A new year, a new diet approach — make money from weight loss?

January is traditionally the biggest diet month of the year as people who stuffed themselves during the year-end holidays resolve to drop some pounds. I’m in that group this year and I found a new incentive to help — making some money.

Toward the end of last year, I received a press release from a website that runs weight-loss contests with cash prizes. I’d never heard of such a thing, so I immediately checked it out, it’s called HealthyWage.com.

HealthyWage offered $5,000 in prizes for a special free contest; the goal is to drop at least 6% of your weight by March 13.

I downloaded the app and did an official weigh-in which included having to photograph myself in a full-length mirror, not a pleasant task.

I thought I was supposed to get some sort of coaching, or at least weight-loss tips, but haven’t seen anything as yet. Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is affiliated with the site, I’d hoped to hear from her.

I did my official weigh-in on Dec. 19. I was at a very unhealthy 223.3 I’m six feet tall, so I should be between 165 and 185, depending on which site I visit to calculate ideal weight.

My personal goal is to get under 210 to lessen stress on my heart and hopefully bring down my blood pressure a bit.

The site’s press release says, “wellness gamification pioneer HealthyWage, founded in 2009, offers a range of individual and team diet challenges with some paying out as much as $10,000. The company’s diet contests and challenges are founded on substantive research and “double-incentivization” methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight-loss programs.”

It also apparently makes money from people betting on themselves to drop pounds.

That really seems like a fool’s bet.

As for me, I developed a cold (not Covid, I’ve tested twice for that since I first got sick about eight days ago) as January started and so haven’t been eating much. I’m down to 220 pounds as of January 17th.

Six percent of my starting weight for the contest would mean dropping 13.38 pounds in the next two months. That feels ambitious, my personal goal is a pound a week which will take me past mid-March.

Wish me luck!

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