Famous Faces of Weight Loss
Learn about stars who worked hard to lose weight for professional and personal reasons.
Celebrities with Weight Problems
The expectations to be thin in our society are often unreasonably high—especially for those in the spotlight. But maintaining a healthy weight goes beyond beauty. Being overweight puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), can take years off your life.
These stars considered their health, appearance, and well-being, and worked hard to lose extra pounds, for the sake of their health and their careers.
Jennifer Hudson made her splash with American Idol, and went on to become a worldwide celebrity, appearing multiple times on the big screen. Both Hudson’s career and her weight loss success story are inspirational. She went from a size 16 to a size 6 by following the Weight Watchers meal plan and exercising regularly. Hudson is now a spokeswoman for the company.
Although Jillian Michaels has made a career out of flaunting her impeccably fit body and helping others to do the same, this exercise guru wasn’t always in such great shape. Michaels was bullied as a teenager and teased for her weight. She admits to turning to food for comfort and struggling with her body image and weight. Now, she has successfully dropped the pounds and has created capital out of her physique.
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John Goodman was guilty of mindless eating and a sedentary lifestyle. However, when the actor decided he wanted to live a better life, he switched to a sugar-free diet and started exercising on an elliptical machine six days a week. Goodman also quit drinking alcohol, which helped him lose over 100 pounds.
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Ozzy’s daughter wasn’t always a role model for healthy living—her drug and alcohol use were no secret, and she was berated and ridiculed for her weight. Osbourne checked herself into rehab, and when she was released, took an active role in her health and sobriety. The pop star lost 50 pounds on Dancing With the Stars, and has since been featured in Shape, showing off her now trim body.
Photo courtesy of vargas2040 (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Oprah has featured many weight loss success stories on her show, but she battles with her own weight issues. Her weight has fluctuated for years due to a thyroid problem and the stress of a hectic schedule. The talk show goddess has discussed her lifelong struggle with weight candidly on her show and in her magazine, O.
Courtesy of John Griffiths (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Not all weight loss stories are inspirational: Christian Bale is known for his ability to dramatically transform his body for the diverse film roles he plays. Bale lost a staggering 63 pounds to play the lead role in The Machinist, eliminating most foods and exercising only to lose fat, not to build muscle. Bale has admitted his naiveté regarding the dangers of losing so much weight so rapidly, claiming that he didn’t consider the health risks involved.
Photo courtesy of Stefan Servos (CC BY-SA 3.0).
The genius behind the Lord of the Rings shed his portly figure, losing 70 pounds in four years. Jackson consciously made a change in his poor eating habits, incorporating healthier foods like yogurt, soup, and muesli.
Photo courtesy of Alan Light (CC BY-SA 3.0).
Kirstie Alley made her excessive weight gain the subject of a television sitcom, Fat Actress, and a reality show, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life. But Alley finally decided to make a change and shrank several dress sizes as a Jenny Craig spokesperson. Alley managed to drop an additional 50 pounds through diet and exercise for her appearance on Dancing With the Stars.
Ricki Lake is best known for her role as the chubby Tracy Turnblad in the musical film Hairspray and her talk show in the ’90s. Lake managed to drop over half her body weight through a combination of a food delivery program, staying active daily, and weighing herself every day.
Losing weight can be a constant struggle, but the rewards are enormous. A combination of healthy diet and exercise are important in the weight loss battle. It’s vital to know if you are at risk for obesity, and when you should diet. Weight loss isn’t easy, but if you’re willing to do the work, you’ll gain energy, confidence, and add years onto your life.
For more information, visit Healthline’s Weight Loss Basics.