HealthCheck

New, powerful incentives to lose weight

Monday, April 01, 2013

You may not find this surprising, but financial incentives (money), can help people lose weight. Now, researchers at Penn say you'll lose even more weight if you do it as a team.

In a study, they found teams of co-workers splitting a cash bonus lost more than individual dieters doing it alone for the same reward. In fact, each group dieter lost an average of 2.5 pounds more.

Like many of us 24-year-old Kourtney Heichel is trying to shed a few pounds before bikini season.

"I like to work out," Heichel said, "but I also like to eat."

"I love trying new things to lose weight," she added.

This time around, Kourtney decided to try the Healthywage 10% challenge. You pay $150 to sign up. If you lose 10% of your weight in 6 months and keep it off, Healthywage pays you back $300 dollars.

"There is no way I am not going to do it after paying that money," Heichel laughs.

That's exactly the motivation that Heathywage is banking on.

"It gives you a reason to do it now so you can't procrastinate," says Jimmy Fleming, co-founder of Healthywage.

If you are looking for a little extra group support, The Weight Loss Challenge (call 267-294-8206) promises to help give you extra motivation to slim down.

Group founder Jennifer Kennedy believes rewarding dieters for their efforts pays off in a positive way.

Here's how this challenge works: Dieters pay $40 to join the 12 week slim down, part of which goes into the jackpot. Each week members weigh in; Those who gain weight, must put $1 per pound in the pot. If you don't show up at all, it'll cost you $5. In the end, the jackpot grows and the 3 biggest losers walk away lighter but with a heavier wallet.

Some of the latest participants can win they can win $325, $195 and $130 which is not chump change.

The Weight Loss Challenge meets both in Delaware County and Center City. Healthywage also offers other challenges including a group challenge where some payouts were as much as $18,000!

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