Lose Weight, Win a Lottery?


scaleFor some people it’s a cute new dress or swimming suit. For others it’s the ability to keep up with their kids as they run from one activity to another. And for others the number on the scale is motivation enough. When my husband and I were newly married and in the midst of gaining the “newlywed 19,” we were competitive enough with each other that we drove each other to get back down to a healthy weight. Everyone has something that will drive them to lose weight, become active, or stay healthy. If the source of inspiration still hasn’t found you yet, consider entering a program in which the biggest losers vie for a pot of money.

The twist: some of that money has to be yours!

The American College of Cardiology reports that in a year-long study of four weight-loss groups, two with financial incentives and two without, the most successful group the one that lost the most and kept it off was the group that not only received a “modest” financial reward ($20) for every month in which they met their weight loss goals, but also had to pay a similar amount for every month they didn’t meet their goals. At the end of the year, those who completed the study were then able to compete in a lottery for the collected cash.

It may not be as big and dramatic as winning a million dollars on national tv, but hey, if it works, it works! So if you still haven’t found the motive that speaks to you, talk to some friends or neighbors, maybe a church group or co-workers. Find a group of competitors who are willing to join you in the challenge. Set up some monthly goals and an initial pot to pay out those who stay on top of the game. Then get to work!