Reporting Paula Ebben
BOSTON (CBS) – Shedding pounds is a reward all on its own. But, what if you also had money to motivate you to stick to your weight loss goals?
With HealthyWage.com, people are now dieting for dollars.
Erika Johnsson and Jason Coy of Waltham lost nearly 80 pounds combined and gained $1,200. The couple teamed up with 3 other family members to compete against more than 100 other groups and took the third place prize.
“I needed to lose weight. I wanted to be healthier and have a better life,” says Erika.
Healthy Wage is a unique competition to jump-start weight loss. Dieters pay to be part of the program. If you don’t hit your weight loss target, you lose your money. If you succeed, you’ll get your own money back and then some.
Jason Coy found out about the program through his job.
“I immediately thought this is perfect. This will get me into gear to lose weight to get myself healthy,” said Coy.
Jason and Erika placed a $60 wager and came up big.
But, you don’t need a team to try Healthy Wage. For $100, anyone can sign up for the challenge.
You’ll make double that back for losing 10 % of your weight in six months.
Sean Geddes, a personal trainer at Wellbridge Athletic Club, thinks it’s a great idea, but worries the money may only be a short-term motivator. Geddes hopes the personal investment will be enough to get people hitting the gym.
“You invest money, you become attached to something, you’re going to keep doing it,” said Geddes.
Using money as a weight loss strategy may be a good bet, especially for men. Of the men competing in the Healthy Wage program, 63% were able to hit their weight loss goals and win the cash prize compared to just 15% of the women.
Jason admits the reward was key to getting him involved.
“I think the money was the biggest part of it,” said Jason.
While the money also motivated Erika, she knows it really kept Jason on target.
Along with hopeful dieters, hospitals and government agencies also ante up some money to the program. They’re betting that people, like Erika and Jason, will make healthier choices when chasing a cash reward.