Dietbet has become really popular due to all the promotion it receives from celebrities like Jillian Michaels, as well as Instagram influencers. You may find people promoting 4-week “Kickstarters” or 6-month “Transformers” and be tempted to join in.
But what’s the true cost? Why join Dietbet games and is there really any advantage, or is Dietbet a scam? I’d like to talk about this a little more in-depth within this article, so keep reading if you want to know the truth behind this program.
What is Dietbet? How does it work?
Dietbet lets you make a bet on your weight loss, much like HealthyWage. The company that runs Dietbet is actually called Way Better, and they also own Stepbet and Runbet, which are quite similar only you bet on your activity instead of weight. (They have another app called Sweatbet, which is coming soon)
With Dietbet, there are 2 main types of games you can enter – Kickstarter and Transformer challenges.
You may find yourself joining in a challenge that was promoted by someone you know through Instagram, a celebrity, or even a family member. Actually, anyone can host Dietbet challenges but it’s pretty lucrative if you can get huge groups to join your game. For weight loss influencers and celebs, Dietbet can be a great source of income.
Dietbet has a couple of different challenges you can enter, but the most common one that’s promoted is called a Kickstarter, which is where you need to lose 4% of your body weight within a month.
If you think about 4% in terms of strictly body fat, that is quite a bit of weight to lose in 4 weeks. But learning more about how the weigh-in verification process works, apparently, it’s easy to “game the system” and just weigh in at night after a huge meal (or days of binging on junk and/or alcohol) to artificially inflate your starting weight, and then weigh out in the morning at the end of the bet, at your lowest weight.
Since your weight can fluctuate quite a bit just based on things like time of day, sodium, and water intake – you can probably “lose” quite a bit of weight just from weighing at a different time from your first weigh-in, vs the last.
Dietbet claims they don’t tolerate cheating and will flag accounts with unusual or suspicious weight activity. I would think that’d mean they would go after people who yo-yo, and play games month after month doing this very thing – just losing and gaining the same few pounds.
In doing some research, it seems that isn’t always the case though. After all, they are still making money regardless of if you’re doing this or not.
But considering the point is to lose weight and get healthier, you’re really only cheating yourself. Especially considering how little money you actually get playing these games!
What is the point of Dietbet? Why participate?
The reason people participate in Dietbet challenges is to give themselves accountability to lose some weight. Even though the stakes aren’t high, for many people just the thought of losing the money they invested is enough for them to stay motivated.
But there are other advantages to playing in Dietbet games. You also get access to a private team group for support, and anything additional your Dietbet host provides. Whoever is hosting a game can offer things like support, motivation, tips, recipes, and even prize giveaways.
Dietbet games are more done in an effort to not lose your money, rather than really “make money”. (In contrast, HealthyWage gives you an opportunity to really make a decent profit through their HealthyWager challenge if you’re willing to put down an investment).
Is Dietbet a scam though? This is how it works…
I wouldn’t really call Dietbet a scam, but it’s important to know how the program works before you put any money at stake. Maybe if more people did the math and realized what was going on, they’d think twice about joining in these games.
Dietbet has lots of games going on each month, both Transformers and Kickstarters.
Each game has a “pot” where all the entry fees go. They claim when the game ends, all the winners will split the pot. However, Dietbet takes out up to 25% of the total pot so, in many games, you’re only splitting 75% of the pot.
Anybody can host these games – there can be just a few people per game or thousands. The entry fee can be anywhere from $10 – $100 for a 4-week Kickstarter. Typically the sweet spot for winning the most money are games that cost around $30 – $35 to join in, according to frequent players.
Even so, you’re not talking about substantial wins. In a game where you bet around $30, you may see a “win” around $35 – $45.
So even in a good scenario, you’re looking at a $45 win, which means about a $15 profit. Many Dietbet players gain no money, even if they win. It’s also not uncommon to only profit two or three dollars per game!
While they have a “no-lose guarantee” (meaning you will win back your entry fee at the very least), it’s possible to lose money if you play a charity game, OR if they also pay the $5 Dietbet Membership fee (which is optional) since it’s not considered part of the entry fee.
