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IBM Digital Health Program Tracks Food Intake and Calories Burned

As a flurry of health- and weight loss-focused gadgets and mobile apps flood the market, I.B.M. (International Business Machines), is getting a slice of the pie – the diet pie, that is.

After more than 10 years of refining their concept for a program that utilizes data and analytics to help people make better health choices, the company’s patent has finally been approved. The program is very customizable and caters to all diets and lifestyles, and is fashioned around the idea that users can track their food consumption and calories burned to better manage their weight.

Once released, the program will be available in a variety of means, including computer, smart phone, and even watch. And it’s primary purpose is to help steer people toward better choices through awareness and incentives.

The concept for the program came to be after I.B.M  inventor Michael Paolini and a few fellow engineers were eating a greasy meal at Ruby Tuesday’s when they concluded it was their burger and fry diet that was leading to their fuller waistlines. And so, they decided it was time to drop a few pounds.

But instead of going it the traditional route, they decided to make it fun – and technical, as engineers do. So, they got to work on a program that not only enabled people to make healthier choices, but also inspired them to do so.

What they developed, says Paolini, is a program that was highly influenced by hybrid car technology, which shows drivers what their gas mileage is, and gives them a choice to drive in a way that’s either conducive or in-conducive to better mileage.

“It’s that mechanism that empowers the driver to make choices,” he says. “He could still put on the gas and go, but he could also change this technique. That’s the same kind of thing we’re doing here.”

In addition to showing users their calories in and calories out – or in a sense, their ‘gas mileage’ –  the program also includes incentives if they make positive choices. These incentives or ‘prizes’ include movie tickets and Farmville points, just for using the mobile app. But if companies implement the program for their employees – as they’re expected to –  prizes could mean cash or even lower insurance premiums, since healthier employees ultimately cost less.

The idea is simple: Incentivizing people to make better choices works. At I.B.M., for instance, employees can sign up for a health program, such as walking, and receive a $200 cash reward if they complete it within a certain window of time. Paolini says this pushes a person to the next step; and once they follow it, it encourages them to take it a step further.

In addition to mobile and online apps, I.B.M.’s program will also be available in device form. Paolini says it will be about the size of two watches put together, and users can wear the device on their arm to monitor their metabolism. They can also use it to also enter in the food they eat, and track how many calories they’re burning during exercise.

Having the device constantly available allows users to track their calories in and out, giving them more control over their everyday choices, weight, and ultimately, their health. ”With this feedback, it’s easier to change your behavior,” says Paolini. “Because without it, you’re left guessing what your progress is.”

Another benefit of the program is that it’s in near real time, which means information is almost up to the second and incredibly accurate. However, Paolini recognizes that, as with any other diet tracking program, there’s no guarantee that people will be honest about what they eat when using the I.B.M. program. It has to be built on trust, he says. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual utilizing the program. “You can strap an ankle bracelet on people if you really cared to, but I don’t think people would do that voluntarily.”

Still, Paolini is hopeful that the program will help bring about positive changes, both individually and corporately when it comes to people’s daily choices. Paolini himself used the program to lose 18 pounds, so he’s incredibly confident in its potential. As of yet there’s no official launch date, but we can expect the new program and mobile app to be available in the near future.

Also Read:

Weight Watchers Mobile iPhone App Specializes in Convenience

Just Jump It: An Easy Mobile Workout

Technology and Style Bring Biking to a Whole New Level


May 14th, 2012

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The Mediterranean Diet: The Secret to a Longer, Healthier, and Fuller Life

Ask me a question.

MICHIGAN, May 14, 2012 – Celebrities are promoting what are intended to be revolutionary dietary regimens that are supposed to be your prescription for health.  “Ripped in 30 Meal Plan,” “Dr. Oz 90-day Meal Plan,” and “The Ultimate Weight Solution” are all authored by celebrities who use colorful, magnetic language to market their products.  On the other hand, we have the Mediterranean Diet, named after the Mediterranean Sea, which is rich in tradition, and supported exhaustively by research and clinical studies which suggest that it increases longevity while warding off chronic disease.  More important, for centuries, those residing along the Mediterranean coast have adhered to this diet, and have enjoyed the best health among all people in the world.             

