Saturday, June 26, 2010

Would A Bet Help You Lose Weight?

Diet bets are popping up everywhere online, in gyms, at weight-loss classes, and as informal wagers among friends, spouses, and coworkers. They are big because they work. A multi center study of 57 dieters found those who stood to lose money if they didn't succeed in shedding weight were about five times as likely to reach their goal as those with no financial stake in the outcome. Half of the bettors dropped 16 pounds in 16 weeks, compared with just 10.5 percent of the no-wager group. In a study of more than 200 dieters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, those who were told they'd pocket $14 for every 1 percent of body weight they shed were nearly five and a half times as likely to take off 5 percent of their body weight as participants not offered cash. Some people are in it to win the money and it works for those kind of people. According to an article in the July 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, researchers, diet veterans, and founders of betting Web sites say wagering might be ticket to weight-loss success if:

1. You thrive on friendly competition: A bet is not touchy-feelly, emotionally supportive buddy system. If you feel energized by rivalry, you're ready to gamble.

2. You're out to win: Whether it's at sports, board games, or simply making the best dish for the neighborhood potluck supper. Or you like competing against yourself.

3. You know how to lose weight: But you have trouble sticking with your plan. Betting works with any diet or exercise plan, and can keep you motivated for the long haul.

4. You need a Wake-Up call: You think you're following a good weight-loss program, but the scale isn't budging because you're letting yourself cheat or you slack off on exercise too often.


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