Here's some good news for men starting their weight loss journey. A simple intervention technique that involves receiving text messages with cash incentives could improve their chances of losing weight by around four times, a recent study revealed.

The Game of Stones study led by the research team from the University of Stirling, Scotland, U.K., that followed up 585 men with obesity for a year found that cash incentives could drive men to lose weight. Those who received up to £400 ($507) along with text messages lost the most weight, according to the results presented at the European Congress of Obesity.

At the start of the study, the participants were allocated randomly to one of three groups: a group that gets text messages and a chance to get money for weight loss, a group that gets text messages alone, and a third group that receives nothing in reward.

The daily text messages were identical for the two intervention groups. Participants in the group with both the text messages and the financial incentives were told that £400 had been placed in a study account which could be accessed at the end of the clinical trial if they attain the weight loss goals.

The participants would lose money if they did not achieve the weight loss target and could retain the whole amount if all the goals were met.

The weight loss targets were set at 5% from baseline at 3 months, 10% at 6 months, and maintaining the 10% weight loss at 12 months. The incentives for achieving these goals were £50 ($64), £150 ($191), and £200 ($254), respectively.

Men in the first group who received both text messages and cash incentives experienced 5% weight loss, while the men in the second group who received text messages only had 3% weight loss. Meanwhile, those men who did not receive any form of incentive lost only a very small amount of weight (1%).

"Losing weight can make people feel better, reduce their risk of many health problems such as diabetes, and help the health service with their aim to keep men well. However, we know men often don't like to go to traditional weight loss groups," said Professor Pat Hoddinott, from the University of Stirling, Scotland, U.K. who led the study said in a news release.

"The research showed that offering cash incentives was a popular and effective way of helping men to lose weight. This initiative would be a low-cost solution for the health service to offer to men, requiring only four short weight appointments, and with money paid out only at the end to those who lose over 5% of their starting weight," Hoddinott said.