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Fatbet Rules

These guidelines have kept us from coming to blows during our Fatbets.

Method 1: Everyone picks the amount they will lose
  • All taking part in the Fatbet set their weight-loss goal based on what they think is realistic and safe to lose within the Fatbet timeframe. In our experience, it doesn’t matter if one person sets a goal of 15 lbs. while another sets a goal of 10 lbs., as long as both goals represent about the same degree of difficulty. That said, if someone sets a goal that is clearly too easy, they should be ridiculed on the message board until they adjust their goal.

Method 2 (alternative): The Fatbet organizer sets a fixed amount for everyone to lose
  • Using this method, the person starting the Fatbet can set a rule that everyone must lose the same amount of weight. If this is the case, the organizer should state this in the Fatbet challenge email and instruct everyone to enter a target weight that results in the same amount of weight loss. For example, if everyone in your Fatbet must lose 10 lbs. and you're starting at 195 lbs., your target weight at the end of the Fatbet must be 185 lbs.

The Fatbet wager or penalty
  • Fatbets are about losing weight and competition. All who hit their goals get bragging rights, and those who don't nurse bruised egos until the next round. A Fatbet wager is an additional motivator. is not a gambling site, so if money changes hands in a Fatbet, we don’t really want to know. Here are some Fatbets that do not involve cash:
    • Losers sing in a Karaoke bar; winners pick the songs
    • Losers let facial or leg hair grow unchecked for 30 days
    • Losers wash winners' cars
    • Losers run naked through Seattle Center
    • Losers donate to charity
    Use your imagination. We admit that embarrassing Fatbet losers doesn't exactly follow a supportive weight-loss group model, but it can work for the hard core among us who grew up when gym teachers were still mean.

    Important: When creating the Fatbet, the organizer must indicate whether losers pay the wager or penalty just once, or pay every Fatbet winner (see "Ending the Fatbet").
Weighing in, scales, and the honor system
  • Everyone uses his or her own scale and enters daily weights at on the honor system. If you don't trust the people you are in a Fatbet with, seek out new friends or associates.

  • Pry open your wallet and buy a decent digital scale, one that reads out in decimal points. Grandma's bouncing needle bathroom scale doesn’t cut it.

Ending the Fatbet
  • The scale is the final judge, and there are no close enoughs. If you set a goal of 182.5 and you weigh in at 182.6, you lose the Fatbet. Suck it up.

  • You have the entire day up to midnight at the end of the Fatbet to make your goal.

  • If you have a final group weigh-in and disclose your actual weights as we do, each person should bring the same scale to the weigh-in that they used for their daily weights. Minimum weigh-in attire if you need to strip down: clean boxers or briefs, tasteful t-shirts (no stains, no wife-beaters). Trust us: it's not worth a lifetime of embarrassment to strip down any more than this.

  • Unless otherwise stipulated in the Fatbet, losers pay the stated wager or penalty only once. For example, if the wager states that Fatbet losers must pay 10 goats, the losers do not have to give each winner 10 goats. The 10 goats would go into a kitty (or in this case, pen) to be split among the winners. If the goats cannot be evenly divided among the winners, the remaining goats shall be slaughtered immediately and the meat divided by weight (use your digital scale).

  • If everyone loses the Fatbet, everyone pays the Fatbet wager or penalty. The Fatbet organizer should figure out what to do if this situation looks likely and communicate a plan to the group. For example, the group may decide that all winnings go to whomever is on top of the leaderboard at the end of the Fatbet.

  • Extending the Fatbet end date if no one in the group makes their goals is weak, but the system is flexible enough to accommodate this cop out. There should always be group consensus around extending dates.

The Fatbet Process: Getting Started
  1. Sign up for a free account.

  2. Start a Fatbet.

  3. Set your weight-loss goal, enter an end date for the Fatbet, and create a Fatbet wager.

  4. Send people you know a Fatbet challenge.

  5. Enter your weight daily or as often as you like at

  6. Track your personal and Fatbet group progress on the Leaderboard and Charts. Use the Message Board to amuse and fire up your group.

  7. When the Fatbet ends, all who reach their weight-loss goals win. Those who don't pay the Fatbet wager.

Our Story
Why Fatbets Work: The Research
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