Websites offer cash incentives if you reach goal weight - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Websites offer cash incentives if you reach goal weight

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Many people have made losing weight a top priority for 2013. Often times people hit the gym and diet for the first few weeks of a New Year then fall off the wagon. However, what would happen if you could get paid to lose weight?

Money is a powerful motivator and some online companies are hoping a little cash will be incentive enough for you to meet your weight loss goals. If it is, you win. If it isn't, they win.

Websites like HealthyWage promise you cash if you meet your weight loss goals.  For example, if you pay the $150 signup fee and lose 10% of your body weight in six months, you receive $300.  You can also compete with others in a group to make more money.

Latia Smith says she'd think about it because she's getting married in September and wants to look great in her wedding dress.  She says weight loss is never easy.

"It's been a challenge because I like to eat and everything I eat has bacon on it," Smith says.

Registered dietician Lauren Hatcher with LiveWell Carolinas says they're not the only company out there.  She believes incentives are fun, so are competitions, but they have to be done safely.

"Sometimes it makes people do crazy things.  We want people to lose fat, not muscle and not water.  What happens with these challenges people will do these crazy things and lose water weight only," Hatcher said.

The real challenge, she says, is maintaining the weight loss.

Websites like HealthyWage say they do have ways to ensure you're actually losing the weight you say you are losing.  Remember, they count on some people to fail as that's how they make their money, by keeping yours.

Hatcher says it's reasonable to expect to lose about 5% of your body weight in 8 to 10 weeks.

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