How to Make Money Online by Losing Weight (Not as Crazy as it Sounds)
It may seem a little unusual for me to write a blog post about losing weight. It’s a bit outside the scope of what I usually write about.
But…I came across a way where you can make a little bit of money by losing weight, so why not, right?
This certainly isn’t for everyone, because not everyone needs to lose weight. I don’t need to lose weight (I’m not obese or anything), but I’m probably close to being overweight, so I can definitely stand to lose 10-20 pounds. Add that to the fact that I’m having a beach wedding in about 8 months, so it couldn’t hurt to shed a few pounds for the pictures that I may look at once and never again.
Allow me to explain exactly what I’m referring to…
Betting On Your Weight Loss
Some people require an extra push when it comes to losing weight. Losing weight for the sake of losing weight isn’t always enough of a motivating factor.
Take me, for example. I’m 6 feet tall, and was around 195 pounds when I started this little weight loss challenge. I’m nowhere close to being “skinny,” but 195 lbs. at 6 feet isn’t exactly “fat” either. However, it’s not my ideal weight when it comes to being as healthy as I can be.
Because I don’t feel or really look overweight, I never quite had the motivation to lose weight, even though my ideal weight is closer to 175 lbs.
So, I came across something called HealthyWage.
HealthyWage is a website that allows you to bet against your own weight loss. There is money to be made if you can win your bet (you can get a return of 10%+), but the bigger motivation is to not lose the money that you’ve wagered.
How It Works
It’s a very simple process.
First, you fill out some basic information about the weight loss challenge that you want to take on.
Your prize is based on how much you choose to wager, your current weight, how many pounds you want to lose, and the duration of the challenge. I don’t believe they’ll give you much of a prize for saying you want to lose two pounds in a year (as an extreme example). It needs to actually be somewhat challenging.
Next, you fill out your basic information. Yes, of course you have to give them your e-mail address and some other personal information, but as I’ll explain below, this is a very legitimate business, and you can feel safe knowing that they aren’t going to run off with your money.
Before the challenge officially begins, you need to verify your current weight. After all, if they didn’t have a way of verifying your current weight, people would surely abuse the system.
They offer a couple ways of verification. The easiest way (and it’s what I did), is that you take a very short video of yourself weighing in on a scale (<30 second video clip). They have specific instructions for how the video must capture your weigh-in, but it’s very easy to do. I did it with the camera on my iPhone.
If you don’t want to record a video of yourself, you can visit a fitness or health professional and have them fill out a form that verifies your current weight.
The Exact Details of My Challenge
I went into this whole thing with a goal of losing 20 lbs. Although I was around 195 lbs., I decided to start the challenge in the evening after dinner, when I’m typically at my heaviest point in the day. It may only add a couple pounds, but it gives me a little room for error when it comes to actually beating this challenge.
Here’s where everything stands right now:
As you can see, I started at 197 lbs, and I’m currently at 190 lbs. You’re not required to continuously update your weight – you just need to do an official weigh-in within a week or two of the end date. I’ve set my end date to be 10/21/14.
Also, you don’t need to bet all of your money up front. In my case, I’m wagering $30/month for 8 months. That’s $240, to win $266.67. So, aside from the motivation of NOT losing the $240 I bet, I stand to win $26.67.
Depending on your tolerance for risk, you can bet a lot more than I have, or bet that you’ll lose more weight over a different time period, and you can stand to win a lot more than I do. It’s calculated based on all the different variables that you control.
Is It Legitimate?
I can definitely understand the concerns of legitimacy – people are wondering, “Will they actually pay out?” “How can a company like this make any money?”
Regarding the second question, I think it’s pretty simple how they make money. In addition to sponsors (which may be enough on its own to make the business profitable), the company also makes money on everyone who doesn’t win their challenge. I have to imagine that there are a lot of people who go into this with the best of intentions, and ultimately lose.
In my situation, they only stand to lose $26.67 if I win, but if I lose, they make $240. And for me, losing 20 lbs. is no small feat. I haven’t weighed 177 lbs. in probably close to 10 years. I may be down 7 lbs. already, but those were the easy pounds. The next 13 lbs. will be a struggle to lose, but I’m up for the challenge.
Now, for the question of, “Will they actually pay out?” In short, yes, they will. Before I jumped into this, I did some research online to see what I can find out about the company. There have been numerous reports of people who have been paid already, outside of the testimonials shown on HealthyWage’s website. Also, they have been featured on several national TV news/media programs.
Here’s a clip from Good Morning America:
According to an article on Yahoo! Finance, it looks as though there have been many corporate groups who have gotten on board with this challenge too:
“In 2011 the company secured over 250 high-caliber corporate participants, including General Electric, CDW, New York & Company, Healthfirst, and many large hospitals, health systems, insurers, school districts and municipal governments throughout the U.S. seeking to bolster their corporate wellness initiatives.”
The article also mentions that, in 2011, HealthyWage paid out nearly $500,000 in winnings. I know 2011 was a long time ago, but the fact that they are still around 3+ years later is a pretty good sign that they are running a legitimate operation.
More importantly, there are many people who have written (on forums and whatnot) about their experience actually being paid by HealthyWage. Here are a couple snapshots from the forum on Slickdeals.net, where people were discussing HealthyWage:
If you look hard enough, you will find skeptics who think this is some sort of ponzi scheme, but the fact of the matter is, it’s a profitable business model. The company can make money without relying on new participants feeding money to pay off older participants. They make money with sponsors and the wagers from the people who lose.
I’m In. Are You?
As I mentioned before, I started my challenge a little over a month ago. For me, this really isn’t about the little bit of money I’ll earn – it’s about having an additional incentive to lose weight and be healthier. This isn’t for everyone, but I think if you’re someone who has a lot of weight to lose, you can use something like this to your advantage.
(This is my referral link, and by signing up under my link, you’ll add a little bit of money to my reward. I’ll only get it if I win my challenge!)
I’ll probably post an update when I get closer to completing the challenge later this year, if anyone here finds this interesting.
Is this something you’d be willing to try, or have already tried? Please leave a comment below – I’m really interested in hearing what you have to say.