Real Life Weight Loss: This man lost 240lbs after a bet went wrong

Amer Ismail from Texas lost almost half his body weight after a bet to eat 18 hot dogs revealed the reality of his situation

Amer Ismail Brand New Me
(Image credit: Future)

After eating 18 hot dogs in one sitting to win a bet, Amer Ismail found the motivation to lose almost half his body weight. 

Amer, 27, has struggled with weight most of his life, weighing almost 470lbs at his heaviest. Ismail, of Houston, Texas, managed to lose 241lbs after realising he couldn’t continue living the way he was. 

Amer told Truly: “I felt like a freakshow, to get the respect I always wanted I had to first respect myself.”

 Amer was obese from the age of six and grew up using his sense of humour as a defence mechanism. “I had to disrespect myself first so other people wouldn’t get to me, but I always wanted to be just like everyone else.” 

In 2016, Amer’s friends put money on him eating 18 hot dogs at a Houston Astros baseball game. Amer won the bet and vomited afterwards, but the humiliation of it stayed with him long after that. “I realised I was embarrassing myself and they were laughing at me not with me.”

Since then, Amer has lost over 240lbs, working out six or seven times a week. Amer, who runs, practices yoga and weight training, says “consistency is key” to losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Since his weight loss, he’s been able to run a marathon, learn to ski and climb a mountain.

He has also found love with his girlfriend Cindy, who teaches yoga. However, his biggest achievement yet is simply fitting in with others: “I am proud of being able to walk down the street as a normal person, it’s the happiest and craziest feeling.”

yoga workout

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our biggest takeaway is Amer trying lots of different disciplines, from long-distance running to skiing, hiking and yoga. A study published in the scientific journal Translational Behavioural Medicine examined the "multidimensionality" of people who work out.

The study found the more disciplines the individual took part in, the more active they were. They were also more likely to continue to stay active. If you're looking to make a change in your life, like Amer did, try lots of different forms of exercise so you find the things you love to do. Do you love the great outdoors? Grab yourself a pair of the best trail running shoes. Prefer a controlled environment? YOu might be better off with these best treadmill picks. Working out should be a pleasure, not a chore. 

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Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.