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Would you lose weight if money were at stake?
May 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Would you lose weight if money were at stake?

You might want to lose weight, but the noticeable benefits seem so far off in the future that you continually procrastinate. You need a reason to get more fit right now - how about money?

A new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces this idea that if money were on the line, you might start on a healthier path. Web and mobile tools are cropping up to help you do this yourself - but first, a word about the study.

The study offered as much as $175 for people who met their goals during the intervention to which they were assigned. Researchers also offered a 20-week followup period, during which time participants could earn $30 to $80 if they kept on recording and sending their information. Money may have been a motivator, although the study did not examine this directly.

Researchers looked at 204 people who had several indicators of a need to change habits: They had low physical activity and a lot of sedentary leisure time. Their intake of saturated fat was elevated, and they had a low intake of fruits and vegetables.

Each person was randomly assigned a treatment: (1) increase fruits and vegetables,  (2) decrease fat and leisure time that's not active, (3) lower fat and sedentary leisure, (4) eat more fruits and veggies and lower nonactive leisure time. Digital assistant devices helped participants monitor their activities. The study made use of mobile technologies and remote coaching for all participants.

Researchers found that the intervention resulting in the best healthy lifestyle benefits was the simultaneous increasing of fruits and vegetables and lowering of leisure time spent sedentary.

All participants got the same offer of money, so the central research question wasn't to see whether money would help people lose weight. But after the interventions ended, many participants continued improving during the five-month follow-up period, even though they were not asked or encourage to stay healthy during that time. About 87% of the 185 people who gave exit interviews said they "definitely" or "somewhat" tried to maintain their goals, the study said.

In fact, there's other evidence to suggest that money does matter. A 2008 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that financial incentives did get people to lose weight.

So how can you get money for losing weight if you're not part of a study like this?

Some companies offer incentives to employees for losing weight and doing some healthy interventions.

But if yours doesn't, you can find websites that offer rewards for healthy behaviors. Others offer you the opportunity to punish yourself financially if you don't meet your goals (that may sound harsh, but it's a motivator):

HealthyWage.com: This is a website that offers weight loss challenges. You basically bet your own money that you will make your goal. For instance, there's a 10% challenge where you pay $100 to participate, and if you lose 10% of your body weight over six months, you win $200. People who move from an obese BMI (over 30) to a normal BMI (less than 25) in a year can earn up to $1,000. HealthyWage.com also offers more lucrative team challenges.

DietBet.com: This website lets you join with other people in betting on weight loss. You sign up with at least one other person and get 28 days to lose weight. If there's only one winner, he or she wins the entire prize pot. Multiple winners get equal shares of the pot.

GymPact: Put your money at stake to get to the gym. When you join GymPact, you create a contract with yourself to work out for a specific number of days per week. You'll need to promise to pay up at least $5 per day of the agreed-upon total that you miss. And guess what? If you fulfill your goals, you get a reward - usually about 50 to 75 cents. It's only available on the iPhone, but it lets you "check in" to your gym via GPS.

StickK: You can use this tool to create commitments, putting your own money on the line, for just about anything. Eat better, lose weight, quit smoking, or come up with a custom goal that you're willing to lose money if you don't make it. As the site's founder Dean Karlan told CNN in 2008, "It's a contract to make slothfulness more expensive."


soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Dawn

    This is already happening in a way people are being fired from jobs and dropped from companies insurance plans if they don't meet BMI which doesn't work for everyone

    May 29, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Money for all

      op cit OR ibid. Which is correct?

      May 29, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • wowX10000

      The chick in the photo. How much is she a week?

      May 29, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      I'm not any where overweight but, that aside, I would do almost anything else for money if you have any suggestions.

      June 1, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
  2. Virgil

    In a sense the military has been doing this already. If you can't stay fit, you're out. It's more "Lose weight to keep your job". Simple rules, and yet I've seen more people than I care to admit that have been discharged because they can't pass their PT test.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • honest john

      You do have 4 chances (thats two years) to get it done, so it is not even all that hard.

      May 29, 2012 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      True. However, there's a big difference between the military and most regular employers. In addition to providing support for exercise (facilities, trainers, etc.) the military usually provides enough time in the day for exercise.

      There are people who work 60, 80 or even 100 hours / week. There are 168 hours in a week. If a person works 100 hours, he has only 68 hours left. If he needs 8 hours of sleep per night, then we subtract 56 from the 68. That gives us 12. Eating, bathing and commuting have to happen too in the remaining 12...

