 month. So when you join you have to stick to those goals.
In HealthyWage you can either join group challenges with fixed goals or you can create a personal challenge which is customized to your own weightloss (or both). So there’s more flexibility.
Different Minimum Weightloss Thresholds
DietBet requires a 4% minimum weightloss whereas HealthyWage requires a 10% minimum weightloss.
Generally HealthyWage offers longer challenges too with greater weightloss goals.
Prizes are not Guaranteed with DietBet
The way that DietBet works is that all the members of the groups put the money into a pot.
At the end of the challenge those who have won get their monthly wager back and those who have lost forfeit the bet. So if a group of 5 people put in $30 the winners will get their $30 back and the losers will lose their $30.
Admin fees are deducted and then if there are any additional winnings these are split evenly among the winners.
Usually you do make money and this could be in the range of $5 and $30 for a $30 bet. So you could still double your money but the sums tend to be a little smaller than with HealthWage.
There is also the outside risk that if too many people win the challenge that the winners won’t get anything extra as there won’t be enough in the pot to go round. But you’ll still have achieved a great weightloss goal.
Which is Better, HealthyWage or DietBet?
In summary, DietBet is great if you want a quick challenge. There is a lower weightloss threshold, the groups are there and ready to join and there is a chance of doubling your money. It offers a fun weightloss motivation as part of a group.
HealthyWage is better if you want a bigger weightloss challenge. It allows you to customize how much and how long you want to take to lose the weight. You can also choose to pay more or less into the monthly wager.
The winnings from the personal challenges that you create don’t depend on team members. They’re guaranteed from the point that you make the bet and the sum is set.
You also have the option of joining groups if you wish to. You can do this for the same weightloss challenge. In this case the same group rules will apply and after the admin fee the winnings will be divided evenly among those who reach their goal.