This post on Dietbets piggy backs off of an excellent pod cast from Gary Cantrell that just dropped today. It features Daryl from Your Level Fitness and between the two they blow the roof off of the mental and physical aspects of the weight loss game. If you haven’t listened to it yet, take the time to do it.
If you’re a member of our amazing weight loss community on Instagram, odds are you’ve either tried a dietbet, are currently in one, and/or have a number of people you know who love them.
That’s great if those participating in them are mentally capable of withstanding busting their butts all week to see a scale gain on weigh in day. The ability to step on the scale and take the reading for what it is, just a number, is a necessity in surviving these. They’re not so great if that’s not possible, which is the category I personally fall into.
Dietbets: they are not for me, and I learned that the hard way.
I’ve participated in two diebets, one that a popular weight loss figure hosts and a smaller one that my dear friend hosted. The first one was so mentally hard on me that I backed out within a week. I hung in the second one because I wanted to support my friend, but it wrecked my mental state for months after it was over.
For me, it sets the stage for an extremely unhealthy relationship with scale weight and self esteem.
I have worked so hard freaking hard the past 3 years to correct this behavior, and just 5 weeks of participating in these bets mentally set me back for months. Naturally to resist the negative thoughts, I didn’t weigh in for months after it was over which is something we also should not do. In fact, between this and my dad’s passing, I gained around 20lbs after my last diet bet experience.
Not everyone is like me though, so let’s go over the pros and cons of the dietbet world.
Pros of Dietbets
- Possibly winning money
- Finding a whole new support system
- Goal setting
These are all fantastic aspects of participating, if you can mentally handle the weigh ins. There’s a different tight knit community that can be found based around these month long bets and the support in them is what most of us need to succeed.
Cons of Dietbets
- Basing success on scale weight alone when we are not in 100% control of the reading
- An added layer of pressure to “lose weight” instead of focusing on making better choices and losing fat (which scales do not reflect)
- Having to weigh in after indulging, not drinking enough water, or being on your period – all of which (and more!) will effect scale weight
- Possibly losing money, even though you’re still progressing the way you should
- Comparing your success to others
- Feeling like a failure if you don’t win your portion of the pot
This list isn’t meant to scare you out of trying them, or to talk you out of liking them if you do. This list is based off of my experience and opinion only.
If you haven’t tried them and have been thinking about it, do it! You never know what will work for you unless you try something new. I made a list for first timers below, a list that I think will help prepare you for success.
Mental Check List Prior to Committing
- Know you are able to weigh in and take the number as only a number
- Do not base your self worth or satisfaction with progress on the scale weight alone
- Don’t compare your weigh in results to others
- Be ready to lose your money whether you lose weight or not