Let me give you a hypothetical scenario. Consider a Kickstarter game that has a $200,000 pot and 60% of players win:
- If the entry fee was $35, that means there are about 5,714 people in the game
- At 60%, that’s 3,428 winners
- If Dietbet takes 25%, that’s $50,000. The 3,428 winners are now left to split $150,000 – which is about $43.75 per winner
- Each winner profits $8.75 (taking out the $35 entry fee) while Dietbet and the game host somehow split $50,000 (I don’t know the exact % is taken by Dietbet vs. the game host, but I know hosts can earn up to 20% of the pot for some games!)
And that’s just ONE game. Think of how many of these games are going on per month, how much you may be winning versus how much Dietbet and hosts are getting.
There are definitely people making big bucks with Dietbet, and it’s not you.
Unlike the Kickstarter, the Transformer challenge is a 6-month challenge in which you need to lose 10% of your body weight.
Dietbet has really strict rules in place to prevent “unhealthy weight loss” and so each month, you have to hit a % milestone in order to be considered a winner for that round.
- Round 1: must lose 3% of your body weight
- Round 2: you must lose 6% body weight
- Round 3: you must lose 8% body weight
- Round 4: you must lose 9% body weight
- Round 5: you must lose 10% body weight
- Round 6: maintain 10% body weight
If you don’t hit a milestone you are considered a loser for that round and won’t win anything. However, if you can lose 10% by round 6 you will still be considered a winner for the 6th round (as long as you’ve lost at least 6% by round 5).
To show an example, let’s say you weight 200 lbs:
- Round 1: Must have lost 6 lbs
- Round 2: Must have lost 12 lbs (an additional 6 lbs over month 2)
- Round 3: Must have lost 16 lbs (an additional 4 lbs over month 3)
- Round 4: Must have lost 18 lbs (an additional 2 lbs over month 4)
- Round 5: Must have lost 20 lbs (an additional 2 lbs over month 5)
- Round 6: Must maintain 20 lbs lost
Keep in mind each month is a cumulative weight loss, not the % you need to lose per month!
However I will say this seems oddly specific, and I would hope that this is just a generalized target rather than a strict guide because nobody loses weight at the same rate! I was unable to find the exact information about it on Dietbet’s website to clarify this though.
I know for me, personally, I’ve lost much more than that over 6 months in the past and my weight loss didn’t follow that pattern at all! These targets seem like they’re just setting up MOST people to fail specific rounds so Dietbet (and hosts) can make more profit.
Each game is a total gamble, and Dietbet and hosts are profiting from it
Here’s the thing that bothers me the most about all these Dietbet games – you’re not really guaranteed anything if you win. You could kick butt in the challenge and lose weight, yet win nothing but your entry fee back (or in some cases, even lose out on money if you paid the optional $5 fee).
Ultimately your efforts and results do not matter and you may win nothing. Even if you do manage to profit a few bucks with these games, Dietbet and the hosts are the ones who are really raking in the money here.
However, if you’re OK with that then there’s nothing wrong with participating in these games. If you like the games and think they’re fun, and get motivation and encouragement from other participants (and the hosts) then, by all means, this program isn’t really scamming you.
An alternative to Dietbet
A program I like a bit better than Dietbet is called HealthyWage. They have a personalized bet called a HealthyWager, which you can customize unique to your goals. It’s similar in the aspect you are still betting on your weight loss, however, you can win a much more substantial amount, and you actually know how much you’ll win in the end.
You’re not splitting a pot with anyone else and HealthyWage isn’t taking a cut of your bet.
(But you can still do Dietbet games AND a HealthyWager challenge if you wanna get real crazy – there are no rules against it!)
With the HealthyWager challenge, you are only placing a bet on yourself and you are guaranteed to win a certain amount of money if you win. How much will depends on a variety of factors, but you can win up to 3x the amount you bet! If you bet $600 (total) you could easily see a win around $2,000.
While the stakes are higher than with Dietbet games, in my opinion, it’s much more worthwhile considering it’s not a gamble if you lose the weight!
Obviously, if you lose, you get nothing back, but at least if you win you KNOW you’ll get a profit in the end and you’re not giving up a cut to any host or HealthyWage!