Feeling like you’ve hit a plateau in your efforts toward a healthier and happier lifestyle? These celebs know how you feel. After embarking on weight loss journeys of their own, these actors, singers, and amateur fitness aficionados are nothing but inspiring, with their individual stories of how they overcame their struggles. You’ll likely be wanting to get up and hit the gym by the time you’ve hit no. 25!
1. Jennifer Hudson
At this point many people may have forgotten where powerhouse singer Jennifer Hudson got her start. First appearing in the public eye on American Idol in 2004, Hudson’s talent transcended reality television, taking her into coveted roles in film and theater. And in that time, Hudson also transitioned from a size 16 to a size 6.
Hudson opened up on a British talk show back in 2017 about her 80-pound weight loss. While she doesn’t work out as often as she’d like, Hudson explained that it’s all about what and how much she eats. “I throw the pancakes across the room! I don’t let the food intimidate me.”
2. Mariah Carey
After more than 30 years in the business, Mariah Carey has lived most of her life in the public eye. In that time, we’ve all watched her grow and change from a 20-something-year old ingénue into the iconic songstress and mother of two she is today.
Despite a bit of pregnancy and postpartum weight-gain, the singer has said she’s back to feeling good about her body, treating Instagram to shots of her abs as recently as summer 2019. Carey credits a dietitian she hired after the birth of her babies, along with one more secret: she never weighs herself. “I’d ask myself, does this dress fit better than it did three years ago? Then I’d be like, ‘OK, I’m good!’”
3. Jonah Hill
It wasn’t until the release of his first feature film as both writer and director that Jonah Hill finally realized the effect childhood bullying was having on his life. A few years after his debut into Hollywood in the comedy hit Superbad, Hill decided to make a change to his lifestyle, or as he put it, to “be a responsible adult.”
For Hill, leading a healthier lifestyle meant less pizza, and as he put it on radio show Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, he “started physically running instead of emotionally running.” Hill has said that jogging has helped him lose weight, in addition to shadow boxing.
4. Melissa Joan Hart
Just a few years back in 2014, actress Melissa Joan Hart partnered with NutriSystem, and it wasn’t long before she was showing off a 40-pound weight loss! NutriSystem provided the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch star with a healthy meal plan, and Hart started seeing results soon after.
On top of maintaining a lean diet, Hart also cites her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, whose active lifestyle serves as a source of inspiration and motivation. According to Hart, her husband recently started training her at their home, making exercise all the more enjoyable. Still, the actress isn’t above a little guilty pleasure or piece of pizza now and then.
5. Jordin Sparks
Singer Jordin Sparks never decided to lose weight just to go down a size or two in her jeans. It was all about changing her frame of mind. Sparks told Redbook Mag that she has never, and will never, count calories to keep the weight off. Instead, she just pays attention to her body and how it feels.
Sparks ultimately lost 50 pounds in 18 months, and the secret for her was to take it in stages. First she started slow by going for a daily walk. Next she upped the ante by alternating her workouts. Overall, Sparks says variety keeps her motivated and keeps the weight off.
6. Christina Aguilera
As a fan-favorite coach on the NBC reality singing competition The Voice, everyone was disappointed to hear that veteran popstar Christina Aguilera would be taking a break from the series in 2013. It turns out a big part of that was Aguilera’s need to de-stress, which helped kickstart her weight loss journey.
While taking time out from all her engagements, according to Insider, Aguilera reportedly followed the 7-Day Color Diet. This regimen involves eating the food of a specific color, depending on the day of the week. Apparently it worked marvelously for the singer and TV personality, who shed an estimated 50 pounds that same year.
7. Chris Pratt
Once the lovable (albeit a tad lazy) Andy Dwyer on the beloved sitcom Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt is now a bona fide action movie star. He’s got the muscled physique necessary to sustain long shooting days and risky stunts. So how did he do it?
At his heaviest, Pratt admits that he was coming in close to 300 pounds. After landing the lead in Guardians of the Galaxy, the actor hired a nutritionist and started to work with a trainer. Pratt’s workouts ranged from running, boxing, triathlon, P90X and others. Since first shedding those extra pounds and packing on the muscle, Pratt has committed to keep up with working out.
They say the camera adds 10 pounds, but pint-sized reality television star Nicole “Snooki” LaValle (neé Polizzi) didn’t decide to lose weight for TV. The Jersey Shore Family Reunion star told People Magazine: “Even though I want to be healthy for myself…I mainly want to do it for my kids.”
Initially working with a trainer, Snooki found that getting to the gym every day became difficult. While a daily workout would be ideal, the mom of three doesn’t always have the time. Still, even when she’s busy, the reality star will try to take the kids for a walk around the block — anything to get her, and them, moving.
