As the name implies, DietBet is a social dieting site that allows users to place bets on their weight loss, and then win back their original bet (and then some) if they reach their goal within a set amount of time. Because of this, DietBet sums up its mission by helping you “Bet on yourself to lose weight. Reach the goal … split the pot!”
Admittedly, this is a new method of losing weight, so you understandably have a lot of questions. We also recognize that summer is just around the corner, and you want to get swimsuit ready as quickly (and as safely) as possible. But before we answer your important questions, let’s take a close look at how DietBet works.
How Does DietBet Work?
While there are a wide variety of game types on DietBet (you can search the Game Directory, or even create a game of your own based on keyword, start date, and more), all games fall into one of the following categories:
- Kickstarter – For those looking to lose at least 4% of their body weight over the course of 4 weeks. On average, winners lose 9 pounds.
- Transformer – Tailored toward those who would like to lose at least 10% of their weight over the course of 6 months. On average, winners lose 24 pounds.
- Maintainer (Coming Soon) – For those who would like to maintain their current weight.
Depending on the type you’re interested in, you can view a list of featured games, including a brief description, total pot, the number of players, and bet amount, in order to help you make your decision.
Regardless of which option you choose though, the process basically works over 4 steps:
First, you’ll need to join DietBet by signing up using your Facebook credentials, or by entering your email address and password and then choosing your category.
After your account has been setup, you’ll need to complete your weigh in, which involves submitting 2 photos to DietBet’s Referees; one in “airport security attire” (no shoes, socks, or belt, with pockets completely empty) while standing on a scale, and another of your scale’s readout, including your weigh in word on a note card, which is automatically generated for you after signing up.
DietBet will require you to submit one photo standing on a scale in “airport security attire” and another of your scale’s readout, including your weigh in word.
After you’ve completed your photos and weighed in, it’s time to begin your weight loss challenge. Throughout the process, you’ll be able to post comments and photos on your challenge’s wall, while receiving weight loss tips and daily email motivation.
Lastly, once your challenge has ended, you’ll have 48 hours to post your final weight, although you won’t be required to submit a final photo unless you’re a winner. If you are a winner though, your DietBet account will be credited your earnings, which can then be applied to another DietBet challenge, or transferred to PayPal (see more about this in the pricing section).
Sounds simple and straightforward, right? But should you sign up for DietBet? Consider the following:
What is DietBet’s WayBetter Way?
Compared to other weight loss tools, DietBet’s WayBetter Way is claimed to combine commitment (through your monetary bet), goal setting, collaboration with others who are also looking to lose weight, and celebration (e.g. the money you’ll earn by winning your challenge).
According to the company, their WayBetter Way unique approach can also help individuals get in the best shape of their life, get a better night’s sleep, and even quit smoking.
How Much Weight Can You Expect to Lose with DietBet?
According to the DietBet website, Kickstarter winners lose an average of 9 pounds, while Transformer winners lose an average of 24 pounds.
Outside of this, according to a Wall Street Journal article about DietBet, “90% of [non-winning] players slim down, averaging a 5.4-pound loss.”
In other words, while anywhere between 94% and 96% of users lose weight using DietBet, unless you win the 6-month challenge, it’s likely that you’ll probably only lose a few pounds.
How Will You Lose Weight with DietBet?
When using DietBet, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how you’re going to meet your weight loss goal, whether this involves simple cardio activities such as running or biking, bodyweight exercises in the comfort of your own home, implementing light weights and high repetitions, or enlisting the help of a professional trainer.
In other words, DietBet may provide you with the motivation you need to meet your goal, and the site’s other users can provide additional tips to help get you there, but DietBet will not provide you with any exercises or workout information, similar to sites such as DailyBurn, 20 Minute Body, and Transform You.
Will You Need Extra Equipment Using DietBet?
As we mentioned above, any additional equipment you’ll need will largely depend on how you’ve chosen to meet your weight loss goal.
However, to use the DietBet website and sign up for a challenge, you’ll need a scale (preferably digital), a digital camera or smartphone, and a full-length mirror (or someone to take your photo) for your weigh-ins.
Other “Betting” Weight Loss Options
Are Diet Bet’s Customers Happily Losing Weight?
When searching online for DietBet reviews, most of what we found came from independent bloggers who tried one or more of DietBet’s programs. Overall, most of these bloggers appeared to appreciate DietBet’s unique form of motivation, and claimed that it really did help them lose weight.
On the other hand, most bloggers wondered if DietBet was doing enough to prevent dishonesty. For example, Diet-Blog.com noted that a day after their challenge started, more than 200 people had already reached their goal weight (according to ItsAboutMoreThanTheScale.com, this is because participants will often conduct their initial weigh in at night, which is the heaviest part of the day, and then re-weigh themselves the following morning, which is generally the lightest time of day).
Several bloggers also wondered if DietBet was encouraging healthy, long-lasting weight loss (e.g. 1-2 pounds per week), or if more than a few participants were briefly committing to crash diets in order to win money, but who then return to their normal eating habits and subsequent weight gain afterward.
Finally, as noted by MyFitnessPal and several other blogs, they felt the same factors that provided them with motivation (competition, money) also detracted from enjoying their hard-won weight loss. In other words, “Rather than be happy about a loss of a pound or even a pound and a half, I got down on myself for failing. Let's be real... under normal circumstances, a 7-pound loss in four weeks would be awesome! But if that had happened to me during my DietBet, I would have been a loser in my game, and I would have been so disappointed in myself.”
Outside of independent blogs, DietBet has also been mentioned on some popular TV programs and in well known publications, such as Today, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and more. However, most of these were small writeups, and didn’t provide much in-depth information.
DietBet Pricing & Refund Policy
DietBet’s challenges are priced as follows:
- Kickstarter: $30 average bet amount.
- Transformer: $25 per month, or $125 paid up front.
According to the company, on average, Kickstarter players won 1.5-2X their original bet, while Transformer winners “get $325 if they win all 6 rounds, or $175 for winning round 6, on average.” DietBet users can participate in up to 3 bets at a time.
After the challenge has ended, the total pot is divided among all winners, less the company’s fees. Your winnings can then be applied to another bet, or cashed out through PayPal. If you choose the latter, keep in mind that PayPal will charge additional fees to have the money transferred to your bank account.
If you cancel your bet within 7 days of signing up, DietBet will provide a full refund. Outside of this however, no refunds are available.
DietBet also provides a No Lose Guarantee that states, “Most winners make money but in the event that your game has an unusually high percentage of winners, we'll forfeit our cut in order to ensure that nobody loses money. So the worst case scenario is that you'll end up losing weight for free, which is still a big win.”
Can DietBet Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals?
Chopping to the Point: In short, as long as you’re already armed with effective weight loss tools (e.g. exercises, nutrition, etc.), the motivation provided by DietBet’s competitive environment could probably help you lose weight. And it’s often this motivation we’re missing when attempting to reach our weight loss goals.
However, although some of the featured members on DietBet’s home page appear to have won hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, keep in mind that even if you do win, your portion of the pot will likely only be a few extra dollars.
7 out 11 people found this review helpful
This site is a pyramid scheme. Stakes are different for every game, but one of the ones I joined for example has a $30 buy in and they say that everyone who hits their weight goal splits the pot. What they only mention in the fine print is that they take a 25% cut! So theres $127,170 in the pot from 4,239 players and 50% hit their goal. So each of us players in the winning 50% wins $15. Awesome. What is the websites cut? $31,792! I could see maybe a 5% cut for administering the website, but 25%? These guys are making a KILLING.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend