Why I Won’t Buy In to the DietBet

by ~jenniferlynn on April 9, 2013

in Me, Skinny Girl Problems

I have seen a recent phenomenon in the health and fitness blogging community called the DietBet.

Some of my most favorite bloggers are participating in this challenge, and a couple are even leading their own. Basically, participants dish out some amount of money (average is $25), and it gets collected into the DietBet pot. The challenge runs for 28 days, and anyone that loses 4% or more of their weight in this time wins a portion of the pot. So if you lose 4%, you’re guaranteed at least your money back. And some of these pots have thousands of dollars in them that will be split between participants!

Sounds great, right?

Why I don't buy in to the DietBet- I choose to work out multiple times in a week. I choose to use food as fuel and to be mindful of what I consume daily. Yet all of this healthy eating and strenuous workouts and I have gained weight? Apparently, this is a fail to the health and fitness community. Losing weight = good. Gaining weight = bad.  False.

I was approached by two different people recently who work for DietBet to run a campaign on my blog, and I would be compensated for my efforts. I am all about making money, but this program is something that I have zero interest in being a part of.

And here is the DietBet problem:

Dietbet problem: You can control the food you eat. you can control the workouts you do; but you cannot control the number on the scale.

No matter how much you wish it or will it, the number on the scale is not something you can pick and choose. You can eat as clean as you want and you can make an effort to be more active. Most times, this will correspond to a weight loss, but what if it doesn’t?

Since I started my journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle, I have gained 15lbs. I would surely lose in a DietBet, yet I look and feel better than I ever have. I would need to lose just over 5lbs to “win.” I think I would also lose some strength gains I made, and some of the muscle that I have tried to hard to grow.

before and after nrolfw crossfit

I have no true before and afters, but you get the point. Left to right; July, 2011, June, 2012, April, 2013.

I choose to work out multiple times in a week. I choose to use food as fuel and to be mindful of what I consume daily. Yet all of this healthy eating and strenuous workouts and I have gained weight? Apparently, this is a fail to the health and fitness community. Losing weight = good. Gaining weight = bad.


I pass no judgment on those that are participating in this challenge. I do admit that it can help motivate those who are trying to lose weight but need an extra push. I can admit that it provides a supportive community of people with a similar goal to motivate and inspire each other.

But I also have seen that many participants are swayed by the dollar signs even though they are at a healthy weight. I have also heard that once the challenge ends, people have gained the weight right back. And while the program does encourage honesty and integrity in submitting weights, the measures that someone may go through to get that last pound could involve excessive exercising and unhealthy reduction of calories.

It can be easy enough to commit to losing weight in 28 days by any means possible, but is it sustainable?

Make healthier choices each day. Schedule and execute your workouts as planned. Throw out your scale.

If you still need some positive motivation, feel free to send me your $25 via PayPal and I’ll help you create a healthier 4-week plan without a number on the scale! 😉

Have you gained weight in a good way since you started working out? Have you participated in a DietBet? Are my thoughts irrational? 

supergenericgirl April 9, 2013 at 7:03 am

I couldn’t possibly agree with this post any more than I do. Thanks for putting my thoughts down into words.

~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thanks, chica. I sometimes feel maybe I don’t get it because I never had a weight issue, but I just want to smack some of these girls upside the head sometimes..

Apollo Nutraceutical April 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hey Jennifer – you said this way better than we could, awesome article.

Nj Paleo April 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

I agree with you 100%! I have a similar situation where I lost a lot of weight through running. Then when I started heavy weight-lifting, I gained about 8 lbs. Would I love to be 118-120 lbs again? Maybe…..but I like the way my body looks and is performing now a lot better. More and more I’m reading that the number on the scale is just one data point in overall health. Sure, obesity is a problem, especially here in North America, but I think there is too much of a focus on the number on the scale rather than on making good healthful decisions. Do the right behavior and the rest will follow. Thank you for promoting this mentality too!

~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:37 am

I loved being 123lbs. Felt good, thought I looked good. But then I saw some of these Crossfit athletes and compared their body shape and size to mine and their weight. And I’m like man, I need to put in 9 more lbs to look even more awesome! 😉 I like 132 as an ideal weight for my 5’7″ self, but I think I’ll be okay if I gained a couple more pounds.
However, let me tell you how freaked out I was when I saw 135 on the scale one day.. that’s when I decided I need to stop looking at the scale 😉

NJ Paleo April 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

LOL I have the same problem with seeing certain numbers on the scale! And with it came the realization that I need to stop using the scale, just check in now and then to verify that I’m still on track and that I’m gaining muscle. My clothes still fit well even though I’m heavier….
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

For sure. Actually, I’ve outgrown a lot of my favorite cardigans.. but realize staying an XS isn’t my goal in life lol.;)

Carrie Symes April 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

I totally agree with you! The number on the scale does not give you the whole overall picture. I can see where many people can fall prey to this type of scale trap, I did at one point before I started lifting heavy. The number on the scale does not define the person! I thought it sounded like one of those fad diet crazes that everyone flocks over for about a year and then falls off the face of the earth after that. Thanks for writing this post!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thanks for the comment, Carrie! Maybe we have a different mentality since we lift?
I get the whole motivational factor, but I think it just adds a level of stress that isn’t needed!

Twitter: healthyfitjenn
April 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

For someone like me, who needs to lose a considerable amount of weight (over 50 pounds), the diet bets are a fun way to keep some motivation going. It’s just a tool to stay on track, like any other challenge you may do to try to push yourself a little bit.

I’m doing my 3rd diet bet right now. The first one I hit my goal, the 2nd one – I didn’t. And I was okay with that! This time around, it’s too close to call.

Now if I was close to goal, I probably wouldn’t be so into something like the diet bets, especially if I was trying to build muscle!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:40 am

I like hearing the other perspective, and I agree that the whole community is great for motivation. But what if you were able to lose a size but not lose weight? I gained 15lbs and wear the same clothes I wore when I was 15lbs lighter.. it’s more important to be comfortable with your body than stress about a number.
28 days is not a lot of time to make changes that will reflect in your body and on the scale.. especially if you’re incorporating weight lifting. You will retain water in your newly growing muscles, and you will lose fat, but you will also gain muscle.

Twitter: katesteve
April 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

It would be cool if it could be more than just numbers on the scale. Like Miles run or body fat or weight increases in lifting. The focus on the scale just kind of stinks!

I have not owned a scale in many years and just got one for our home gym that measures body fat and bone mass from Weight Watchers. I’m hoping we don’t get obsessed with it. But as I’m getting older, I think weight is a good check point in overall health.

~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I think body fat would be most logical, but I guess hard for some people to measure accurately..
I did find out they are going to have a similar program in the summer that is more activity focused, so we’ll see how it goes!

Shoshana March 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I’m just not stumbling across this blog post, but I wanted to share my view on this. For someone who is already at a healthy weight or needs to gain, DietBet is probably not the best program. However, they are currently developing a weight maintenance betting system, which is great.

I also don’t think the one-month bets are all that great long-term, but they offer 6-month bets that have certain minimum and maximum requirements for safety. You really hit your goal after the fifth month and then have to (at the very least) maintain for the sixth. That seems like a really healthy way to go.

Sure, sometimes the scale isn’t your friend, but if you have a lot to lose (I have about 190 lbs left to go), it’s very helpful and extra cash is ALWAYS good. The guarantee that you’ll at least get back what you put into it is great!

Bethany Lee
Twitter: bethanyjolee
April 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

Jennifer, love how you stated your opinion here and stuck true to your beliefs even when money could be made. That’s integrity.
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Twitter: fantabulouslisa
April 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

I LOVE this post! You look better and better!! SO awesome!

I have put on a solid 15lbs since I started crossfit but I have more definition (read:ABS!!!) than I ever had before 🙂
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks, Lisa!! I have no bikini pic to compare yet.. hehe.. but I’m guessing it’ll look good 😉

Yeah, I have a solid 2-pack, with 3 and 4 starting to become more defined.. hehe. abs 5-6 are still in hiding..

M. Love
Twitter: Ms_MLove
April 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

I am glad I wasn’t the only one — I have mixed feelings. The non-CF super girly part of me would LOVE to lose 4% weight — but I know I need to focus on how I feel and not the number. Nicely put love 🙂
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

Thanks, girl 🙂
I just look at the CF athletes like Julie Foucher and Annie and realize I need to put on more weight to be that awesome 😉

Twitter: Ms_MLove
April 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Exactly – if we want to get STRONG — we need the muscle 🙂

Twitter: JackiRHayes
April 9, 2013 at 9:49 am

Great post Jennifer. Thank you for writing it. I think it is so important that we stop associating health with the number on the scale. For me, the number on the scale isn’t moving, but the jeans are looser and the body fat is finding a new home. Bonus, I can lift my son up again (with ease), even though he is now 11. That is healthy to me.
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

Thanks, Jacki!

I get that there is an obesity problem and many people do need to lose weight. Got it. However, the means to get healthy needs to be focused on diet and exercise, not what measures can I go through to make that scale move? I stopped being overly concerned with my weight once I hit 130s. I freaked out seeing that number on the scale and didn’t like it at all.. but then I look in the mirror, and I’m like forget that, I look hot. lol 😉

Twitter: runrunjohnny
April 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

There are many ways to measure one’s health. The number on the scale happens to be the easiest to track, yet least accurate. But even if we disregard this fact, I still have a problem with Dietbet. And that’s the rate of loss they promote.
I don’t believe in losing weight too quickly. I have PLENTY to lose, but I’m choosing to take it slowly. If I were to keep on my current path, I’d lose the bet, having only lost about 2% in 28 days. At a rate of about 1lb/week, I’d be considered Failing at weight loss! That’s a strong message and a negative one at that.
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

Thanks from the input from a guy’s perspective. Agree with the rate of weightloss. And yes, some people may be able to do it, but I just think worry less about the number and worry more about what you can do to make healthier choices!
You run a lot, obviously.. but do you strength train also? Work to build more muscle, which will keep your body burning more fat sitting on your butt when you aren’t running!

Twitter: runrunjohnny
April 10, 2013 at 8:39 am

Yes, I typically do strength 2x a week. Its essential for fast recovery and injury prevention.
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

Good.. I think a lot of runners forget about the importance!

Mar @ Mar on the Run!
Twitter: marmaone1
April 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’m with you! Kudos to those who are motivating themselves to try and lose weight and get healthy but that’s not for me. I weigh less than I did in high school 2 decades ago with more muscle mass and I owe it all to strength training and running and just eating healthy. Sweet Red included 😉
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

Sweet Red may be a factor for a pound or two.. 😉 But I’m still much leaner and much more comfortable in my body now!

Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer
Twitter: courtnorm
April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

I’m in my third round of dietbet right now. I agree with you that it isn’t for everyone, and MOST people who do it may not need to. For me, still being a good 50+ lbs from goal it has become a great tool to use to keep me motivated – mostly regarding my food choices. Even while doing a Whole30 – it can be easy to eat “approved” nuts and nut butters all the time and those calories add up “healthy” fat or not. At my current size/physical activity level I should be able to lose that amount of weight in a healthy way during the time period given. It is far too easy to give into the “well I’m building muscle” excuse to stuff my face, but this has helped me stay motivated and accountable. I’m losing weight AND getting stronger
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I know you’re a believer of the program, and I can absolutely see your point. I may put you in my exception category 🙂
I just hate using the number as a measure of success; like look at your before/after pics and without knowing your weight, I can tell how far you have come. And chances are, your body fat has dropped significantly quicker than your weight has dropped.
Maybe if it was based on dropping a percentage of body fat, I’d buy in more..
And it’s possible I just don’t get it because I never had a weight issue..
Either way, you’re doing awesome at what you do. So ignore my ranting about it 😉

Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free April 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I feel the same way Jennifer. I think it can be a great tool for people from a motivation and accountability standpoint but for me personally, I think it wouldn’t be beneficial.
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

More weight = heavier squats 😉

Twitter: bebegetswordy
April 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I agree with all of your comments on the scale not being a direct image of your efforts. I look forward to looking down at the scale and seeing a number that isn’t the one I see now. whatever that falls at I’ll be happy with. I just want to look and feel better, and that is how I am measuring now. I am in a DietBet now, but my proceeds go to Charity, so I am really working for them, which I think is great. I’ve also decided that if I don’t ‘win’ I’ll still donate the amount to the Charity, so it’s more of an incentive to not have to pay twice!

Love your blog, love your posts, love you rawness for the tough love!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thanks, Bebe 🙂

I look at you, and feel you could easily keep the same weight, but burn more fat and add more muscle and you’ll feel awesome.

So if it was lose 1% bodyfat in 28 days, maybe that’s different. But weight, psh. Ignore it. 🙂

Cindy April 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I’ve gone back and forth on this myself. I think that if I only had 20 pounds to lose, I’d give it a pass. However, as someone who needs to lose nearly 100 pounds to have a “normal” BMI . . . .it’s appealing. Money is a very motivating factor. My personal issue, for lack of a better phrase, is putting my money where my mouth is. In order to win, I’d have to lose about 10 pounds in a month. It’s taken me since last June to lose 18. A lot of that is me not really trying (it’s where I say I’m trying and make excuses when I need to eat ice cream).

I totally agree with you that the number on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I can lift more than my flatmate who is about 8 pounds from her weight goal. I can keep up with anyone in a spin class. But appearances don’t show that. What people see is someone who is technically morbidly obese.

There are so many issues that come into play, and I think it is a very individual issue. I do think it’s awesome that you chose not to do it, despite the fact that money could be made because it wasn’t for you. 🙂 You put your money where your mouth is, and I think I am going to blog on this and do the same, and finally be honest.
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Twitter: inmyheadspace
April 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I would not be a good dietbet’er. I have been using MFP for 400+ days now… I have only lost 13 lbs to date BUT since I started adding weights in December, I am down a pants size! I am happy with losing it gradually. I still have 29 lbs to lose. At the rate I am going if you count by pounds, that would take 2 more years!
I like the smaller challenges that help with adding healthy habits such as reminding me to eat more veggies or drink my water. Those are more of a motivator for me.

~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm

That’s awesome to keep up with MFP! And definitely think the weights help! 🙂

Keep up the good work Mary!!

Nina @ Sweating It April 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I haven’t looked at the scale in months and I’m happier with my body now than I have been in years. Pretty strong correlation if you ask me 🙂
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Seriously! And for me, it’s like when I *do* look at the scale, I freak out slightly since I have NEVER been in the 130s my whole adult life.. but then I look in the mirror. And I forget the scale 🙂

Becki @ Fighting for Wellness
Twitter: Fight4Wellness
April 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I really appreciate this post. I’ve been struggling for some time about what I think about DietBet. I am currently “participating” in my third one, but haven’t actually given it much thought since the day I logged my weight. I signed up for this one because I “won” my last one and had extra money to spend from my account. Ever since I entered my weight though, something about it just didn’t sit right. My biggest priority right now is being healthy. Yes, I could stand to lose 4% of my weight. I could stand to lose 8% or 12% of my weight still at this point. But that’s not my #1 priority so I’m bowing out. Thanks for posting this.
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I don’t think it’s a scam or shady or anything that way; I just think there are so many better steps to focus on; then if you have weight to lose, it will fall off.. Or not. Maybe your body will just adjust like mine. Gained but feel better!

What’s your weakness?

