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healthywage reviewIf you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know how difficult it can be.

From avoiding temptations to having no support network to decreasing motivation, losing weight is often a frustrating, lonely process. Not to mention how expensive it can get.

But what if there was a way you could find support and motivation along with financial incentives to stick to your weight loss goals and earn money at the same time?

Thanks to HealthyWage, there is.

What is HealthyWage?

HealthyWage is a weight-loss website that encourages users to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. They do this by providing financial incentives and cash prizes, social motivation, positive peer pressure, and competitions. Users can participate as individuals or as part of a team.

Participants can use whatever diet or fitness plan they want; HealthyWage doesn’t provide those. However, they do encourage healthy weight loss and for team challenges, only allow teams to lose up to 16.6% of their total weight. Individuals can lose more if they chose, but limits are placed on how much counts towards the final goal.

Is HealthyWage Legit?

HealthyWage is a completely legitimate company.

Since its inception in 2009, HealthyWage has been featured on a number of national news and media sources, including Good Morning America, NPR, and NBC’s Today Show. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with zero identified complaints. There are only 60 customer reviews, but most of them are positive.

How Does HealthyWage Work?

To participate with HealthyWage, you make a bet on your weight loss and then compete against others – either as an individual or as part of a team – to achieve that goal. If you reach your goal, you will money. If you don’t, you lose and don’t get to share in the winnings.

1. Determine Your Prize Amount by Using the HealthyWage Prize Calculator

The first step is to use the Healthywage calculator to determine how much weight you want to lose (must be a minimum 10% of your starting weight), how much money you’re willing to bet ($5 to $995 per month), and how long you need to reach your goal (6 to 18 months).

You’ll also need to provide your gender, height, and current weight. HealthyWage requires you to create a username and password before they’ll tell you the estimated prize amount. You can also use your Facebook account to log in and obtain the prize amount information.

You can play with the numbers using the Healthywage calculator until you’re satisfied with your prize, which can be up to $10,000.

2. Sign Up for an Account to Place Your Bet

Once you’ve created an account and are satisfied with your prize amount, you can place your bet. In this step, you’ll need to provide your payment information and select if you’d like to pay in monthly installments or all at once.

Team challenges require a monthly $25 fee if you’re participating through a company, and $33 per month if you’re joining a randomly assigned team.

3. Verify Your Weight

In order to begin your challenge, you’ll need to have your weight verified. In fact, you’ll need to do this at least twice — once when you place your bet and again at the end of your wager period.

The site says that you can verify your weight at your gym, with your doctor, or at a Weight Watchers meeting. If you don’t belong to a gym or Weight Watchers, you can arrange a free visit with one of their partners, with no obligation to join. You can also verify your weight by using your at-home scale and submitting a photo through their app.

4. Lose Weight, Win Money

If you accomplish your weight loss goal, HealthyWage will pay you in cash. But if you don’t, your monthly contributions will be used to support HealthyWage and pay future winners.

If you don’t think the money alone will be enough motivation to help you succeed, then you may want to consider joining a team. HealthyWage gives you the option to create your own team of five or be put on a random team with other users looking to lose weight.

Related: How to Meal Prep and Lose Weight for Under $50 per Week

Other Ways to Earn with HealthyWage

In addition to the individual challenges, there are other ways to win money with HealthyWage.

Team Challenges

Team Challenges comprise a big part of HealthyWage’s challenges. They encourage people to form their own team of friends, family, or co-workers, or even join a random team of strangers looking to lose weight and earn money.

For team challenges, your entrance fee allows you to compete for the cash prizes, and HealthyWage states that if you lose 10% of your starting weight within six months of starting, you can get your registration fee reimbursed. The top prize awarded to teams is $10,000.

Corporate Challenges

Similar to Weight Watchers at Work, HealthyWage offers a free program for employers and government contractors that work like Team Challenges.

If you’re participating through your employer and two other teams register, your registration fee can be waived. HealthyWage also mentions that “if your company is already participating in the contest, you may be eligible for a discount on registration because some companies choose to cover part of the cost for employees who participate.”

Referrals

You can increase your earnings by referring others to the program. HealthyWage will pay $40 for every friend or family member you refer who joins a challenge. If they sign up during the first ten days of your challenge, your referral bonus increases to $100.

