BY MICHAEL ROIZEN, M.D., AND MEHMET OZ, M.D.
Weight loss brings with it plenty of rewards — your body gets younger, you feel more energetic, people compliment the way you look, you do a takedown on the risk of many diseases, and maybe you fall back in love with between-the-sheets fun. So, would getting a few extra dollars for weight loss make you more likely to lose?
One study says an emphatic yes. When dieters were paid to lose weight, they dropped about 10 pounds more than people who weren't offered the bucks. The details:
Researchers put obese people into one of three weight-loss plans. Two of the programs included a cash-reward incentive, one did not. The goal: Lose 16 pounds in 16 weeks. When time was up, the cash-reward groups lost 14 and 13 pounds. The control group? Only 3 pounds.
You don't have to be in a study to create the same effect. Just design a weight-loss-rewards fund for yourself. Bet a friend that you both will lose, or set aside a little money each week (doesn't matter how much it is). If you make your goal, you buy yourself something you want (like that little bathing suit, that pedometer or that journal you've had your eye on). If you miss your goal and your buddy misses too, the money goes to charity. It's win-win. Of course, you (and your buddy) win much more if you stay focused, lose weight and get healthier. But when the charity wins the dough, ask yourself what you can do better the next month, and plan to get it done.The YOU Docs — Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz — are authors of "YOU: Being Beautiful — The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty." To submit questions and find ways to grow younger and healthier, go to www.RealAge.com, the docs' online home.