      Exercise? When?

      Granted 100 hours / week is a pretty extreme example but it's a real example for some. 80 isn't all that uncommon. Now there is time for exercise but only if you're single and don't have kids. (Been there, done that. I was working 80 hours / week when single and manged to exericse about 12 hours / week. But, I was single and didn't have any kids then.)

      May 29, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • honest john

      A lot of people in the military are working 80 hour weeks...

      May 29, 2012 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • kelleycecilia

      Just take two minutes to find out the secret to make money online in 2 simple steps. Just give it a try and you will believe me...that its really true,
      check this link : http://goo.gl/mJZqt

      May 29, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • Mark Glicker

      Sad if people cannot control their eating without monetary benefit.

      May 29, 2012 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • whorhay

      The number of tries and length of time you get varies from branch to branch and even then from commander to commander. I was in an AF unit who's commander was a PT nut. I was given 3 months between tests and passed on the third try but only because I did a compression wrap on my waist for 14 hours leading up to my test. I had no trouble passing all the sub tests except the waist measurement, which comprised 30% of the score and was not scored in anything close to a linear fashion. Lowering my waist measurement by less than a whole inch boosted my score by more than 10% taking me from low seventies to mid eighties. Doing that allowed me to finish my enlistment and seperate on my own terms rather than being kicked out.

      The only times in my life since early high school that I have ever had a favorable BMI was when I was borderline anorexic. I've been down that road a few times now and don't plan to try it ever again. Being chubby seems to be my natural point of equilibrium, and I'm fine with that.

      May 31, 2012 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • Lindsy

      Hugo, I am a Marine and I do not get time to PT. I make my own time. 80 hour weeks? That's nothing. I'm currently on 24/on 24/off duty for a week. Deployed Military? ZERO time off.
      Check your facts before you try to make a point.

      The "I work too much" excuse isn't a good one anymore. There's always time to exercise. Even if it means cutting down your lunch break to walk.

      Stop making excuses and get off your fat behinds to work out. Money shouldn't be an incentive, not looking disgusting should be one.

      June 6, 2012 at 04:48 | Report abuse |
  3. flarnkingsgargle

    (1) increase fruits and vegetables, (2) decrease fat and leisure time that's not active, (3) lower fat and sedentary leisure, (4) eat more fruits and veggies and lower nonactive leisure time.

    lol, this is way too hard for Americans. "How am I supposed to eat my McChicken that I got in the drive thru now???????"

    May 29, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      This post made me laugh. Can you say "extremely short term memory"?

      May 29, 2012 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • AZ

      I think for people who eat kosher or halal foods, it is much easier to avoid all the fast foods and satisfying immediate hunger derives and eventually stay fit.

      May 29, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      5) Decrease fat and increase fruit and veggies

      May 29, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    Greed generally only works as a short-term motivator. I'd suggest appealing to their vanity, but I think we've all seen examples of people who will spend an hour with hair gels, makeup, etc. every day but can't find time to exercise for 20 minutes.

    May 29, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SamiJ

      Perhaps appealing to their sense of community? Not long ago, people had interests outside of their home - bowling, softball leagues, walking clubs, heck the phrase was 'dinner and dancing'. They were encouraged to join, makes friends, interact, and move. What ever happened to being inclusive?

      For those who make snide comments about the 'fatties' and the 'lazy' - presumably you are superfit and fabulous. If you want people to join you, you could try being more inclusive and less derisive.

      May 29, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • honest john

      Sorry, but I don't want to play tennis or softball with someone who gets breathless walking across a room (and it is not uncommon around here)

      May 29, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Mark Glicker

      When we eat non nutrional foods, we will over eat in an effort to find the missing nutrients.

      May 30, 2012 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  5. dreeves

    Don't forget Beeminder.com which is like StickK for data nerds. We think the combination of the commitment contracts with visualizing your data is very powerful.

    Danny of Beeminder

    May 29, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • arkafonb

      Another site that offers financial reward for any type of goal achievement is http://www.ecentify.com. You can setup a personal goal there (for example lose 10lbs) and a minimum reward for which you will attempt to achieve the goal (you can set it up at 0 by default as well).
      You then invite your friends and family via email or Facebook to support you both financially and as a support team. When the final day of the challenge comes, you can either keep the money or the reward gets sent back to the support team if you failed.

