DietBet Review: A Detailed Look

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Feb 24, 2020

DietBet is a weight-loss betting website designed to help you shed excess pounds through financial incentives. Depending on the challenge you choose, you will commit to losing a percentage of your body weight within a set timeframe.

If you make your goal, you’ll get your money back and share the rest of the winnings with everyone else who succeeded.

The company claims to have helped almost one million players lose weight and paid out more than $85 million to winners. In this analysis, we take a detailed look at how this service works to help you understand if it is a good option for you.

  • The company guarantees you won’t lose money if you make your bid
  • 96% of users lose some weight
  • A broad variety of games to choose from with different risk levels
  • Community-focused weight loss might keep you more accountable
  • You might be disqualified for losing too much weight or losing it at the wrong speed
  • Most users earn less than double their money or receive the same amount back

How Does DietBet Work?

To start using Dietbet, you’ll first choose a game or create your own. These games fall into three categories:

  • Kickstarter: Lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks. Winners split the total pot at the end.

  • Transformer: Lose 10% of your body weight in six months. Weight loss goals are set for each month, and winning participants split each month’s pot.

  • Maintainer: Maintain your bodyweight for 12 months, prize value increases the longer you stay in the game.

Each game will vary by start date, the number of players, and the cost to enter. These variables will affect the final payout for those who meet their goals. Some examples of open game options included the following.

Challenge Name Game Type Dates Bonus Incentives Bet Size Number of Participants Total Pot Size Average Payout for Winners* Winnings Over Bet Size
Resolution Recharge Transformer Transformer Jan 27–Jul 26 One winner receives $500 workout wardrobe $35 per month ($175 upfront) 256 $47, 670 $325 1.8x
New Year, New Beginnings with Fighting2GetFit Kickstarter Jan 27–Feb 23 NA $35 42 $1,470 $61 1.74x
Big Bet in January Kickstarter Jan 18–Feb 14 Random winners will have their prize doubled $100 144 $14,400 $185 1.85x
King Fatty Cakes ShameGames35 Kickstarter Feb 1–28 NA $10 90 $900 $17 1.7x
Fearless February with Ilana Kickstarter Feb 3–March 1 $1000 extra in winning pot $35 80 $2800 $62 1.8x

*Averages as reported by DietBet and independent research. The amount DietBot takes per pot depends on the size of the monthly bet:

  • $0–$99: 25%
  • $100–$249: 20%
  • $250–$500:15%
  • $500+: 10%

As this chart shows, most games on DietBet seem to give you the average odds of winning between 1.7 and 1.8 times your initial investment.

However, as we’ll dive into later, this doesn’t seem to match the experience for many users. Many ended up earning significantly less or only had their initial investment returned to them.

You will need to join at least one DietBet challenge to start using the site. To begin, you’ll pay the set bet amount and submit your official starting weight. This must be done two days before the official start date.

DietBet lets you try any game risk-free for seven days. If you cancel within this timeframe, you can request a full refund.

To submit your weight, you will need to share two pictures. One will be you standing on a scale in lightweight clothing, and another will show the scale’s readout with your designated weigh-in word written on a piece of paper.

DietBet assigns users these weigh-in words to act as timestamps for the images to ensure you aren’t fudging your current weight.

These pictures remain private, and it’s entirely up to you if you want to share them with the greater DietBet community through your account.

Upon submission, a DietBet referee will approve your photos and officially enter you in the game. At this point, you can use the DietBet app to track your progress, communicate with other users, and get weight loss tips.

You can update your weight in the app as often as you like, but these self-reported weigh-ins are unofficial until the game ends.

After the final day of your game, you will have 48 hours to do your final weigh-out. You only need to submit verification photos (similar to how you entered the challenge) if you met the program’s goal.

Within 24 hours of the final weigh-out period, DietBet will release the official results, and the prize pot (minus DietBet’s fee) will be divided between the winners.