Participate in Multiple Challenges

To maximize your earnings with HealthyWage, you can participate in multiple challenges at once. Users are permitted to do a Team and HealthyWager challenge simultaneously, along with step and jackpot challenges, up to ten challenges.

However, you can’t have two simultaneous individual weight-loss bets. You can only have one HealthyWager individual weight loss bet at a time

HealthyWage FAQs

If you’re new to using HealthyWage, you might have some questions about how it works, if it’s safe, and how your money is used.

How is the Prize Calculated?

It’s not entirely clear how your prize is calculated. The information you enter into the HealthyWage Prize Calculator, along with other variables like time of year and BMI, is run through a proprietary algorithm that determines how much you’ll win.

The algorithm is constantly being updated and improved, so two people in similar situations could receive different prize offerings. But once you commit, your prize amount is set — there’s no turning back.

Is HealthyWage Safe to Use?

Yes. Payment made to HealthyWage is secure and is not stored in their system. Personal information like weight isn’t shared with teammates or employers, although they can see your percentage of weight loss.

How Can They Afford to Pay People for Losing Weight?

According to their site, HealthyWage is “financially supported by insurers, health systems and hospitals, food companies, and the government. Government and corporate leaders know that incentives work and are a cost effective solution”.

And although money is a great motivational tool, not everyone wins their bet. For non-winners, HealthyWage keeps the monthly wager set at the beginning of the challenge.

How Much Money Can I Win with HealthyWage?

The most you can win during a team challenge is your share of a $10,000 prize.

For individual challenges, your prize depends on your wager, personal data, and other variables. However, once you make a bet, your prize amount is guaranteed and won’t change.

Is HealthyWage Effective for Helping Me Lose Weight?

Yes. HealthyWage is effective in helping people lose weight. While they don’t provide pre-made meals or fitness plans, they offer financial incentives, social accountability, and other tools to keep people motivated and on track to reach their weight loss goals.

Does HealthyWage Give Refunds?

Once a challenge has begun, HealthyWage doesn’t issue refunds unless it is due to medical reasons or a pregnancy. Refunds can be issued prior to a challenge start date.

How and Why HealthyWage Works

It’s easy to say that HealthyWage works because of the financial incentives, and while that’s true, it’s more than that. The social and accountability aspects also provide encouragement and motivation. Team Challenges foster a sense of community and positive peer pressure because the feeling of not wanting to let someone else down is a powerful motivator.

Thanks to the 40,000+ member Facebook group, you’re never really alone when you’re participating in a HealthyWage challenge.

DollarSprout’s Marketing Coordinator, Noah Riggs, found the forums especially helpful when he participated in HealthyWage challenges. He said that it’s a supportive community of really great people and that just reading the forums was motivating.

Noah, who states that he is financially motivated and feels pressure when money is on the line, participated in the main HealthyWager challenge along with four other smaller challenges.

He lost one but won four, with his total winnings adding up to $1,884 (minus monthly payments to remain in the challenge). He said that if you’re losing weight legitimately and on a schedule, then the smaller challenges are a great idea; just make sure to keep a schedule of when to weigh in. You don’t want to miss any weigh-ins and possibly forfeit your prize winnings.

HealthyWage Alternatives

If you find that you’re not incentivized by placing bets on your weight loss goals, there are some other options for you to use either independent of or in conjunction with HealthyWage.

DietBet

DietBet is another weight-loss platform that incentivizes people to reach their weight loss goals by wagering money. It works like HealthyWage in that you can join individual or team challenges, create your own, and win money.

They have different levels of challenges, Kickstarter and Transformer, and Maintainer. You can pick which one you want to join based on where you are in your weight-loss journey.

You only have to verify your weight via a photo that is uploaded on their website. There’s no option for visiting a gym, doctor’s office, or Weight Watchers location.

You can learn more about DietBet, how they prevent cheating, how they protect your privacy, and more by visiting their site.

Make Your Own Weight Loss Bet

If you don’t want to use a website or an app, you can follow the same rules and procedures of HealthyWage by starting an in-person challenge with your friends, co-workers, neighbors, or family members. It would be up to you to set the terms, rules, conditions, time limits, and track weigh-ins and weight-loss totals. You’d also have to find a way to gather the money from everyone and store it until the challenge is over.

