Millions of Americans promise to lose weight every January, but in February, that couch and these cheeseburgers start to look good.
If you need a little extra motivation this time, how about a cash incentive? There is an online game that pays players to lose kilos.It has been a godsend for Houstonian Nick Alvarado.
"You do not feel worthy, do not feel attractive. You feel like you should be out on the side," Alvarado said. "To save my life and keep my health costs, I have to do something now."
Alvarado, 42, has struggled with weight for years. His parents are diabetic and weigh over 300 pounds. I knew it was a matter of time before developing diabetes too. With two young children, Alvarado decided he had to make a change.
"I was kind of looking for something to motivate me some. A kind of game to make it competitive," Alvarado said.
While searching the web, she found a called Dietbet.com site. Founded two years ago by Jamie Rosen, weight loss is a game of making money.
"We are receiving many users visit the site, it is literally crashing our servers," said Rosen.
You play with friends, family and even strangers. To participate, you pay a fee, usually around $ 30. Everyone in the game has the same goal of weight loss. If reached, the winners split the pot.
"It's a way to keep yourself accountable and is a way of bringing you, along with lots of other people who are working on the same goals at the same time," Rosen said.
There are ways to make sure no one is cheating. Each player has to weigh throughout the game, post photos of themselves along the way. Those photos are judged by "referees" to ensure that everyone plays by the rules.
"I get paid to lose weight and get younger and healthier in the process," Alvarado said. "Really I can not do so on a regular basis. That is a very good side effect!"
Alvarado has lost 50 kilos since June and won $ 400. It has also got family and friends involved, as Kaes de Jong, who has already lost 45 pounds.
"Nick is very good because it is a kind of guy motivation," said de Jong. "He put all sorts of interesting topics about really motivate you."
De Jong says that despite making money is a plus, the big payoff is not really about the cash.
"I want to get healthy. My wife and I have a girl 15 months old, and I want to be that parent to be able to run and play with it. I'm never going to want to sit."
Since its launch in January 2012, Dietbet.com has paid more than $ 8 million to winners who lost an average of 9 pounds per month. Rosen says 96% of participants dietbet.com lose weight.