Twitter: runfastmama
April 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Totally with you Jennifer! Muscle weighs more than fat! At around 130 lbs I have nothing to loose and if I gained some in muscle all the better! So proud of you for speaking out!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Exactly! You would not be able to fuel your workouts at all if you were to try to lose a pound!

Twitter: mast2mar
April 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Love this post Jen! I too see lots of blog people participate and wonder if that’s really the wisest investment of $25…After PT and running again I’ve gained about 5lbs, but my tummy is more flat and I’ve got WAY more tone, so yep weight gain happens, but its about attitude and staying proportional and healthy!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thanks, Nicole!

Sometimes more weight makes you look better!

Twitter: fatgirlhealthy
April 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

As someone who has participated in several furthers, I have mixed feelings about it. First I’m completely baffled that you were even approached? To me you are not someone who should ever participate in such a thing! I think dietbet is good for those who have a lot of weight to lose and need motivation and community to get started. However losing 4% every 28 days is difficult. Using dietbet gave me motivation to get back on track after the holidays but it’s not something people in a normal weight range should be using.period. Someday I’ll write on my blog details of my experience and what I think the pros and cons are. Keep lifting heavy girl, you’re looking good!
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~jenniferlynn April 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Thanks chica. I think they maybe saw I had a good following so could motivate others? I hope they weren’t implying I need to participate.. Cause that would make it even worse!
The company seems nice and professional; the whole idea is positive and motivating, but the premise is just wrong to me.
I know it’s been successful for many. And like I said I know a couple bloggers who have such positive things to say and maybe they could lose a couple pounds so are good at promoting.
Keep your focus on things you can control and you’ll reach your goals when the time is right!

Tina G
Twitter: crantina
April 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

i cannot afford to pay for such things. If i have an extra 30 bucks…thanks i will spend it on a race. or groceries. Sadly I just do not have much extra income. And also i think that a race motivates me to exercise more than a diet bet would. If i had that money what would i spend it on?? A nutritionist!
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 8:16 am

I agree; I get that part of the motivation is that if you put your money up, you’ll work harder to lose the weight so you won’t lose your money in the end. However, at what lengths will people go to lose that weight? 28 days is way too short!

Twitter: KatSnF
April 10, 2013 at 11:36 am

This is such a great post! I am still so caught up in the scale, and shouldn’t be! I know it’s motivation for some, but I didn’t take part in it and don’t believe in putting money on losing weight…if someone is morbidly obese, now that’s another story. But for most, if you are losing weight and doing the bet, who’s to say it’s not done in a safe way??
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

Thanks, Kat!
And girl, you definitely should not be worried about the scale! I am glad you didn’t participate or else I’d have to smack you upside the head 😉
You know the right things to do, and if weight falls off, great. If not, good, too, cause that means it’s probably muscle 🙂

Twitter: ljmcpherson
April 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Yes, yes, yes! I am very anti-scale and these DietBet things scare me. People who don’t need to lose weight will be possibly doing unhealthy things in order to win. I also hate the scale obsession America has. I recently lost a bunch of weight, but I don’t even know how much because I refused to let the scale define me. I just know I’m smaller, healthier and I feel amazing. The number on the scale haunts some people and just brings people down more often then it encourages people. Ahh! I hate scales!! 🙂
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Haha.. thanks for the comment!
I’ve never had a weight issue, but once I saw the scale getting over 130 (which it had never ever had in my life), I freaked out. I knew I had to keep eating how I was eating in order to fuel my workouts, and I knew I liked how my body was changing, so I couldn’t do anything to change that number.
I’ll weigh myself once on awhile out of habit, but it’s not like my habits will change when I see it. Even though I’ll silently freak out to myself 😉

Renee @BendifulBlog April 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

100% my thoughts too! I’m much healthier now at a weight that is slightly higher than my old weight. A scale should not dictate your health. MANY skinny people are NOT healthy!
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Exactly! At 119, I was eating either chips and salsa and Chinese food for lunch, and pasta every night.. I should have mentioned that.. lol. Just to stir the pot even more – eating healthier and gaining weight.. poster child for a failed DietBet.. 😉

Gina @ Noshing on Asphalt April 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Love, love, LOVE this!! I was approached by DietBet to do some paid spots and I turned them down. (politely) I explained that I couldn’t promote something I don’t believe in and that while it works for some, it’s clearly not appropriate for others. She was incredibly understanding. I’m not a scale person, I’m a ‘how I feel’ person. Plus, I really hope to gain weight via muscle mass.