Did you know that the word diet originates from the Greek word diaita meaning “a way of life, a regimen”?   The Mediterranean Diet is exactly that – a mixture of lifestyle habits, eating patterns and cooking techniques used by these countries.  Greece, France, Spain, Italy, and parts of the Middle East constitute the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.  The land inhabited by these countries have some of the oldest cultures on Earth, so the diet has evolved over the years, but the basic staples of the diet remain unchanged. 

How does the Mediterranean Diet Differ from the American Diet?

Differences between the lifestyle habits of the European and Middle Eastern countries adhering to the Mediterranean Diet and that of the modern western world respectively is vast. 

We love processed foods; the aisles at our supermarkets are filled with canned soups, microwaveable meals, cereal, bread, and bottled beverages.  These manufactured foods are often replete with preservatives, artificial flavors, salt, and sugar.  Our food labels depict ingredients that are foreign to us-they sound like chemical compounds concocted in some alien laboratory by a bunch of tawdry scientists in lab coats. 

Common preservatives include Butylated Hydroxyanasole (found often in cereal), Sodium Nitrite (used to preserve meat), Sodium Benzoate (found in soft drinks). Although preservatives protect the food from mold and bacteria giving food a longer shelf-life, they are deleterious to our health.  Some potential side-effects of consuming these and other preservatives include cancer, allergic reactions, and nerve damage.

“Natural” is what the Mediterranean Diet promotes.  Those who reside along the Mediterranean coast rarely eat foods with chemically based preservatives or artificial flavors.  Instead, they eat fresh, whole foods.  The key components to the diet are fruits and vegetables (5-6 servings per day), along with olive oil (3-4 servings per day), as well as moderate intake of whole grains (from breads and cereal, rather than pasta).  They also frequently snack on nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, and almonds.  The residents of these countries also eat meat rarely, consuming about 3-servings of fish per week, and largely refraining from red meat all together.         

It is also noteworthy that a glass of red wine per day is common as well. That sounds a bit enticing, doesn’t it? 

With regard to cooking techniques, they generally do not use salt when preparing meals and they rarely fry foods.  We, on the other hand, frequent restaurants and fast-food joints that serve a hefty array of fried foods and high sodium -containing foods on their menu.  The insidious pleasures of fried foods are exploding waist lines around the country. 

You have probably now deduced some fundamental differences in our diet and the Mediterranean diet.  We eat red meat, they hardly do (they eat fish and seafood primarily).   We consume processed foods, they eat fresh foods.  We snack on chips and sweets, they snack on nuts.  We eat pasta regularly, they don’t.  We use salt to give flavor to our meals, they use herbs and spices.  We use vegetable oil, they use olive oil. 

But the Mediterranean diet is a way of life, as it should be, so it’s not confined to food, but stresses physical activity and social life as well.  Regular physical activity is something common among those residing in the Mediterranean countries.  In fact, many use walking or biking as their primary mode of transportation.  The cumulative effects of walking, biking, or even standing can prevent obesity, and help you get the recommended daily activity to help prevent illnesses.     

Read more about this here: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/life-line-healthful-habits-made-simple/2012/mar/31/how-commuting-revolution-could-help-counter-high-g/

Also, rather than wolfing down their food, they chew slowly, and appreciate their food.  Their meals are leisurely and long; social gatherings with family and others during meals are common and help them break away from daily stressors.  Eating slowly has numerous beneficial effects, with the largest benefits being that satiety signals are triggered in time to prevent you from overeating, and that food is digested much more efficiently. 

Read more about this here: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-eating-slowly-healthier-10849059.html?cat=5

Does the Mediterranean Diet Work?  How So?

Countless studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet increases longevity, and reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.  In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) sought to see how the Mediterranean diet would affect mortality rates in a cohort of elderly individuals aged 70-90 over a 10-year period.  This was one of the few studies to look at how the Mediterranean diet affected mortality rates associated with numerous maladies such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.  They determined that participants adhering to the Mediterranean Diet had a significantly lower rate of mortality (by 50%) in each of these categories.

