British man Peter Heeks used his love of gambling to motivate his weight loss by placing a bet on how many pounds he could lose in a year. He has now collected about $15,000 after losing close to 100 pounds.
Heeks won his bet with 12 months of healthy eating and exercise. He previously weighed 294 pounds, but now clocks in at 196 pounds.
He explained his weight loss to the Daily Mail: "I had tried diets and exercise in the past to lose weight, but it had never worked. Then I heard a story on the radio about a man who won a bet with (bookmaker) William Hill after losing (42 pounds)."
"I thought that would be the incentive to help me lose weight and my target weight was (196 pounds), so I contacted the bookmaker and they took on the bet. It's put years on my life along with money in the bank. They hadn't had anyone wanting a bet on themselves to lose so much, so they gave me a big price."
"If they kept the 100-1 out there, they'd be doing the nation a favor as it would be a great incentive to beat the obesity time bomb. I was clearly very overweight when I placed the bet. Every other time I tried I failed to get the results as I gave up with the diets and exercise. But I was never really sporty and when I placed the bet I started going to the gym and exercising and also counting my calories."
"The bet made me focus on losing the weight as soon as I placed it. I started changing my diet and going to the gym. My biggest bet before this was about a fiver on their casino games."
Cooking his meals himself, Heeks' evening meal was rarely more than 750 calories, less than a third of his previous intake after work. He also virtually cut out alcohol and soda for the year to lose more calories.
He said: "I started enjoying the gym and was going up to five times a week. And my calorific intake went from a daily average of more than 4,000 to less than half that. It's had a great knock on effect on my health with my weight dropping to 85 kg from 134kg at the start, my waist shrinking from 129cm to 91.5cms and my BMI dropping from a morbidly obese 37-1 to a much healthier 23-5."
"Even my blood pressure has changed from 156 over 104 to a much more normal 110 over 70, it's probably put years on my life along with the money in my bank. When William Hill accepted my bet they changed my life."
William Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams said: "Peter is our biggest ever winner. When he called to say he had succeeded we were flabbergasted, this is an amazing achievement and he deserves his winnings."