It is Possible to Lose Weight and Make Money

HealthyWage is real, effective, legitimate way to get paid to lose weight. Its use of financial incentives, social support, goal-setting, technology, and your own personal health and wellness record, empowers you to live a healthier life.

However, it does come with some risk. Be smart and realistic about how much you can afford to wager, as well as your chances of winning your bet. If you overextend yourself or are unrealistic about time frames, you could wind up losing money rather than winning it.

Author

Hi, I'm Zina! I'm a personal finance expert with a passion for helping millennials figure out their most pressing financial issues. My interest is personal -- I paid off my student loans in three years and have been helping others take control of their finances ever since. My work has been featured in the Washington Post, Fox Business, Time, Quicken Loans, LendingTree, Forbes, Money.com, Mint, and many more.  I currently live in Indianapolis, IN with my husband and two dogs.

32 comments
Mo

Their offer confused me. I showed two different amounts. And do you literally pay per month or only at the end of you don’t make your goal? I was hoping for some clarification.

Hey Mo,

Not quite sure I follow about the two different amounts part, we may need some more details there. As far as paying goes, you can pay monthly or all at once (they’ll give you the option to do either). Hope that helps with the second question.

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi MO. Thanks for the questions.

I believe the two different amounts that you referenced is the Prize Range which you’ll see on Step 1 of the calculator. Since prizes are customized based on your personal details, you’ll need to proceed through Step 2 of the calculator. You’ll answer 4 personal questions and then see your offer. You’ll be able to try different variations of goal, length, and wager amount to see different prize offerings. There’s no obligation to play with the calculator, so have fun with it!

As for your second question about payments, Ben’s response is correct.

Please reach out to us at info@healthywage.com if we can answer any other questions for you. Thanks!

John

To make sure I understand, If my bet is $10,000, I have the option to pay up front or monthly and if I hit my target weight loss then I will be refunded the $10,000 that I paid plus $10,000 for a total of $20,000. Is that correct?

No, not quite. You’re not refunded your original payment per se. You win the prize as calculated by their algorithm (which will exceed your original bet by some figure). Typically bets that are short(er) in duration with the highest percentage of body weight loss will earn the highest possible ROI.

A 6-month bet for 30% total body weight loss at $X/month will yield a greater ROI than an 18-month bet at 30% total body weight loss. The algorithm operates in a manner that the higher the risk, the higher the ROI you can earn on your bet.

Your goal should be to find an healthy weight loss goal that is realistic enough to meet, but rewarding enough to possibly offset the monetary risk of not sticking to your bet.

Laura

If I bet $$ for 6 months then stop participating after 3 months, I’m obligated to pay the $$ for the duration of the contract ( another 3 months)?

Hey Laura,

I’m not 100% sure about that one — I’d imagine your bet would immediately be void and they would collect the 6 months you had paid to date (but presumably not the final 3 months).

If Kate checks back in she may be able to let you know for sure or you can reach out to info@healthywage.com and they’ll be able to help clear that up.

Keli

So, I might have come up with one little problem – What if I wager $2500 that I can lose 50lbs… and then go enroll at Weight Crafters or Pritkin… and then use my winnings to pay for my weight loss camp stay? … If everyone did that, HealthyWage would go bust in no time flat.

Well, to be fair, your winnings won’t be paid out until after you successfully complete the bet, which means you’d have to front the cash for those weight loss services. If you’re serious about losing a significant portion of your body weight, excellent dieting is the expectation, so it’s not really a workaround 🙂 You’re going to have to do it regardless!

That said, you’ll have double the monetary motivation to succeed so you should be EXTRA motivated!

Betty

Hi I’m 57 this February and am thinking of joining, but I’m skeptical ?? if I bet and go forward with contract and decide I can’t do it, does it end there? And like someone else said, what is my cost? Less say I bet 30.00 for 6 months and then after say 3 months I quit what happens?

Misty

Do they keep your money and give your own back to you as the payment or match it? Also, is it one lump sum at the end of your time period or if you have an off month and gain will you lose your prize?