Simply looking at the rates of heart disease in these Mediterranean countries and comparing them to the rates here in America is compelling enough to contemplate adopting the Mediterranean diet.  Fatalities from heart disease in America are nearly double that of the Mediterranean countries.  In the U.S., the rate is 106 deaths per 100,000 people, while in Greece, Italy, and France the rates are 68 deaths (or less) per 100,000.     

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly ¼ of Americans annually.  The two biggest risk factors for heart disease are inactivity and obesity.  Heart disease is often caused by a build-up of fatty deposits which causes a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain.  If the blockage prevents blood from going to the heart, you will have a heart attack, whereas, a blockage that prevents blood going to the brain leads to a stroke.  Both are fatal, yet preventable consequences.   

Just looking at some of the individual components of the Mediterranean diet will help illuminate how it can prevent heart disease while improving health.      

Fruits and vegetables, for example, are a great source of Vitamins A and C, and also have nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.  These are known to be rich in antioxidants-they protect the body from harmful free radicals, which have been shown to be linked to cancer and heart disease. The key to getting all of these in adequate amounts is to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, with the notion that their color bears on how much of each vitamin and nutrient they possess.  

Nuts are high in Vitamin E which is also an antioxidant.  They also have good fats, better known as mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, which have been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol).  A little secret about nuts that people do not know (and probably explains how those residing in these Mediterranean countries can eat smaller portions) is that they contain oils which help keep you feeling full.  That’s right-if you snack on them, chances are your appetite won’t be as ferocious.    

Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are that they keep the blood from clotting and reduce inflammation in the body.  Thus, fish reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and cholesterol elevation.  Omega-3 fatty acids are also considered “brain foods,” since they have been shown to improve memory, concentration, and attention, hence reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  This is because fish, or specifically Omega-3 fatty acids, are a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid that is found in high concentrations in the brain.

There are numerous diets on the market, the promoters of which make intriguing claims in their creative advertisements while using reputable people to advance their cause. But just as we should never judge a book by its cover, we should never judge a diet by who promotes it. 

The staple of the Mediterranean diet is its fresh foods packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber working collectively as a line of defense against heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.  Let the Mediterranean Diet act as your fortress-make it a way of life that supports your desire to live a longer, healthier, and fuller life.  A diet rooted in tradition and practiced for thousands of years with success most definitely will be the surefire way to better health.    


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Diet Chef launches in-home fitness plan to help you shape up for summer

Blitz your way to a perfect beach body. The clocks have gone forward, spring has sprung and it feels as though summer is well and truly on its way.


Blitz your way to a perfect beach body. The clocks have gone forward, spring has sprung and it feels as though summer is well and truly on its way. However, for women (and men) up and down the country those first rays of summer sunshine are joined by a familiar sense of trepidation; the dread of swimwear, specifically the bikini, and baring all (including those lumps and bumps) on the beach.

Home delivery diet brand, Diet Chef, is making it easier than ever to gain that summer body confidence with its Beach Body Blitz Summer Diet Hamper. Delivered directly to your home or office, the 28 day hamper priced at £240 includes chef-prepared main meals, snacks, lunches and breakfasts (subscriptions available from £195). To complement the calorie controlled eating plan, Diet Chef has come up with an easy 20 minute exercise plan created exclusively by top personal trainer, Kyle Andrews, which is available www.dietchef.co.uk/beach-body-blitz

Kyle says: “I’ve created a basic exercise regime that aims to strengthen, shape and tone the body in tandem with the Diet chef meal plan. The programme has been created with the beginner in mind and so all exercises can be carried out from the comfort of your own home – it really is that simple.”