You’ll get an email notification about your winnings and can cash them out through PayPal or put them towards another game.

No Loss-Guarantee

The DietBet no loss guarantee ensures that you won’t lose money on the site, so long as you win your game.

This means that in games where an unusually high percentage of winners cuts down on the profits, the company will forfeit its cut so that everyone who won receives their money back.

Charity games are the exception to this guarantee.

Membership Benefits

Beyond signing up for individual games, you can also choose to enroll in a DietBet membership. This entitles you to more game variety, bonus challenges, weekly accountability weigh-ins with prize opportunities, and other bonuses.

Membership costs $50 per year and is risk-free for seven days. Signing up automatically enrolls you in a reoccurring subscription. You can cancel your subscription or request a refund by contacting support.

Is There Evidence That DietBet Works for Weight Loss?

As with all weight loss programs, DietBet works better for some users than others. Your success will depend on how much you are motivated by gaining or losing money, but the results might be subtle even for those who are successful.

We couldn’t track down any verified research from the company about how effective the program is for the average user beyond a 2013 social media post that shared that 96% of DietBet players lose weight over the course of a four-week game, for an average of six pounds.

This amounts to about 1.5 pounds a week, which matches the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation for longterm weight loss.

Beyond this report, there is anecdotal evidence from DietBet users on personal blogs, Quora, and other review websites that share the program worked to help them shed weight.

Most of the people in these success stories reported that the program worked in part because they felt financially invested and didn’t want to face the embarrassment of losing money by not meeting their goals.

How Does DietBet Prevent Unsafe Weight Loss?

Losing weight for cash prizes may incentivize unhealthy habits for some DietBet users. The company claims to keep users within healthy ranges be preventing anyone from joining with a BMI below 18.5, which is considered underweight.

It also caps the maximum acceptable weight loss for Kickstarter participants at 12% of their initial weight and between 12–30% for Transformer participants. Any player that hits these limits will be disqualified from the game and forfeit any winnings.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

20 Dietbet customers have left reviews on our site, and together they average 2.4 stars. We’ve highlighted some of the most common comments below:

Useful for Losing Weight
Many DietBet users love the service and found it motivating for losing weight. These customers shared that the community aspect was helpful because they shared messages and pictures with other app users.

Some stated that they were entering three or more contests per month and walking away with an extra $40-50 each time. They praised the company for helping them commit to healthier habits when other attempts had failed.

Payouts Aren’t Impressive
By far, the most common complaint from DietBet users concerned low payout rates for winners. Some wrote that they made only a few dollars after focusing on weight loss for months and that the company took too large of a cut of each game.

Some of the reported winnings included the following:

  • $35 bet, $48.40 payout
  • $35 bet, $38.18 payout
  • $100 bet, $100.44 payout
  • $35 bet, $50 payout

Those who have the most success recommending joining games that cost between $30–$35, as people are more motivated to win the ones with higher entry fees and the payouts will be smaller.

Company Pulled Customers Out of Competitions
Some DietBet users were upset because the company didn’t honor their weight loss attempts. A few wrote that they procrastinated for weeks in their Transformer challenge but met their goals in the last month, only to have Dietbet disqualify them from the prize money for losing too much weight at once.

Didn’t Get Support from Hosts
Many DietBet customers joined specific games because of who was hosting them, with the expectation that the host would offer advice and motivation throughout the challenge. A few were disappointed by the lack of interaction they had with these hosts, stating that they messaged the whole group once or twice a month at best, or didn’t deliver on the promised giveaways.

Customer Service Concerns
A few DietBet users ran into problems when they tried to cancel their accounts within the 7-day refund window and shared that they never were issued their refund. Others reported that they were upset that they didn’t receive the same amount in winnings as they paid to enter the contest when they entered charity games.

The Bottom Line

Placing bets through DietBet can be a motivating way to lose weight. The company reports that 96% of users end up losing some weight through the platform after they sign up and that an average of 43% of users meets their goals for each challenge.

