It's the reason the dieting industry rakes in 60 billion a year. People invest in diet foods, motivational books and programs.
But maybe it's time they start investing in themselves.
A recent study by the Mayo Clinic shows that people who have financial incentives to drop weight do better than those who don't. And here's the surprising part: it doesn't take a lot of money to motivate someone into losing weight.
Twenty dollars a month is all it took.
The study enrolled a group of people into a program that would pay them $20 if they lost four pounds a month and juxtaposed their results with another group that received no financial rewards for their weight loss.
Naturally, those who had money waiting at the end of the month lost a lot more weight than those who received nothing.
You could put $20 in a coffee can on the first of every month and promise not to dip into it until you've had one full month of eating right and working out.
That could work, but it might not feel like much of a reward. After all, it's your own money.
That's why you should consider trying one of two online tools that will actually pay you for reaching your weight loss goals. That's right, you can actually get paid for losing weight–something you want to do anyway.
GymPact is an app that allows you to wager on weight loss. You set your goals–hitting the gym at least three times a week, for example–and then set an amount you're willing to wager on you hitting your goals. Do it and get paid. Don't and you pay in.
HealthyWage is another tool. You pay a $150 fee to enter. Lose 10 percent of your body weight in six months and you walk away with $300. Miss the mark and you lose your $150.
But chances are you won't miss your mark. After all, money talks.