Beach Body Blitz Workout Programme

Equipment: Exercise mat (optional), dumbbells (or substitute with a tin of beans or bottle of water from your kitchen cupboard)
Frequency: 3 x 20 minute workouts per week
Repetitions: 12-15 (of each exercise)
Circuits: 2-3 / no rest between exercises or circuits

1) Warm Up – walk on the spot for 60 seconds while clapping your hands above your head and behind your back
2) Jog on the spot for 10 seconds then walk for 10 seconds, repeat 5-8 times
3) Standing Squats – feet hip width apart, sit down to 90 degrees, stand back up (do not lock your knees)
4) Russian Chair – lean with your back against the wall, sit down to 90 degrees and hold for 20-60 seconds
5) Dumbbell Bent Over Rows – bend over and place one hand on the arm of a chair, lower the weight down until your arm is straight then pullback up
6) Dumbbell Shoulder Press – standing or sitting, push the dumbbells above your head then lower to just below your armpits (do not lock your elbows and breathe out when you push)
7) Lunges – take a big step forward lower your body down until your trailing leg nearly touches the floor, push off the front foot back to where you started then alternate legs (do not let your knee pass your toes)
8) Dumbbell Bicep Curls – standing up straight with your arms down by your side keep your elbows still and lift the weight up to your bicep
9) Tricep Dips – place your hands behind you on a chair or step. Keep your bottom close to your hands, sit down to 90 degrees then back up (do not lock your elbows)
10) Dumbbell Side Bend – standing up straight, reach down one side of your body as far as you can and then the other (do not twist your core)
11) Basic Crunches – lying on the floor with your legs at 90 degrees and your hands on your temples sit up and stop just before the small of your back comes off the floor. Lower back down until your shoulder blades touch the ground
12) Reverse Crunches – lying on the floor with your legs at 90 degrees then slowly bring your knees into your chest and gently lower your back down and repeat
13) Back Extensions – lying face down with your hands on your temples, slowly lift your upper body off the floor and back down.

Make sure you’re not stiff the day after exercising by completing your programme with these simple stretches:

1) Quad Stretch – holding on to your foot, pull one leg into your backside
2) Hamstring Stretch – with your legs straight, reach for your toes
3) Calf Stretch – stand with the balls of your feet on a step, legs straight and allow your heels to drop down
4) Lats Stretch – reach above your head and lean over to one side then the other
5) Chest Stretch – with your hands on the small of your back (palms of your hands turned in) push your elbows together
6) Triceps Stretch – bend your arm above your head and use your other arm to pull the bent arm towards your head
7) Rear Deltoid Stretch – place one arm across the body and using your other arm, pull into your body
8) Neck Stretch – gently lean your head to one side and use your hand to gently pull in the same direction
9) Lower back – lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest and hug them

The Diet Chef Beach Body Blitz Summer Hamper is perfect for anyone with a busy lifestyle, the diet and exercise plan is very simple to follow and all of the meals are easy to prepare. For more details or to sign up to a trial, visit http://www.dietchef.co.uk/


Notes to editor:
Diet Chef carefully counts the calories of all meals so dieters on the plan will be averaging less than 1200 calories per day. The daily menu delivers a tasty and varied healthy balanced diet allowing dieters to lose weight at a healthy pace.

Price of £5.57 per day price is based on the Diet Chef 1200 programme on Pay Monthly

Green Box Coaching offers an Online Membership that will give you instant access to exercise programs, exercise demonstrations, and personalised online support. For more information visit www.greenboxcoaching.co.uk

For further information, please contact:
Three Sixty Communications
0207 240 2444

Visit the website: www.dietchef.co.uk
Become a fan: www.facebook.com/DietChef
Follow: www.twitter.com/dietchef

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BalanceDiet(TM) Company Implements Exclusive Genetic Fat Test to Develop …

TAMPA, Fla., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
BalanceDiet(TM) Company is pleased to announce that its clients can now take advantage of an exclusive genetic fat test to obtain personalized diet and fitness recommendations as part of their complete lifestyle program. The weight management genetic test was a key component of the services offered by Results Weight Loss, which BalanceDiet recently acquired, and the company has subsequently introduced the genetic fat test at all of its BalanceDiet Centers nationwide as well as through its BalanceDiet At Home program.

Interleukin Genetics developed the genetic test panel used within the BalanceDiet program. Researchers pinpointed certain genes – specifically, several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – that influence an individual’s genetic tendencies related to metabolism, fat absorption and storage, and responsiveness to various exercise intensities(1).

The science behind the genetic fat test is supported by a clinical study conducted by Interleukin Genetics and Stanford University. This study examined weight loss for women who were on a diet that was consistent with their genotype category versus another group who were on diets not suitable for their genetic pattern. The findings revealed that subjects on a genotype-appropriate diet had 2.5 times greater weight loss than the other study subjects – losing an average of 13.2 pounds and 2.6 inches versus an average of only 4.6 pounds and 1.2 inches for those on a genotype-inappropriate diet(2).