9. Mama June
Famous for being the mother of the popular pageant fixture Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, Mama June Shannon decided she wanted to make a drastic change at 37 years old. With her wedding to Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson approaching, Shannon documented her weight loss journey on the WEtv reality series Mama June: From Not to Hot.
Mama June underwent a gastric sleeve surgery, but that’s not all. In addition, the reality television star hired a personal trainer, and changed her diet dramatically. Once known for her signature dish “sghetti” (noodles with butter and ketchup), swapping healthier options into her diet made a real difference.
10. Chrissy Metz
For actress Chrissy Metz, struggles with weight have been a lifelong battle, but when she was cast as Kate in the hit NBC drama This Is Us, her whole life changed. Metz could really relate to the character series creator that Dan Folegman had scripted. Conspiring together, a special clause was added to her contract.
Metz’s contract requires her to lose weight along with Kate as the series progresses. For Metz, the clause was “a win-win for me,” as she told TVLine. Fogelman clarified that there’s no set weight specified, and the clause can be adjusted, but the hope is for the show to mirror real-life.
11. John Goodman
When actor John Goodman left the hit sitcom Roseanne back in the late 90s, he wasn’t too happy with himself. As he told AARP, “I was in pretty bad shape…I always wanted more of something. There was an emptiness inside me.” But now that’s he’s identified his self-professed character flaw, he knows what he needs to do to stay happy and healthy.
Goodman, who clocks in at a tall 6’2”, told David Letterman that at his heaviest he was “pushing 400” pounds. By deciding to make portion control a priority, and cutting out sugar and alcohol almost entirely, Goodman has lost an estimated 100 pounds or more.
12. Kirstie Alley
Never one to struggle with her weight when she was younger, Kirstie Alley was taken aback when she realized that she’d put on an extra “40 or 50 pounds,” according to the actress and OK! Magazine. Making her weight gain relatable, Alley parlayed the extra pounds into a semi-fictional TV series, Fat Actress.
But while she was owning up to her weight gain, Alley was also aiming to make a change. Signing up as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Alley lost 75 pounds. Her appearance on Dancing With The Stars also helped the actress stay healthy. These days, Alley is making maintaining her weight loss her top priority.
13. Kelly Clarkson
Can a book be the secret behind weight loss? For American Idol alumna Kelly Clarkson, yes. Clarkson credits the book The Plant Paradox with helping her understand which foods would help her be healthy, and which she ought to avoid. By substituting certain foods for others, Clarkson’s seen results.
As a coach on The Voice, actively producing new music for her legions of fans, raising her two kids and two step-kids, all alongside hosting her own talk show, Clarkson is busy busy busy! But, just by altering her diet the singer estimates she’s lost 37 pounds so far, as she revealed in an interview on Today.
As People Magazine reported back in 2014, Pawn Stars star Austin “Chumlee” Russell weighed 320 pounds when he finally decided it was time to make serious changes. As he told the magazine, “It was time for me to get healthy.” For Chumlee, step one was eliminating all processed foods.
After dropping down to 225 pounds, Chumlee took a slightly less intense approach, “‘everything in moderation’ is my motto” the reality star said. Chumlee then decided to help further his weight loss journey along by undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. After the non-invasive surgery, he’s lost an additional 60 pounds, and is working hard toward his ultimate goal of 170 pounds.
15. Khloé Kardashian
How many of us have imagined the satisfaction of bumping into an ex after a series of dedicated gym sessions to help us stay motivated on the treadmill? Well, Khloé Kardashian can totally relate. The reality star even has her own series dedicated to total makeovers in the name of self-empowerment — and maybe a little bit for the bragging rights.
Both in her own life and on Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian, the youngest Kardashian sister is all about encouraging inner confidence through a total transformation, including a person’s exterior. Kardashian is dedicated to working out and maintaining a healthy diet. Now, the best revenge is living well.
16. Melissa McCarthy
A major advocate of body positivity, actress Melissa McCarthy is the figurehead behind an inclusive clothing line, “Melissa McCarthy Seven7” which ranges from sizes 4 – 28. She’s familiar with the feelings of frustration that come with worrying about weight loss. But her secret is actually pretty simple: stop stressing.
That’s right, no fad diets, no strict workout regimen. McCarthy says she just stopped worrying about it all so much. As she told Life & Style back in 2015, “I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked.” And she adds, ultimately, your self-worth shouldn’t be tied to your weight.
17. Jessica Simpson
Fashion designer Jessica Simpson has been pretty upfront about how much weight she put on with each of her pregnancies, especially when she was pregnant with baby number three. Sharing some honest words about her weight gain and loss experience with her Instagram followers, Simpson admitted: “Even when it felt impossible, I chose to work harder.”
