What motivates you to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen? Getting ready for a trip, a wedding or decreasing doctors visits are among the most common reasons for weight loss. However, weight loss resolutions and goals are among the hardest to keep.
Even with tons of mobile apps, web apps, free tools and discussion boards to keep you motivated, it’s not uncommon to fall off the diet and exercise wagon. If whittling your waist, gaining muscle or increasing overall health is not enough incentive, then what is?
What if your wallet was on the line?
Pact, a mobile app that helps users commit to their health, fitness and diet, allows them to earn cash for successfully completing exercise and diet pacts. Users can set how long they want to keep their pacts and how much they are willing to risk if they miss a goal. Missed a day at the gym? A user risks having five to ten dollars deducted from their debit card, credit card or PayPal account, per day.
The money paid by users that skip the gym, miss their serving of veggies or fail to log their food for the day, is pooled and paid out to those that successfully complete their pacts. Users can earn from 30 cents to five dollars per week. The more you wager, the bigger your payout.
To date, Pact as 5.2 million logged workouts. And with over one million dollars in seed funding received in 2013, the app is up to date with a pretty impressive motion tracking and GPS verification sensor. Pact also has partnered with other fitness apps, like MapMyFitness. If you are already using a Pact partner app as your preferred method to track your exercise, just sync your apps and import your daily log.
After completing two week-long pacts, here are my thoughts on Pact and tips for successfully meeting your goals.
Pact proof your kitchen.
The Pact Fitness App includes a fruit and vegetable challenge to encourage healthy snacking. Simply submit a photo of your serving of fruits and/or veggies. But make sure you have healthy snacks within arms reach, and get rid of those processed and high salt snacks.
Pay your local farmers market a visit and check you local sales ad for deals on fresh produce. Even the 99 Cent Only Stores will surprise you with unbelievably cheap and fresh produce. If they happen to have eggplant, tomatoes on the vine, pineapple or other notoriously expensive produce, grab it.
The Pact community helps to verify fruit and vegetable servings though voting. So no, the lettuce and tomato on your burger don’t count.
Set reminders for each pact.
Set aside time to complete your pacts. Setting alarms for exercising and logging food will end up being daily life savers. Don’t spend the day carefully logging your food, and then you forget to sync the apps. And don’t forget to turn on the app’s motion tracker during your workout.
Invest in a home gym or gym alternative.
In order to fulfill your daily exercise pact, only 30 minutes of activity a day is required. Get online and search free run clubs, YouTube exercise videos like BodyRock or donation-based yoga classes.
If you are more comfortable working out alone, check out discount store Ross, Tuesday Morning, or Big Lots for cheap workout equipment. Roll out of bed every morning and walk just steps to your own private home gym. This investment is achievable for well under $100, and sure beats a monthly gym membership.
One step at a time.
No gym membership? No weights? No excuses. 30 minutes of walking is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. MapMyFitness, a Pact app partner, keeps track of distance walked number of steps. A typical daily steps goal to help facilitate weight loss is 10,000 steps per day.
Embrace Pact and gain discipline
The cash is a great incentive to start. But the overall goal is to turn the cash from catalyst and main motivator to an afterthought that happens to be an added bonus.
Pact is available for both iPhone and Android. To get started, don’t set your missed activity costs at the max. Putting your bank or PayPal account on the line is no small commitment. Those missed days can add up very quickly.
Ease into Pact by committing to one pact, risking an amount per missed activity that you can afford. Once you can successfully prove that you can keep a pact for a week, feel free to add another pact.