Money Can be Great Motivator for Weight Loss, Study Finds

dumbbels with measuring tapeBy Emily Murray

Lacking motivation when it comes to meeting your weight loss goals? You’re not alone. As the months pass since those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions were made, many people get stuck in a rut when trying to move forward to a healthier life. So what’s the answer? According to a recent study, money is the main motivator.

A Mayo Clinic study conducted in Minnesota revealed that dieters would go the extra mile to lose weight when money was given in exchange for pounds lost. How much money? In this study, if participants were able to lose 4 pounds per month, their reward was $20.  The drawback? They could lose that same amount if they failed to meet their goal.

The results showed that 62% of the people included in the study met or exceeded the goal with an average weight loss of 9 pounds per month.  Conversely, in the group of participants not given any monetary motivator, only 26% lost the goal weight with the majority losing an average of 2.3 pounds a month.

The weight loss incentive program took place over the course of a year and consisted of participants who were medically categorized as obese. Because the study completed fairly recently, the long-term effects of the weight loss are not yet known. Will people put back on the pounds they fought so hard to shed? Time will tell.

We all know that money is a motivator for many things in this world and can often push us to do things we would otherwise put off, even if we know it’s something we need to do.

This basic principle is often implied in many workplaces. For some, managers may be looking to lower their health insurance packages rates and so they develop a monetarily motivated challenge for smokers to give up their habit. Other offices decide to have employees voluntarily take part in a company-wide weight loss challenge. These are all practical ways that money can be used as a motivator for health and wellness.

What do you think? If you had someone offering you money to lose those extra pounds would it make a difference in your motivation?