Whether you want to shape up for summer in the northern hemisphere, or get into the groove of healthy habits before winter hits, the May Meltdown is for you! LET'S BURN SOME FAT, WOOHOO! BURN, BABY, BURN!

How would you like to lose at least 4% of your body weight in a month? What if I told you that you could also be paid for achieving your goal?

I'm running a May game through Diet Bet, an online tool that encourages you to stay motivated and essentially bet on your own success. Now, I'm not into "diets", but I am into setting some good habits with food and exercise and I'm definitely a fan of supporting other people reach their goals. I'd love you to join me in trimming away the excess insulation and helping me fit into my super slim jeans ;)

Here's just about everything you need to know, plus some, about how it works

The first thing I recommend you do is create a PayPal account if you don't already have one. You can place your bet using Visa or MasterCard (more on the betting below), but Diet Bet pays out via PayPal, so that's how you'll get your winnings should you reach your goal. PayPal is free and easy to use, and provides more security when spending money online :)

Then, head on over to and create an account. You'll be playing in "MAY MELTDOWN with The Sprout!", just click here for the link. From there, there's a button on the page that says "Join Game" that :)

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 4.56.20 pm

Our game page is where you'll be able to see who is playing and share comments and photos with each other (see that "What's Happening" box? It's kind of like your Facebook status update box and when people post, that's kind of like your Facebook News Feed). You can also invite other people to join the game via the game page so you can lose weight together! I suggest you bookmark it for the month of May :)

Once you're settled in with your account and you've had a look at the game page, you can place your bet. This game is a US$30 bet, which will work out to be around $32-35 with currency conversion. Diet Bet will take you through the payment process. Disclaimer: In case you're sceptical, Diet Bet is legitimate, secure and I've had a good rummage through all the terms and conditions and given it the thumbs up.

So, every player pops $30 into the pot. At the end of the 4-week period, all of the players who lose between 4-12% of their body weight split the pot and end up with their money back (if everyone reaches their goal), or money back plus some (if some players don't lose 4%).

Okie dokie.

This is what you need to do to participate and how Diet Bet spots cheaters

Diet Bet will prompt you via the email address you signed up with - make sure you check your junk mail folders if you aren't receiving emails leading up to the start date.

Sometime on May 3 or 4, you'll need to do your official weigh-in for your starting weight. The other official weigh-in will be June 2-3 at the end of the challenge to get your final weight. Your percentage of weight lost is then calculated using those two measurements. Your weight won't be displayed to other players!

For official weigh-ins, Diet Bet will ask you to submit two photos (which no one will see besides the Diet Bet auditors). You'll need someone to take a full head-to-toe photo of you standing on a scale wearing your "weigh-in outfit" - I suggest your gym clothes minus shoes & socks. No accessories/hats/belts/watches/cats. The other photo will be of a close-up of the scale showing your weight and the shot must also include a piece of paper with the "word of the day" on it. Diet Bet will tell you what the word of the day is - this basically time stamps your photo to make sure it was taken within the correct dates :) You can weigh-in using kilograms or pounds, it doesn't matter.

Once you've submitted your initial weigh-in photos, it's time to be fierce and get into action!

I'd highly recommend (and will be doing this myself) checking in to the game page weekly with an unofficial weigh in. You don't need photos or to submit anything officially, it's just you essentially plugging in your weight in the "What's Happening" box on the game page. Again, no one will see your weight but your percentage of weight lost will be calculated and you'll see your progress in the "Unofficial Standings" leaderboard on the right-hand side of the game page.

I also highly, HIGHLY recommend downloading the free Diet Bet iPhone app. It puts the game page at your fingertips and lets you check-in and see how the other players are going. Too easy.

This is where you can be part of the MAY MELTDOWN group

All through the challenge, you can be part of the MAY MELTDOWN support group.

The game page will be an obvious spot for interacting with each other. It's a great way to talk about the challenge with just the players, rather than putting it all over Facebook if you're not comfortable with it.

Follow The Sprout on Instagram (@thesprout) for daily motivation, laughs and chit chat. We'll also be using the hashtag #maymeltdown so if you're feeling proud of a meal/recipe/workout/non-scale victory/farmers market haul/fitness outfit you're rocking, let us all see it! Comment on this post with your Instagram name and I shall follow you :)

You can also follow The Sprout on Facebook, here, for more motivation, conversation and recipes! I'll be posting workouts, food blogs I'm loving, motivational quotes and whatnot!

Lastly, you're on this blog and I've got a fair few healthy recipes in the recipe section to give you ideas if you're feeling stumped. I'll be doing my best to post even more ideas (but I'll be honest, they'll most likely be on the Facebook page rather than the blog!).

This is where I want to be real with you, and you be real with me

As I said before, I don't like the traditional idea of diets. So please, please, please don't treat this as a "diet" where you restrict yourself to the point of starvation or miss out on loads of awesome nutrients from whole foods. This is about establishing good habits in your everyday eating and exercise, not about playing the gameYou are only cheating yourself if you binge, purge, dehydrate or take laxatives. Don't do it. Eat real food, exercise by doing things you enjoy that push you but don't injure you. It all comes down to doing things you think you can sustain for not just 4 weeks, but for the foreseeable future. This is about giving your lifestyle a kick up the bum to get yourself on track to FEELING good as well as looking even hotter than you already do. 

This challenge is also for people who are in a range where it is healthy to lose weight. This prevents people who are classified as underweight from losing more weight, motivated by the challenge, because I don't want to promote and encourage vulnerable people to reach unrealistic, unhealthy goals they may have. Diet Bet will not let you participate if your BMI is below 18.5, or if losing 4% of your bodyweight would result in your BMI being below 18.5. You'll be asked for your height during with your initial weigh-in.

If you're not sure at all where to start in terms of food or exercise, email and I'll answer any questions you have, or at least point you in the right direction.

Depending on the size of the group, there might be a prize/prizes involved at the end of the challenge....I'll keep you posted!!!

Now, if you've read all of this...well done, and thank you! Again, if you have any questions, email me or write to me via Facebook. I'll get back to you within 24 hours :)

Good luck and I can't wait to have you on board. This is going to be the start of your fittest summer/winter/life!

The Sprout x (pssssh, call me Gemma!)