One of my clients participated in several DietBet weight loss challenges, and I was intrigued by the program. I thought an extra motivator might help me curb my love of sweets and help me drop a few pounds that I had gained during the winter.
DietBet is a program where you pay a fee and have a set time period to lose four percent of your body fat (or more - depending on what program you sign up for). If you reach your goal, you get your money back and a share of the pot. You submit beginning and ending weigh-in pictures with an app-generated word next to the scale (as well as full body pictures on the scale). The rest of the experience is up to you.
I think this type of program might be a good catalyst for many people, but this is what I didn’t like about it:
1. I was focused on a number – not overall health. As I got closer to my final weigh-in date, I cut back on my calories to reach a number. However, I had no intention of continuing my eating habits once the competition was over. Instead of making sustainable changes, I was just doing short-term calorie restrictions. Consuming too few calories actually slows down your metabolism, so this approach was completely wrong.
2. I couldn’t wait to be done, so I could splurge on some of my favorite treats. A week of splurging demolished anything I accomplished in the previous month. Plus, it reinforced the yo-yo eating habit that is detrimental to our bodies.
3. I found myself delaying social activities until I was done with the competition. This is not a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, it’s what’s wrong with restrictive diets and drastic changes to your lifestyle. Your eating habits should be sustainable.
4. Sustainable, healthy weight loss should be slow and maintainable. This competition made me feel like I was sprinting during the last week. I was trying to reach a number that was not accurate. It’s what I weighed at one point during one day.
Verdict: I think this challenge works for some people, but it was disastrous for me. Not to mention I lost my $30 – I was .2 pounds away from my goal. Sigh.
What I learned about myself is that I am happy to eat healthy but need some wiggle room. If I am too strict with my diet, I rebel. I lost sight of my overall health goals because I was so obsessed with a silly number on the scale. I became everything I hate about fad diets.
If you have tried DietBet or are considering it, comment below. I want to hear about your experiences!
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