Simpson revealed she’s lost 100 pounds post-baby. According to her longtime trainer Harley Pasternak in an interview with Us Weekly, Simpson uses a pedometer to make sure she takes at least 10,000 steps a day. Although, Pasternak mentioned that the busy businesswoman and mother of three often logs 14,000.
18. Miranda Lambert
Few stars are as relatable for non-fitness freaks than country singing star Miranda Lambert. The singer is honest about her distaste for raw vegetables, and as she’s said: “I hate running…Like, in huge red letters: I HATE RUNNING.” So for the layman, Lambert’s methods for losing weight are pretty ideal.
Lambert says that fad diets are a definite no-no, stating “you get tired of any diet.” Instead of trying whatever the latest diet craze is that everyone can’t stop talking about, Lambert recommends opting for simple choices. And since she hates running, mixing up her cardio keeps her from getting bored. That doesn’t sound too hard, now does it?!
19. Drew Barrymore
Hollywood darling Drew Barrymore has been in the entertainment business since she was a little girl, which means she’s had to grow up in the public eye. As has been documented through decades of red carpets and paparazzi photos, and as she’s admitted herself, her weight has yo-yo-ed over the years.
Barrymore explains that she’s just not genetically predisposed to being thin. In order for the actress to lose weight she says, “This takes me so much work. Diet and exercise and fighting like a lion for it!” But since joining Barre Belle, a ballet fitness studio, Barrymore revealed on Instagram that she’s already lost 25 pounds.
20. Honey Boo Boo
For so many young girls, their mothers are their number one role models. So when Mama June underwent her impressive weight loss transformation, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson was inspired to follow in her mother’s new health-conscious footsteps. And Mama June couldn’t be more proud of her progress.
Mama June told Entertainment Tonight that Alana has adopted healthier habits, starting with a no-grease diet. Mama June further elaborated by explaining her daughter “doesn’t eat fried food” and that she’s “trying to cut back on soda.” She’s lost 5 pounds thus far, and is hoping to steadily see results. With her mom’s support, Honey Boo Boo seems poised for success.
21. Sam Smith
Singer-songwriter Sam Smith started struggling with their weight at a young age. According to an interview with 60 Minutes Australia, the English sensation had to overcome their habit of emotional eating. Smith confessed, “From a young age, food has controlled me, basically.” Thus, they knew their weight loss journey wouldn’t just include the typical diet and exercise.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Smith credited Amelia Freer, a nutritional therapist, with helping them to change their relationship with food. After losing almost 50 pounds, Smith says it’s got nothing to do with looks, and everything to do with feeling happy in yourself. Now, they’re “happy inside and out.”
22. Rachael Ray
There’s a time-honored expression: never trust a skinny chef! But that’s not the case with celebrity chef Rachael Ray. Being around gourmet dishes all the time, it can be difficult to resist the urge to lick the plate clean, but Ray has one thing helping her stay healthy: a newfound dedication to the gym.
As she told Women’s Health Magazine, she was miserable going to the gym — at first. But once she’d made going to the gym a part of her routine day after day, week after week, usually with her husband John, she realized that exercise made her smile. For Ray it’s a form of releasing any frustration, and now she’s completely hooked.
23. Susan Boyle
For Britain’s Got Talent’s breakout sensation singer Susan Boyle, losing nearly 50 pounds wasn’t about how she looked on stage. She revealed it was a matter of health. After she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, doctors told Boyle that she’d need to make a change to her diet.
Since cutting out “sweeties and cakes” as she says, Boyle started to see the weight come off pretty soon after. Boyle admitted that sugary treats have long been “the bane of my life,” but now that she’s eating healthier she’s feeling much better. Boyle’s glad she spoke to the right people, saying, “…I got the help I needed.”
24. Alec Baldwin
When actor Alec Baldwin met his now-wife Hilaria Baldwin, he had no idea how many ways she would change his life. Soon after the two started dating, Baldwin’s doctor revealed that he was pre-diabetic, which Hilaria described in her book, The Living Clearly Method, as a real wake-up call.
Together, the two started to re-balance his diet, as well as working out together at least once a day. Hilaria, formerly a yoga instructor and still a devotee, has helped her famous husband to not only lose weight, but more importantly to lead an overall healthier lifestyle for himself and the couple’s four children.
25. Drew Carey
After a few health scares, the heir to Bob Barker’s hosting duties on The Price is Right, Drew Carey, decided he needed to take his health more seriously. Giving himself a year, Carey set a target weight-loss goal. He wanted to shed roughly 90 pounds.
Starting out at 262 pounds, Carey was able to lose the weight, dropping to around 170 pounds. But then there’s the matter of keeping the weight off, which was something Carey knew he couldn’t cut corners on. He continues to work out six days a week, employing the same discipline he had as a U.S. Marine.
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