I realize this probably looks like a scam, but there's actually a company out there that will bet against you losing weight - and they'll pay you if you drop the pounds and win the bet. It's legitimate - but beware - so is the fact that they're betting and winning on the fact that Americans struggle with weight-loss goals.

Here's how it works with a company called Healthy Wage.

Visit their website and select the amount of weight you'd like to lose and how many months it will take you to reach your goal. I inputted 50 pounds in 6 months. Then it asks you how much you'd like to wager. In other words, how much will you bet per month that you'll reach your goal and actually lose the 50 pounds within 6 months. I selected $100 per month. Then, the website or app (whichever one you're using) calculates the bet based on all sorts of factors, including age, weight, health, etc.

Screenshot from HealthyWager.com
Screenshot from HealthyWager.com

If you don't like the payout or the terms, you can alter your bet until you're comfortable with it. Then - go ahead and place the bet.

My bet would work this way. I'd have 6 months to lose 50 pounds. If I met the goal, I would win $1,099.12. The website usually pays out via a check or directly into your bank account within 3 days.

Is there a catch?

Well, it's all self explanatory if you read carefully. First, you will have to weigh-in at the beginning and at the end. They have a way of verifying that you're really weighing yourself accurately.  If you win, you really do get paid, but you really don't win $1,099.12. You really win $499.12, because remember - you have to pay $100 a month to keep the bet active. And remember, if you don't reach your goal as set forth in the terms of the bet, you'll lose your $600 investment and win nothing.

Really, there isn't a catch. I assume people use this as the ultimate incentive to make sure they stick to a diet. The site also claims you can win up to $10,000 - but I assume you have to lose a huge amount of weight to win that money.

The site also has group challenges and jackpot contests to lose weight. In one promotion, you bet and if you lose the weight, you share the jackpot with all of the participating contestants. I'm not sure I would be comfortable not knowing how much I could actually win.

The company claims to have been around since 2009 and since then, has paid out more than $9 million.

The company is legit and does seem to be the incentive some people need to be able to stick to a plan and lose the weight. If it's for you - have at it. They have a pretty amazing track record. Personally, I think I can lose the weight without investing in a wager like this. Can you imagine losing 48 pounds and in the end losing $600. That's a real possibility.

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