However, don’t expect to win any meaningful money. Only a few program winners end up doubling their initial fees, and there’s a good chance you might only come out even.

The platform has strict policies for enforcing healthy weight loss rates, so you might hit your final target and still end up disqualified from the prize money.

Beyond the cash incentives, DietBet will give you a community of other people striving to accomplish the same goals as you. If that kind of accountability will keep you on track for weight loss, then DietBet may be worth the investment.

Customer Reviews

Start your review of DietBet:
  • 20 Customer Reviews
  • 30% Recommend This Company
2.4 out of 5
5 star: 25% 4 star: 5% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 20% 1 star: 50%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Pyramid scheme

    • By Daev Brown,
    • Colorado,
    • Aug 29, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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

  • Never use DietBet

    • By Alex Hinrichs,
    • Pleasant Grove, UT,
    • Oct 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was hesitant to start DietBet, but their site gave me some comfort in that they had a "no loss guarantee." This guarantee ensured you'd at least get your initial investment back if you won the DietBet.

    One of the DietBets I signed up for was for charity, and I was happy to support a good cause. After all was said and done, I won, and the amount I won was less than what I paid. Here I am thinking, "I won, why did I not get at least my initial investment back?" Their "no loss guarantee" ensured that.

    So I contacted customer support and chatted with them. They brushed it off saying that some money went to charity. I pointed out that even with the amount that went to charity, there was still enough money for everyone who played to get their money back. And according to the "no loss guarantee," DietBet was supposed to take less of a cut so that everyone was ensured they get their money back. They went to such lengths as to change their website to include an addendum to the "no loss guarantee" that prevented charity events from benefiting from this. They then sent me a link to it in their response to the new updated part of their site which wasn't there hours before, but they tried to pretend that the wording that negated charity events was always there. They did all this just to save a very small amount of money!

    Such terrible customer service and shady behavior! They can't even stand behind their own policy, probably because they've never had to use the policy until now. At any rate, it's just a terrible company, and I will never use their service again, and I suggest you don't either.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Great for losing weight

    • By Liz M,
    • Detroit, MI,
    • Apr 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I've done several DietBets over the last few years and have everything found them hugely motivating. You don't have to pay the $5 for a membership fee, just remove it from your cart. If you want the highest payout, stick to games in the $30-35 range with the most players. Games that cost a lot to bet ($100+) have lots of winners because no one wants to lose that money, and the more people who win, the less money there is to split. Join the larger games that have over 1000 participants, and you'll lose some weight and make some money. You're not going to be making hundreds of dollars realistic. The goal here is motivating yourself to be healthy, not making money. On average I've made an extra $20 or so in addition to my initial bet. If you're just looking for a way to make cash, this isn't it. It's about weight loss and health.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

  • Cancellation policy not honored

    • By M Barnes,
    • California,
    • Jan 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I canceled registration via email within the 7-day cancellation period. According to DietBet’s policy, bets are fully refunded as long as you cancel within 7 days. I canceled after 4 days, after encountering a pretty serious technical bug on their website.

    DietBet customer service emailed back acknowledging my cancellation request and said they’d issue me a refund. They never issued the refund, and never responded to my last reply. When I contacted them inquiring about the status of the refund, they claimed they didn’t have a record of it. Even after I forwarded them the entire email thread promising the refund, plus screenshots, nothing.

    It’s a total scam! A dishonest company that doesn’t honor their own policies.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Scam, scam, scam

    • By Kate L,
    • Durham, NC,
    • Feb 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I played a $50 bet this January, lost the weight and showed the proof.

    I have an email saying that they had my final weight recorded and the app had me marked me as losing 100% of what I needed to lose.

    They marked me as losing and still took my money. It's harder than it should be to find how to contact them about it.