“Genetic fat testing is an important addition to BalanceDiet’s portfolio of services, and the former Results clients who have joined our family are living proof that genotype-based diet and fitness plans really do work. Our existing BalanceDiet customers have expressed great enthusiasm and interest in the weight management genetic test, and we are excited to implement it as part of our lifestyle program,” said Pam Powderly, RD, LD/N, Corporate Dietician for BalanceDiet.

Powderly noted that the results of the test will be used to tailor diet and wellness programs that are designed to maximize clients’ weight loss and exercise benefits. “The genetic test determines the client’s diet and exercise identity, which shows whether they are a ‘carb reducer,’ a ‘fat trimmer,’ or a ‘better balancer,'” she explained. “With this information, we can then personalize the client’s weight loss and exercise program based on their genetic profile to set them up for the greatest possible success with their unique plan.”

For many clients, the genetic fat test has been a critical first step to achieving their transformation goals and a vital part of their weight-loss success stories. Tampa resident Karen M. recently retired from the Air Force and sought to lose the weight that had crept up on her during her time in the service. After following a weight loss plan customized for her genotype, she lost more than 25 pounds in five months. “[The program] provided me with the knowledge, means, and motivation to lose [the weight] and return me to the size 6 I was 20 years ago,” she stated. “Becoming healthier literally every day is phenomenal and incredibly motivating.”

Existing and new clients may register for the weight management genetic test at any of the BalanceDiet Centers nationwide or via BalanceDiet At Home (1-800-WEIGHT-LOSS). The test costs $179 and consists of a simple, painless cheek swab sample. The price also includes a follow-up consultation with a BalanceDiet lifestyle expert.

View the Bay News 9 BalanceDiet “Fighting Fat” video for more details. Learn about BalanceDiet – including locations, services, products, and BalanceDiet franchise opportunities – at
http://www.GoBalanceDiet.com .

About BalanceDiet(TM) | elements fitness(TM)

BalanceDiet(TM) is part of the elements(TM) family of healthy lifestyle brands, including award-winning fitness, weight-loss, media, and product companies. Founded by wellness visionary Christopher Palumbo, BalanceDiet holds a unique place in the women’s diet and fitness market with exclusive genetic-testing technology, patents on proprietary weight-loss products and supplements, a stylish, upscale wellness experience, and an array of online tools and services. Before launching elements and BalanceDiet, Palumbo earned recognition for his work with World Gym(TM), where he created a concept store that now serves as the model for the company’s fitness centers worldwide. Today, BalanceDiet is a popular and fast-growing wellness brand with more than 30 locations throughout the United States in addition to the BalanceDiet At Home service offered direct to consumers. The company is expanding internationally and expects to have 40 ground-based operations by year-end, with additional franchise opportunities available. For more information on BalanceDiet, please visit
http://www.GoBalanceDiet.com .

(1) Interleukin Genetics/Inherent Health. “The Science Behind the Weight Management Genetic Test.”

(2) Interleukin Genetics/Inherent Health. “Scientific Validation of the Weight Management Genetic Test.”

Media Inquiries:

Karla Jo HelmsCEOJoTo Extreme PRPhone: 888-202-4614

This news release was issued by PR Syndication.

SOURCE BalanceDiet

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Julian Bakery Offers Healthy, Diet-Friendly Breads With Zero Net Carbs

LA JOLLA, CA, May 14, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) —
In a recent article by Forbes, the story behind a popular
infographic created by Massive Health and Column Five Media is told.
Called “A Tale of Two Meals,” this graphic depicts the differences
between the body’s digestion of fats and carbohydrates. Ultimately,
the graphic asserts that carbohydrates lead to weight gain much more
often than fats. Julian Bakery, a California-based bakery that is
centered on healthy choices, knows that many of its customers
understand this consequence of carbohydrate consumption. As a result,
Julian Bakery has taken to providing low-carb and carb-free options
for its customers.