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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Exactly.. it’s hard to promote losing weight when you’re trying to gain weight yourself 😉

The company was very pleasant to deal with; I have nothing bad against them at all.. just the whole thing I don’t know like.

Crossfit will do WONDERS for your body! I have changed so much in the past few months physically that honestly, I’ll just stare at myself in the mirror while getting dressed. Like oh! There’s a new muscle. Ooh! Where’d that come from? And hmm.. yeah, I look good. 😉

I still hate looking at the scale because I have never weight this in my life, and it can be a scary thing, but have to look in the mirror instead and realize how far I’ve come.

Keep eating, keep lifting, can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I flippin’ LOVE this post. You rock.

When they first posted the DietBet on the FitFluential page I asked if we could also do a muscle gain bet. No dice. 😉
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~jenniferlynn April 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Thanks, Laura! 🙂
Ha.. I think a muscle gain bet would be awesome!! 🙂 You should start it.. 😉

Alex (from FitYou)
Twitter: fityouapp
April 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Great post, Jennifer! We built our FitYou app for your same reasons you state, compete with your friends on being more active to become healthier, not just losing weight. We love your blog! And congratulation on your fitness improvement!

~jenniferlynn April 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for such nice comments!! 🙂

Twitter: BodyByEmmy
April 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

It’s funny that I’m seeing this because I just entered a diet bet. I am a former WW leader and don’t believe the number on the scale is the only measure of success in a journey by any means. That said, I’m very far away from a healthy weight right now and nothing I do seems to be working. I’m 100% about the health so I won’t do anything crazy. If I lose the $25, I lose it. But I did it because I hoped it would help me focus even more and remind me to stay away from the temptations. More than anything I wanted the jumpstart I thought it might give me if I could get that 4% off. But since doing it I know it wasn’t the healthiest thing for me mentally. I know the number on the scale doesn’t matter, but if the clothes were fitting better I’d feel better.
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~jenniferlynn April 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for the visit, Emmy !
I hear tons of success stories from WW and seems like an awesome jump start program.
Do you have a food weakness? Are you eating enough to lose? Silly question, but sometimes eat more, weigh less!

Stephanie @itrainthereforeieat April 12, 2013 at 7:45 am

I LOVE this and I couldn’t agree more! I’ve gained weight since I started lifting too, but I look better and feel better at a muscular 145 than I do a not-so-muscular 135. I hate the culture of “must lose bodyweight to be healthy” because it’s simply not true. Excellent, excellent post, lady!!
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Twitter: CarliAlice
April 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

You are not off in your thinking at all! If I went by the scale I would be so upset. I see women who are the same height as me who weigh 10 or more pounds less. Yet me stomach is flatter than it’s ever been and I’m more physically fit than ever. Well, to be honest my arms could use some work.:)

I believe this to be a better opportunity for someone who has more weight to lose — lets say more than 25 lbs. Where the scale may (but as you pointed out, not always) make a difference for them. I’ve also been approached by DietBet and have turned it down. Not for the reason you said but more because there are no real resources to help someone learn how to lose weight and take care of their body appropriately.It lends itself to using inappropriate quick fixes.

Happy Saturday Sharefest!
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Janice - Fitness Cheerleader
Twitter: fitcheerldr
April 14, 2013 at 11:41 am

I couldn’t agree more!! A lower weight doesn’t necessarily mean healthier either. Like you, I also have no interest in promoting products that encourage weight loss just for the sake of having a different number on the scale.
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~jenniferlynn April 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

Thanks for the comment, Janice! You are a fitness inspiration so glad you’re agree! 🙂

Alex @ Alex Tries it Out
Twitter: alex_j_meyer
April 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I feel the same way about the Dietbets … I mean, I’m sure some people think it’s good motivation, but I think it’s a little sad when I know what I know about weight loss & the scale.

