Starting a diet can feel about as enjoyable as enduring a root canal. But now there’s a service that seeks to turn the process into a good-natured game, replete with rules, winners and cash prizes.

Essentially a tech-savvy version of the age-old weight-loss competition (or, you know, The Biggest Loser), the new website DietBet facilitates one-month “games” between friends to see who can drop the most excess baggage.

It’s up to the organizer of each competition to invite participants and determine how much money is at stake; you can bet nothing, though recent studies show that money might be the most persuasive motivator. Once everybody is ready to go, contestants enter a starting weight (don’t worry, the actual number is hidden from your pals) along with a telling “before” picture.

At the end of the four-week period, dieters submit their final “after” shots and weigh-in numbers (to be reviewed by DietBet employees to weed out cheaters), and anyone who has lost at least 4 percent of their body weight wins or splits the pot.

DietBet discourages dangerous behavior by disqualifying people who lose more than triple their goal, and of course a general air of sportsmanship is expected.

After all, nobody likes a sore loser.

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