    Overall, I'm pretty angry at the shady behavior. Don't bother. Just leave the money in a place out of sight and reward yourself with it should you hit your goal, and keep the middle man out of it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Winners are losers too, and not just weight

    • By Zack Yaris,
    • Alabama,
    • Jul 18, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I participated in a $150 "main event." After a few weeks, roughly 18% of people in the game did not meet the goal. This lead to a final payout of $150 for a net profit of $0.

    DietBet advertisements showcase the amount people that "win" on their site. Based on their definition I "won" $150 from my $150-bet being returned. I would not be surprised if their "10-25% fee" goes mostly towards marketing, evidenced by their frequent giveaways during the events for people who invite others to the site.

    From a business standpoint, it is an admirable model. The company risks nothing, takes a large chunk from the gross of games, and keeps the consumer's money in limbo the entire time. The cheerful message of weight loss hides the telltale signs of a pyramid scheme, the company markets the possibility of big paydays to continue inflating the client base with gullible users. A quick glance at the payouts from past games this year shows that the margins are getting smaller and smaller, in some cases non-existent, for winning players despite the number of participants staying the same.

    Bottom line: DietBet is not going to last as a company because they are milking their customers for as much as they can get away with. Stay away and motivate yourself to lose weight.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Great concept in theory

    • By Linda Lange,
    • Columbus, GA,
    • Aug 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Too much of the money is going towards the fees. I placed a $100 bet and the payout was $100.44, I came up 44 cents. I did manage to lose my weight, but after I finish my next diet bet, I will definitely not be joining another one. I played in a previous game where the fee was $35, and I won an extra $15. The concept is good, just not crazy about the execution.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • I won, but lost money.

    Overall Experience:

    I had to pay a $35.00 bet plus a $5.00 administrative fee to start playing. I lost my required weight and won back a whopping $38.18. I PAID THEM to play!

    This is a money making scam. I guess it's an okay system for those that want to pay for accountability and access to a support group, but they market the system as if you actually have a chance to make some money from your efforts and that is NOT the case. The only ones really making any money is DietBet and the game sponsors. On top of the $5 they get from the hundreds of thousands of players, they also get like 25% of each pot, which is a ridiculous amount of money for what the game offers.

    I signed up for a second game a week after my first. At this point, I just hope I break even and get back every dollar I paid so I can be done with them. There are plenty of support systems out there that are free and offer plenty more. Look for one that doesn't want to make money off of you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Didn't win

    • By Dan,
    • Lake City, FL ,
    • Apr 18, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Don't have illusions of winning much money like they present it as. I won three bets with $170 of my money. I walked away with $11 in winnings.

    Yes, I lost weight (which is good) but didn't win like they promote.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Nearly impossible to weigh out when you do win

    • By Cheryl M.,
    • Kansas,
    • Jul 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I lost the weight. I paid the fees. Now, though, at weigh-out, the app and the interface don't work. I have had to go through support to get my weight verified, AND they've only done it for some of the games. I ONLY knew of this "flaw" because the same thing happened last week, so I lost my money.

    IF you're willing to contact support every time you need something and IF you can manage to find their email, then it's worth it. I WILL NOT ever be associated with this again as they make it impossible to collect when you win. I WILL get my money because I refuse to be a victim a second time, but unless you're willing to cause a scene, you won't see your money back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Don’t recommend

    • By Anissa P.,
    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Jan 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    As others have stated, this is a money making scheme. Off the top, they charge $5, and say it’s for using the app...but the app sucks and is literally just a comment section. Now, some games have pots in the $250k and up, with 9k players. With just the admin fee they’re collecting over $40k from people in ONLY ONE GAME. From that $250k they take 25%, which means from this one game, they collect over $100k from people and payout crap. Lastly, you have to get the money in points or PayPal payout? They didn’t make me use PayPal when they took my money, but have to payout through PayPal. Honestly, I won’t ever recommend DietBet to anyone unless they want to pay a company to comment to each your money. Do a DietBet with friends and family or something.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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DietBet Review: A Detailed Look