Plus, I’d hate to see someone to go to extremes to win … which I’m sure happens :(.
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AlexandraFunFit April 16, 2013 at 2:07 am

Your points are very well made. As someone who has been a fitness professional for 30 years, I agree that weight can be a poor indicator of health. Because I’m so muscular, I weigh “too much” according to my doctor’s charts. Yet I’m a size 6 and quite healthy and strong. So the measure is the problem, not the client. Having said that, I also agree with your point about some people needing that extra push. Research that’s come out over the past year or so indicates that a financial reward (or even punishment) is a successful motivator. As we say in the counseling world for almost every issue, “it depends.” I love your final bit about sending you the money!!!
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~jenniferlynn April 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

Thanks for the visit, Alexandra!
My perception of what I want to look like has changed so much over the past year as well. I always teetered between a size 2/4, but I’m definitely a 4 now and absolutely would prefer to be this size. I am quite comfortable at my weight but look in the mirror and almost visualize how much more definition I could have if I gained even 5-10 more lbs. 🙂

So true about “it depends”; I just hope the right people are the ones participating for the right reasons!

Sonya November 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

This is a kind of silly objection to just another challenge. Hey, it’s fun. And it’s just a few bucks. Don’t put people down for adding a little fun game to the mix. I disagree with this blog post.

~jenniferlynn November 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for thew comment, Sonya! Definitely to each her own; I just strongly believe putting a focus on the number on the scale is giving most people a disservice.

I have encountered so many women that are fitter, healthier, in better shape, and smaller than ever, yet there is no weight loss, or even sometimes weight gain.

Alison October 20, 2014 at 10:16 am

I don’t buy into these diet wager fads either. I, too, have actually gained weight since starting my journey to a healthier me. That number on the scale doesn’t take into consideration that I’ve lost several inches around my waste and thighs or that I finally have some muscle definition to my arms. It’s one of the many reasons I refuse to step on that evil little thing more than once a month… lol Besides, these fads tend to promote unhealthy habits rather than lifestyle changes and that’s just a recipe for failure. I’d be a bit more supportive of them if the goals weren’t to lose weight, but to put in so many fitness minutes or eat so many veggies.

By the way, you look awesome! Go you! 🙂
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Mreed February 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

It is not for the people who are fit. It is for the Obese who need help and need motivation. If you are in shape or bulking why would you consider it? You could host one and help the people who need to lose for health reasons.

~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

Thanks for the comment, Mreed!

But is weight a measure of health?

Look at the participants.. they are not all obese who have a medical need to drop pounds. Many of the people who do them are the kind that need to “shed the last 15#” or whatever.. where if you are taking care of your body, eating right, moving, you may or may not change the number on the scale.

You can drop two sizes or lose inches and weigh the exact same.

Christina June 25, 2015 at 8:47 am

I fully understand your article, but disagree with you on the benefits of diet bet. Diet bet is set up with people who are struggling with weight and need motivation to lose some lbs. It is not set up for fit people like you. Now it is obvious that when you weight train that muscle will build which in turns means weight. But if you are building muscle, then you are already at a fit place in your life.

jeremyrnr October 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Clearly dietbet is not gear towards the already fit, but for people that are 50-100 lbs or more overweight. It seems more that you are furious at the scale than dietbet.

~jenniferlynn October 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for the comment. I have seen many petiole, health/fitness bloggers doing the diet bet to lose 5-10# which I don’t see as the target market but that’s what I’ve been exposed to.

I honestly wish I weighed more so nope, scale is no concern ?

