Want to fatten your wallet as you trim your waistline?
Companies that offer weight loss services raked in more than $6 billion last year.
So why not get some of that money back?
There are several programs that pay you to shed pounds. The catch, if you don’t make your goal you’re the one who has to pay up.
As a mother of 4 kids under 6 who home schools, Mara Traynham in Greer has a lot of patience, but not a lot of personal time.
The weight came on, and stayed there.
“I started DietBet at 243 pounds. Which I can’t believe I said that, but I think it was the reality of getting on the scale finally, seeing that number and saying, that is not healthy,” said Traynham.
DietBet is one of several online programs where you put up money, and if you make your goal you win it back and more. Month two of six didn’t got too well.
“When I missed that goal, it was eye opener of, ugh, I’m going to lose my money. No! It was such a motivation,” she said.
I’ll say. She lost 60 pounds in 6 months, and won $180 on top of her $150 investment.
Dietbet says up to 46 percent make their goal, but more than 90 percent lose weight. The company takes a cut, but does make more money when more lose.
With programs like Stickk, the money you lose even goes to charity.
Daniel Amato in Spartanburg lost 30 pounds through another online program called Healthy Wager.
It’s different from DietBet because you don’t compete with others. He put in $1500 over six months and won it all back plus an extra $160. People who have more to lose can win bigger.
“I know me, how tight I can be with money sometimes and I thought, this would be a good motivation for me,” said Amato.
“About a third of the people accomplish their goal and win the money,” said Jimmy Fleming, a Healthy Wage Co-Founder.
We asked: “So that leaves 2/3rds who don’t. Where does that money go? Do you guys take most of that.”
“That money funds the business,” said Fleming.
Like DietBet, Healthy Wage says almost everyone loses some weight, and are usually satisfied even when they lose money.
A year after starting, Amato has kept his weight off, and Traynham has signed up for another 6 months with a brand new goal.