      Arkadiy
      Founder of http://www.ecentify.com

      July 6, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  6. Dena

    If you think about it, this happens automatically when you eat healthy and exercise. There have been studies that have proven that people that are obese have more health issues that cost them a lot more money over the course of a lifetime. In my own life, I learned the hard way when I left my last job (that had group health coverage) and struck out on my own as a self-employed person – I purchased private health insurance and was astounded at what my being overweight was costing me in extra premiums. I've lost 38 lbs so far and am working hard to get to a healthy weight, not just for my health but also for my wallet.

    May 29, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SamiJ

      Good for you! Keep up the good work!

      May 29, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  7. Homer

    I lost a ton of weight getting stuck in a cement tube for a few days. I'd recommend it to any of you fatties.

    May 29, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. James the elder

    Hell, i pay good money for products that help me keep my weight under control. $1300.00 this year for a new bike, $150 every winter for the gym membership, clothes, shoes, etc, etc.

    May 29, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lizz

      Why don't you just get a cheap jump rope and jump for twenty minutes each day. It's much less expensive and is great exercise!

      May 29, 2012 at 19:07 | Report abuse |
    • bigaugie

      And how many people have bikes that collect dust in their garages and gym memberships that go unused? Gyms make their money by selling memberships that they know many of their customers won't use. Besides, you can't out-train a crap diet. Once you get your food in check then you can focus on the exercise.

      May 29, 2012 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
    • honest john

      Have you seen Michael Phelps diet? You obviously can out train poor eating habits, most are just not that dedicated.

      May 29, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
    • NotBuyingIt

      Phelps isn't out training poor eating habits. He's matching his diet to his caloric needs which are apparently ridiculously high due to a combination of his Olympic training and genetics. From the specifics that I've read, it isn't even that bad a diet in terms of nutrient ratios.

      May 30, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • James the elder

      Lizz,
      Because I don't enjoy jumping rope. And twenty minutes a day is nowhere near enough exercise.

      May 30, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Jack Lalane did great work outs using a chair.

      May 30, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  9. Rex Frazier

    I'd lose weight for a job!

    May 29, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Russ Ault

    None of the described "interventions" is actually well-designed in my experience. Fruit can be a real problem; much of it is loaded with sugar. To get the maximum rate of weight loss, cutting out carbs and replacing the calories with fat has been proven to work better for more people – and has added health benefits including a drastic decrease in the risk of developing diabetes.

    May 29, 2012 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • honest john

      And a massive increased risk for liver damage...

      May 29, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      You're talking about an Atkins type diet, right? I tried that once...for 3 days. There are strips you buy that tell you if you're "in ketosis" meaning your body is burning fat for fuel. I read the label on the bottle of the strips. They were for diabetics...and if you got a positive reading you were supposed to call your doctor immediately.

      Yah...I'd rather eat fruits and vegetables.

      May 31, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • lexie1961

      Ally – you know nothing about the Atkins Diet apparently. Read the book and get informed before you spout off nonsense. Every single 'diet' out there today is patterned after Atkins. Cut down on carbs...get rid of whites (flour bread pasta etc)...delete sugar from your diet....eat good fats...etc
      Using your fat to fuel your body is not a bad thing – what do you think hibernating mammals do?

      March 26, 2013 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  11. zod

    I revel in my largeness.

    May 29, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. The Flamingo Kid

    In the answer to the headline, Hell, Yeah!

    May 29, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. dragon102

    I lost 50lbs for a job I didn't get in the end. A big fat bonus is a huge motivator

    May 29, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Fifi

    We're people self- reporting in the cited study? People lie about their real food intake and their weight all the time. If money rewards were on offer, they would lie even more.

    I would lose for cash, but $175 isn't near enough.

    May 29, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. paganguy

    I hope this doesn't become yet another government handout program. I just avoid fat people.
    Maybe we could lipo the fat out and make it into heating oil.

    May 29, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Fifi

    Checked out Healthywage.com. You have to be in the obese range to begin with to have a hope of making any money.

    May 29, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      You do not have to be obese to win money at http://www.healthywage.com. In our $10,000 team contest, the top team wins $10,000 and many of the winners are not obese. Financial incentives can make weight loss more fun–and lucrative–for anyone starting a diet.