Alyssa October 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

As someone who just won my first DietBet, I have to disagree with you on this. Sure you gained weight once you started working out. You barely weighed anything to begin with! Which good for you! That really is awesome. But I just had my second baby 4 months ago and gained more than enough weight. So yes, I do have a goal weight I’d like to get back to. I understand your thoughts that the scale shouldn’t determine health. But for those of us that need to lose 15-20 lbs, it can be a good indicator and motivator. And not everyone is bothered by the scale. I judge my health by how I feel and look. But DietBet was a great way to stay motivated as I wanted my money back! lol And it was a great group of people I did it with that were extremely encouraging. So while it isn’t for everyone, maybe don’t put it down so much. It is geared for those that actually need to lose weight.

~jenniferlynn October 29, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for the constructive comment, Alyssa! I can totally see your point, but have seen so many people who are caught up for the wrong reasons. I will admit since writing this I have a slight shift in mindset where I can respect people’s goals whatever it is, as long as it’s promoting health and not detriment!

Anonymous February 19, 2016 at 5:35 am

That’s why the game isn’t for everyone. Some people are looking to loose weight and some to gain muscle. It’s good you have your opinion and your own plan for what you desire but some people do do this in a healthy way (I do it and loose 2 lbs a week which is what’s healthy and not just for 28 days. It helps build a healthy habit and I think it’s it’s an awesome motivation for those who fit into exactly what the game entails; loosing weight.

~jenniferlynn April 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

Thanks for the comment; yes, I definitely can see how it can be the motivation that some people need!

Jim F March 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm

I disagree with you, but you may enjoy a quote from an old book by Covert Bailey, “Fit or Fat?”, where he tells this story: Suppose you were to come home from the supermarket and tell your spouse, “Honey, I’m SO excited! I just paid $5 for 10 whole pounds!”. Surely, your spouse would want to know, 10 pounds of *what*? Similarly, if someone says they just lost 10 pounds, a reasonable question to ask would be: 10 pounds of *what*? So losing 10 pounds on the scale can be good or bad, depending on how much fat you’re losing and how much muscle you’re gaining or losing. DietBet just provides some motivation; whether you use it wisely or foolishly is up to you. DietBet now has a 10% in 6 months “transformer” bet that I think is more amenable to those of us who want to get both lean and strong, and to try to get back into the fitness habit again. I’m back down close to my ideal weight again, just ran a 10k, am lifting 4 days a week, and was able to do the upper body program that I used to do 22 years ago! dietBet can be a good way to lose weight and get your fitness back on track, but what you lose and what you gain is up to you.

~jenniferlynn April 7, 2016 at 10:42 am

Thanks for the comment, Jim! Yeah, what a great quote! 😀

I guess being in the “healthy blogger” sphere, I’ve seen too many people for which it could turn into a downward spiral, but do understand sometimes that is what people need to stay motivated!

Congrats on the progress!!!

Cp July 25, 2016 at 3:57 am

You’re absolutely right that since you cannot directly control the number on the scale, you’re running a risk doing a dietbet. Not everyone’s body reacts predictably to dieting.

You’re also right that people who are already a healthy weight, like you, absolutely do not need it. You needed to gain weight. 130 pounds is a healthy weight for *me* and I’m 5 inches shorter than you!

I’d also say that their goals of 4% weight loss over a month are too ambitious for people who are obese, like me. That goal would require me to lose 2 pounds a week. That’s fast weight loss. And probably unsustainable. If I were much heavier, a 4% weight loss would be unhealthy fast.

So dietbet games might be appropriate for a narrow segment of overweight people. 4% in a month is not a healthy or sustainable goal for obese people who really do need to lose weight. I might try a 6 month game when I’m done breastfeeding. It calls for slower weight loss.

I would prefer goals like: lose 1 pound a week subtracted from your current weight (a sustainable weight loss speed), or lose a certain number of inches around the waist (it would make more sense for this to be a percentage instead of weight), or number of servings of fruits and vegetables.

~jenniferlynn July 25, 2016 at 7:26 am

I agree! Thanks for visiting! ?

I hear now they are doing more activities based games too, but I like your program idea!

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