The information used to create the aforementioned infographic came
from the Department of Health and Human Services, Livestrong.com, and
Anne Collins — all reliable sources. This information reveals that
carbohydrates signal for the body to store elevated amounts of fat.
This occurs because carbohydrates create a spike in blood sugar,
resulting in elevated insulin levels. Insulin contributes to fat
storage in not one, but two ways. First, it collects fat from the
blood. Second, it prevents fat cells from letting go of fatty acids.
As a result, the body stores all the fat it possibly can.

This understanding of digestion has sparked a low-carb diet frenzy.
Despite the popularity of a low-carb nutrition plan, few individuals
stick to this diet because it is extremely restrictive.

Bread and other carbohydrates are the most common of staples among
traditional cuisines. As a result, many people find it difficult to
live without them.

Julian Bakery has developed a way for dieters to consume the breads
they love without the carbohydrates they avoid. “Our Carb Zero Bread
is compatible with any diet plan,” commented Heath Squier of Julian
Bakery. “Regardless of if you are trying to lose weight, maintain
previous weight loss, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, Carb Zero
Bread will help. Better yet, it is delicious and allows dieters to
eat the sandwiches, toast, and other foods they love without
sacrificing their dietary achievements.”

But Carb Zero Bread is more than a low-carb option. This bread is
gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, and low in calories with no
sugar, yeast, or preservatives. After three years in development we
have achieved an amazing naturally zero net carb bread that has an
equal amount of carbohydrates and fiber. This equal blend of
carbohydrates and fiber makes Carb Zero Bread an ideal choice for
celiac and diabetic customers. As a result, it is one of the many
extremely healthy offerings that Julian Bakery provides to its
countless loyal customers.


Once a small bakery on the outskirts of San Diego, California, Julian
Bakery now provides carb-free and other healthy bread options to
customers across the nation. With a storefront and an online shop,
Julian Bakery is able to reach a variety of customers who want
healthy, delicious products made from reliable ingredients. In
addition to low-carb offerings, Julian Bakery provides gluten-free
and other specialty products. Among its catalogue of healthy foods
are: Zero Cookies, Smart Carb Bread, Carb Zero Gluten-Free Bread, The
Paleo Bread, protein bars, supplements, and vitamins.

For more information about Julian Bakery, visit
www.julianbakery.com .

SOURCE: Julian Bakery

Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

How To Get Paid To Lose Weight

BOSTON (CBS) – Shedding pounds is a reward all on its own. But, what if you also had money to motivate you to stick to your weight loss goals?

With HealthyWage.com, people are now dieting for dollars.

Erika Johnsson and Jason Coy of Waltham lost nearly 80 pounds combined and gained $1,200. The couple teamed up with 3 other family members to compete against more than 100 other groups and took the third place prize.

“I needed to lose weight. I wanted to be healthier and have a better life,” says Erika.

Healthy Wage is a unique competition to jump-start weight loss. Dieters pay to be part of the program. If you don’t hit your weight loss target, you lose your money. If you succeed, you’ll get your own money back and then some.

Jason Coy found out about the program through his job.

“I immediately thought this is perfect. This will get me into gear to lose weight to get myself healthy,” said Coy.

Jason and Erika placed a $60 wager and came up big.

But, you don’t need a team to try Healthy Wage. For $100, anyone can sign up for the challenge.
You’ll make double that back for losing 10 % of your weight in six months.

Sean Geddes, a personal trainer at Wellbridge Athletic Club, thinks it’s a great idea, but worries the money may only be a short-term motivator. Geddes hopes the personal investment will be enough to get people hitting the gym.

“You invest money, you become attached to something, you’re going to keep doing it,” said Geddes.

Using money as a weight loss strategy may be a good bet, especially for men. Of the men competing in the Healthy Wage program, 63% were able to hit their weight loss goals and win the cash prize compared to just 15% of the women.

Jason admits the reward was key to getting him involved.

“I think the money was the biggest part of it,” said Jason.

While the money also motivated Erika, she knows it really kept Jason on target.

Along with hopeful dieters, hospitals and government agencies also ante up some money to the program. They’re betting that people, like Erika and Jason, will make healthier choices when chasing a cash reward.

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