      David
      http://www.healthywage.com

      May 29, 2012 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
  17. Easy Excuse

    Yea, you just have to stop eating junk, when will all of you, including doctors understand that in most cases its not about the flipping food. It's a coping mechanisms that need to be altered through physiological methods. Stop making about what food people eat!

    May 29, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Coflyboy

    It is really all about lifestyle change. I once ate anything put in front of me and ended up 260 lbs (6'2"). Now I watch what (and how much) I eat; I have totally omitted soda pop, pizza, cheeseburgers, processed foods, high-fructose corn syrup. I eat very little sugar, pasta or bread. I do 90% of my errands on bicycle and try to ride "just for fun". I feel great, lost 44 lbs in 6 months. It is not really that hard, but is is a different way of thinking about food as nutrition.

    May 29, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GHS99

      That is awesome. Did you have any cravings for the bad stuff and if so how did you cope?

      May 29, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Coflyboy

      @GHS99,
      Once you start feeling good, you kinda wanna continue feeling good... so saying no to all the bad stuff wasn't really that hard.

      May 30, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • FiveLiters

      I agree with you (went from 240 to 215 doing the same thing,but started running instead of walking,and drinking water instead of pop) I do allow myself pizza once or twice a month,and I will go out on a Saturday with my buds for a beer or two. But fitting into my old clothes,having people complement me on how great I look that haven't seen me in a while,and being over 40 on top of it makes it worth it,in my book! My brother,who is a year older than me,has that big,middle-age pot belly,and I just don't want that.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • moderation

      @ FiveLiters. That's the approach I like to hear about, eliminating most of the crap but keeping a few things you love in moderation. It's just hard starting out that way because a little junk food for me usually turns into quite a bit of junk food. Did you start losing weight with this rational approach, or did you add in some of the junk after you had some positive feedback (e.g. looser clothes and complements)?

      May 31, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
  19. Jennifer

    As is shown by the explosion of reality television programming, people will do ANYTHING for money. Losing weight would be no different.

    May 29, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • honest john

      They already have that show...

      May 29, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
  20. stilllearning2b

    I wonder which is more effective in this case: earning money for losing weight (or increasing healthy behaviors) or losing money for gaining weight (or not improving healthy behaviors)? Regardless, if this type of extrinsic motivation assists in the initial motivation to become healthier, I'm all for it. However, at some point, people need to be internally motivated to maintain their wellness.
    http://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com

    May 29, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Ehhh

    I recently lost 40 pounds trying to get in shape for getting a pilot slot in Air Force. I would have to say the opportunity to fly some of the most amazing aircraft in the world was definitely motivation, plus the pay isn't bad. I Went from 175 to 135.

    The interesting part is that at the university where I'm a grad student/TA at (Washington University STL), the Med school is doing a big study about weight gain, where overweight people have to eat fast food and gain 5% of their weight. They get their food paid for, and at the end of the study they get $3000 and free enrollment in a weightloss program to help them lose the weight.

    So presumably over the course of the study, one would get $4000-5000 worth of compensation in the form of free food and cash at the end. One of my student's asked me if I would consider joining the study for the money. I figured I'd have to gain about 30 pounds back to qualify for the study and then the weight I would have to gain for the study. I told the student that there was no way that $3000 cash and free food was worth gaining the weight back for.

    It was interesting, because prior to the weight loss, before I knew how good I would feel and look with taking the weight off, I would have probably jumped at the opportunity to get $3000 and a few months of free food. But, now after seeing how much better I feel, how much more fun shopping for clothes is, how much better I look, there is absolutely no way I would consider it.

    May 29, 2012 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbob Blunts

      Your thought make no sense and I didnt even read them quit wasting my time and pay for my abortion

      May 30, 2012 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  22. bigaugie

    Look at the ton of money that "celebrities" such as Valerie Bertinelli, Kirstie Alley, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, etc. made off being fat and then getting paid a ton to lose the weight. A news story reported that some of these people made up to $60,000 per pound they lost. Perhaps the most savvy of the bunch was Kirstie Alley who lost a bunch of weight, put it back on, and then got a reality show to lose it again but the second time around she launched her own line of weight loss supplements. The report indicated that she deliberately added the weight back on for the second time just to make all that money.

    Yeah, I'd say getting paid to lose weight has its advantages.

