How Jaime Staples lost almost 100lbs

We chat to the Team PokerStars Twitch streamer about the impossible weight loss bet he made that actually looks like it could happen.

Last year Jaime Staples and his brother Matt made a bet worth $150,000 with Bill Perkins that Jaime (303lb) could get within one pound of Matt (130lb) in a year. As of last week Jaime weighs 212lbs and Matt weighs 180lbs, with two months to go. We joined Jaime to learn about his epic progress so far. 

OK awkward opener. My wife now thinks you’re hot after seeing your weight loss pictures.

Jaime Staples: (Laughs) It’s obviously really flattering, that’s a good thing to hear, it doesn’t feel bad.

You seemed to put on quite a lot of weight since signing with PokerStars, can you pinpoint why you got so big?

Jaime Staples: This isn’t a new thing for me, it’s something I’ve always struggled with in life. I’ve always turned to food as a release for stress or also as a celebration. When I found streaming I dove into it head first and did it for a ton of hours every day, and it was the same thing I turned to food to deal with the stress.

Do you think streaming poker tournaments, which require long hours of sitting, played a part?

Jaime Staples: It’s like any office job, maybe more difficult because you can do it at home. It’s not the best job for naturally burning calories every day, but that’s a bit of an excuse. I could maintain a healthy weight if I was only exercising twice a week, it’s doable I just didn’t have the skill set at the time how to manage that. It doesn’t help, but I don’t think poker is to blame.

Jaime Staples weight loss
Before and after

"Understanding macronutrients changed everything"

Jaime Staples 2018
"I'm not using poker as an excuse"

It obviously has taken a hell of an effort but are there any small habits that have made a big difference?

Jaime Staples: Understanding macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) and then tracking them for a while really changed everything for me. It’s something every big person has come across before and they have a general idea how many calories are needed a day to get by. I’ve learned what sort of things I can do to feel full and also be within this macronutrient breakdown. Before when I would make big food mistakes, like eat a pizza, I wouldn’t know how bad that was for me, I’d only know that it was a mistake. Through knowing macronutrients that could be anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000 calories. I still have a desire to make those choices but I know how bad that is.

How do you avoid temptation when you are traveling for poker where making your own healthy meals is not always an easy option?

Jaime Staples: I have a lot of clarity to what is my fitness goal, I have this $150k bet to be within one pound of my Brother. I think when you have a guiding post rather than just wanting to be healthy - it’s easy to fudge that. On most menus there are usually some good options, like for me chicken and grilled vegetables. You can eat so much chicken and vegetables for a low calorie amount it’s unbelievable.

There are so many obvious benefits to weight loss but what small things that most people take for granted have made a big difference?

Jaime Staples: There are so many things that change. Little things people don’t understand it was a struggle. Walking through groups of people I still hold my arms out wide because I’m used to it, I usually give people way too much room because I’m usually wider. Things like how the rest of the world interacts with me is totally different, I very much look normal now. Walking down the street you get more eye contact, previously people would be polite and look away so as not to insinuate something. You feel more like you are part of society.

"There will be a new goal after this challenge"

Jaime Staples and Matt Staples
Jaime and brother Matt before the challenge

What would you say to the people struggling with their weight who do not have a $150,000 prop bet motivating them?

Jaime Staples: I do have to give massive credit to Bill Perkins. I did have lots of opportunities to take this on as a project, but the bet gave me the motivation to learn what I had to do. From about two weeks in till today I just don’t think about the money, it’s very much about the challenge. I don’t think the $75,000 I will win with my Brother is pushing me to do this. It’s more like I think I can do this, a ton of people think it’s impossible, and I want to show I can do it. I can understand I’m in a very privileged position and it’s not lost on me I have this insane bet motivating me, but at the same time it’s out there for other people to learn what to do.

Probably the most important question is what is your plan to keep the weight off after the bet and without a huge financial motivator in front of you?

Jaime Staples: I’ve thought about it a bit, I don’t have much clarity about that yet. I fully expect to live a normal life for a few weeks and relish in the things I’ve really missed the past year like pizza and pasta. I’m not going to binge eat but I’m going to allow myself to eat too many carbs and put on 2-4lbs. After that I very much hope to work towards a new goal, whether that is improving my physique, or getting strong, or running. Having a goal to work towards and furthering this would be really cool. In terms of bets we’ll cross that road when we get there but I’m definitely looking to do that. It’s been long enough, 10 months, now that after I’m done I’ll take off the bandaid and all those bad habits won't just return. I think I’ve learned something that is not unlearnable, I’ve crossed a bridge where I’ll always know how good and bad my choices are.

Can Jaime and Matt win their bet? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (5)

newest first
  • TurokRider


    kudos to him
  • CucumbaMan


    Big congrats to him! This is a great result!
  • MJPerry


    Not a huge surprise that Barry's wife has dubious taste in men.
  • GrindingNajra


    It's getting worse and worse :)
  • eldarismo


    congrats to Jaime!