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Laura. We believe strongly that an important part of the service we provide is a negative reinforcement that helps you avoid procrastinating and quitting, which would be undermined if you could simply change your mind or find an excuse to quit. Moreover, our pricing is based on actuarial models that assume no refunds. There are no exceptions except in rare, evidence-documented medical situations.

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Betty, my answer for you is the same as for Laura. We believe strongly that an important part of the service we provide is a negative reinforcement that helps you avoid procrastinating and quitting, which would be undermined if you could simply change your mind or find an excuse to quit. Moreover, our pricing is based on actuarial models that assume no refunds. There are no exceptions except in rare, evidence-documented medical situations.

As far as the cost goes, the only associated cost is the amount you select to wager. Your wager amount needs to be a minimum of $100 over the life of your challenge and you get to select how long you’d like that to be. (ex: if you select a 10-month time frame for your challenge, you’d need to wager at least $10/month.) You can choose to pay all at once or in monthly installments.

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Misty. Your prize equals your wager amount + your profit amount. Your profit will be anywhere from 11% to 300% based on a number of personal factors. You’ll see what your exact prize would be in Step 2 of our prize calculator. Many of our winners more than double their money!

There are no monthly goals that you are required to meet. If you hit your goal by the end of your challenge, you’ll win your full prize.

Roz

Can you join if you live in the UK? Is there a UK site or would I join US site and convert $to£

Vanessa Jimenez

What would happen if you were to end up pregnant during your wager?

Danielle Jones-Montalvo

Hello,
Is there any disqualifying reasons to win your prize if you loose the weight. For example there is a weight loss program called Burn Fat Orlando that I wish to aide in my weight loss journey while also participating with Healthywage at the same time.
Can I do both simultaneously and still win my wager & prize from Healthywage?

Debra Johnson

How and when do you receive your prize if you win?

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Roz, you can absolutely join from the UK. Here are our full Residency Rules:

The HealthyWager is available to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America (including Mexico), Australia, and most of Europe and Asia. If you are participating through an employer, such as Halliburton, you are generally allowed to participate regardless of your location in the world. Unless you are participating through your employer, you may not participate if you are a resident of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan.

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Vanessa, Your challenge goes on hold the minute you think you might be pregnant. You can read more about how we handle pregnancy in our Rules here: https://www.healthywage.com/rules/healthywager-challenge-rules/ (Just look for the rule titled “Don’t participate while pregnant.”)

Kate @ HealthyWage

That’s absolutely fine, Danielle! How you choose the weight is up to you. You can read the full challenge rules here: https://www.healthywage.com/rules/healthywager-challenge-rules/

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Debra, After you submit your final verified weigh-in, verification occurs as soon as 1 day but never more then 7 days. Then, if you select PayPal for your payout method, you’ll receive the money within 3-5 days. If you select a check as your payout method, you’ll receive that in the mail within 1-3 weeks.

Suné

Can some one from South Africa join or not?

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi SUNÉ. Yes, you are welcome to join from South Africa!

Reina

I wouldn’t be competing with other people for the prize right?

Nope, you are just competing with you and yourself 🙂

Tammy Jordan

If I decided on 6 months to lose 50 pounds and lose it in 4, does that increase my winnings?

Kate @ HealthyWage

@Tammy Jordan – The earliest you can weigh-out for the challenge is 2-weeks prior to your end date even if you have met your goal early. We want to encourage weight loss and weight management over time. Our goal is to help you get the weight off and keep it off, develop new habits, and a new lifestyle over the course of your challenge. If you meet your goal early, you’ll just need to maintain or continue losing (as appropriate) until that weigh-out window opens. Hitting your goal early does not increase your prize.

Debra

Is it possible to do this in Australia and the UK?

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Debra! Yes, you can participate from Australia and the UK. HealthyWage is available to participants from nearly anywhere in the world. You can view our full Residency Rules here: https://www.healthywage.com/rules/healthywager-challenge-rules/

Kat W

This seems like a really interesting service, but I wonder how they stop people from lying about their weight in the beginning and end?

Kate @ HealthyWage

Hi Kat! Participants are required to submit a verified weigh-in at the start of the challenge and at the end. Verification is done via a video that includes certain steps. The video can either be created and submitted via our app or uploaded via our website. You can find out more about the video process and other weigh-in information here: https://www.healthywage.com/rules/video-verified-weigh-in-rules/

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