    May 29, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. bigaugie

    Why do you think shows such as The Biggest Loser are so popular. The majority of the contestants are in it for the money. At the beginning of the last season, one of the trainers, Bob Harper was interviewed on Leno and he reported that roughly half of the contestants go back to putting the weight on. Take away the gravy train and people will go back to eating the gravy.

    May 29, 2012 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. MysteriaKiito

    Dang I lost 116 lbs and wasn't part of this. Now I feel like an idiot.

    May 29, 2012 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. dike

    Make healthy food cheap and fine companies that sell killer food. You know companies that lure you in from your childhood by giving toys with the killer food so you are addicted to bad food. Some day these bad foods will be considered as cigarettes an companies like Monsanto will be treated like Philip Morris.

    May 29, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lilsfgal

      That's be nice but soda's got a VERY powerful lobby in Washington...not to mention all the subsidies that corn and wheat producers get. It's in the government's best interest to poison us.

      May 30, 2012 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      Having a burger and fries every now and then isn't a problem. It's when you choose to eat that everyday that you gain weight and have issues. Fast food places aren't the problem. The problem is the people choosing to eat poorly all the time.

      May 31, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  26. Boomer here

    I'd do it for $20 million after taxes, half up front.

    May 29, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Doug

    It's not just about food. Activity matters, too. I choose to do things manually. At college, I walk the campus to go from class to class, rather than ride a shuttle bus or drive. About 50% of the time, I commute to work by bicycle (14 miles each way, about 30 miles round trip). That saves money and gets me in shape, so I guess money is a partial motivator for me, too.

    May 29, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Amy

    Interesting. I offered my 15 year old son $1,000 in cash to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks. He was all gung ho – dieting and exercising at first and took off 13 pounds. I thought for sure I was out the money. But then he lost interest and has gained a few pounds back. Now the date of June 24th is approaching and he wants the money to buy a new computer – we'll see if he stays motivated.

    May 29, 2012 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dan

    DASH Diet is the healthiest.

    May 29, 2012 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. QuietStormX

    Money to give overweight persons motivation? I bet all the people who took these challenges. But I'm saying there should be no money for then to get healthy and loose weight. I feel they should do it for Life, a relative long life. Plus help the Health Care System of the United States. Payment for life. And ito feel good about their selves.

    May 29, 2012 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. paleo diet

    I think your problem guys are now solved, try to visit this one http://www.paleodietguru.com. Money saver, and benefits you a lot.

    _mel

    May 29, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. [url=http://www.paleodietguru.com/]paleo diet[/url]

    @Dan, how?

    May 29, 2012 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Coflyboy

    We shouldn't be losing weight for money.... we should be losing weight for OURSELVES.

    May 30, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mazzata

    If you have to be paid to lose, you're pretty pathetic.

    May 30, 2012 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jimbob Blunts

    All yall cheap ass hoes should get on a treadmill not welfare

    May 30, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Tiffani

    Two coworkers and myself started a weight loss bet back in October. We put in $20 at first, then $10 a month, until someone lost 50 pounds. We all decided just yesterday to quit, and get our money back. Apparently money is not enough of a motivator for us.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bernie

      That's beyond pathetic.

      May 31, 2012 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
  37. Judy

    Try a HealthRally. You can inspire a friend of family member to reach a goal and pledge money to motivate them to succeed. People are getting motivated with $300-$500. healthrally.com

    May 30, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. mikithinks

    I was told when asking about a transfer, "I could put you in, but they won't hire you. You are a women, too old and too fat," After asking my boss to say that into a tape recorder, I proceeded to loose 60 pounds. I got that transfer. I worked my way through school, went from the kitchen to the CFO's office. Then an assistant said that she admired me because I lost so much weight. Where is our sense of proportion?

    May 30, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. allinurmind

    Depends on how much to drop and for how long. For a couple of hundred, forget it. For a couple of K, maybe, except realistically no company is going to offer more than a tiny carrot. So the question is a non-starter.

    May 30, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. lilsfgal

    Initially, I had to lose weight to get BACK into a wedding dress I purchased, so in that sense money was a motivator. I gave up carbs, went nearly completely paleo but still ate some dairy (cheese and yogurt occasionally). I dropped over 20 lbs in 2 months and had to have my wedding dress taken in!

    Of course, a few other "side effects" kicked in. I had more energy...didn't get the "2 p.m. fog" and (to everyone I know's chagrin) I'm a morning person now. My skin improved dramatically. So thanks to that, I kept the diet up and want to keep it going. Also, I kinda feel like @$$ those few times I do go "Off the wagon".

    I'm 13 lbs away from being out of the obese range and dropped my bmi from 34 to 31. Now that I'm married, I have the motivator of wanting to start a family which requires a change in health.

    So yeah, money (the possible expense of getting a new wedding dress) kickstarted my weight loss, but now it's way more personal and about health above all else.

    And here's a tip, much as people like to pick on fat people, it will NOT motivate them to lose weight. Doing so is a conscious decision and only that person can give themselves incentive to do so. In my case, I know losing weight will make me feel better, until someone gets that for themselves...NOTHING will change their minds.

    May 30, 2012 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. SokrMom

    Is this a trick question?

    May 30, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. AlertRandomizer

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    May 30, 2012 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. KenL

    I'm skeptical of monetary benefits being effective as the social benefits (dating, sex life, etc) far outweigh hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Not to mention the value of one's self-esteem.

    I think that obesity is indeed a public health issue, so I think laws like NYC's 16 oz. max for sugary drinks are the ticket. Help me Nanny State!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Pat K.

    I've always exercised regularly and eaten what current wisdom taught was healthy food. I'm over 80 and publish a health care web site for those who want to know what is really in the Affordable Care "Obamacare" Act at http://www.acadigest.org. . About 30 years ago, I quit smoking and began eating too much, that included one martini before dinner,.the martini grew larger over time. My weight went from 184 to 230. Ten years ago I started what I thought was a weight loss program. In time I lost about ten pounds. Three months ago, I consulted a nutritionist, gave up the martini in favor of a couple of glasses of red wine a week and went on a paleo diet. I'm down to 203, feel great, and hope to reach 184, but want to feel great and will never go back.

    If we are thinking about broad based motivation, just about everything mentioned above seems to work; each to his/her own motivation. Obamacare encourages healthy living and encourages employers and insurance companies to share the loot with those who take up healthy living programs. This can amount to big money. Check out http://www.lincolnindustries.com. I'm beginning to promote the concept of insurance that gives you 10% off your premium for living with a nutrition program approved by your doctor and a masters level nutritionist, another 10% for a similarly approved exercise program, another 10% for medically approved use, or no-use of alcohol, and the last 10% for all of the above. The joy and self respect found in healthy living will provide a real and lasting motivation. And, we will take a very big and necessary steep toward making healthcare affordable.

    June 2, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Adonis And Venous weight loss Index Systems

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He used to be entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    June 4, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Aujhati Jacquette

    I would loos weight for money. This was a good article

    June 4, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • arkafonb

      you can try http://www.ecentify.com where you can setup a weight loss goal and timeline and the amount of reward you would like to get for achieving your goal. Then you can just invite your friends, family or even strangers to support you with $$$. I am doing a challenge right now, trying to lose 10lbs in 2 months by simply running on a treadmill and doing stationary bike any time I want to watch Jon Stewart's Daily Show or the Colbert Report – check it out!
      http://www.ecentify.com/viewChallenge.cfm?clg_key=tyrk16IlWZckOaBuPR8BhCSYD

      July 6, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  47. Bette

    My health insurance company offered obese members $500 if they lost 10% of their body weight, and an additional $1,000 if they kept it off for a year. I collected the first $500, but unfortunately changed insurers before the year was up. Nonetheless, I kept up the weight loss and have lost more than 50 pounds, shooting for 70.

    June 25, 2012 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • arkafonb

      @Bette, which health insurance company was that?
      Thanks in advance!

      July 6, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  48. Walter Whitley

    Thank you for the great article that you wrote. I enjoy your writting.Do you know that at my wife school they check their weight very year and if they don't make the weight that they say she should be they charge her $ per year. Our country is in a weight loss phase and we all need to get on board. If you would like more info come to our site at http://www.weightloss4woman.com and see what we can help you with.

    July 9, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. cathy battle

    I have been tryon to lose my belly fat for over 10 years with no luck. I even hold my stomach in so much that oy had caused my uppet bacl to hurt. At this point money would motivate me but at the same time o cant see myself with a flat stomach

    July 9, 2012 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Nadine

    Thanks for the comments! Losing weight is such a self satisfying feeling! You look better, think better and just feel good about being healthier and being able to do the things you want to do. Keep up the good work!!

    July 26, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.