Many of us remember this Dream Girl and songstress looking quite different than she does today. That’s because she managed to permanently drop 80 pounds after her pregnancy, and not with the help of any crash diets.
As many of you know, Jennifer experienced a serious tragedy and family loss back in 2004 that shook her to the core. Still, she managed to recover and rebirth herself, standing against adversity and becoming an inspiration in the process, going from a size 16 to a 6. To this day in 2021, she’s kept off the weight. But what’s her secret and how did she get there?
A partnership with Weight Watchers
After she partnered with WW back in 2010, Jennifer Hudson realized that she needed to stop dieting, and instead embark on a lifestyle change. That mentality is what helped propel her journey. Back in 2012, she told Redbook that she went from a size 16, to a size 6. In 2014, she ended the four-year partnership, but still maintains a relationship with WW, who support her no matter what.
Working with a celebrity trainer post-pregnancy
After working with Harley Pasternak, a renowned celebrity trainer, Hudson embarked on a fitness regiment and balanced diet to help her drop the pregnancy weight after her son was born. After her pregnancy, she said that weight loss wasn’t about a dress size, but just about feeling good, and that the pressure of diet cultures was a big reason she became a WW ambassador. Four days after the weight loss journey, she had her son.
Motivation is key
Being famous, you can afford to eat whatever you want. But Jennifer stayed determined and took responsibility for her health by keeping her weight loss goals realistic, staying committed, and changing the fundamental way she thought and acted. She also mentioned to Oprah that she doesn’t like to count pounds. Staring at that scale can feel unhealthy and obsessive at times — don’t focus on a number. Focus on how you feel.
Cutting the carbs
One message has been simple through Hudson’s journey — skip the unnecessary carbs and sugar, which can lead to not only weight gain, but blood glucose spikes, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Instead, she stuck to complex carbs like vegetables and whole grains.
It’s all about mindset
Self-motivation was the biggest game changer for Jennifer, as she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview. She claimed that no matter how many trainers, or how much money you have, weight loss isn’t possible without a self-driven mindset. No one can do the work except you!
Bye bye crash diets
We’ve seen it all over Hollywood — stars often have fluctuating weight because they opt for crash diets, which offer short-term success and weight loss, but long-term disaster. When Jen gave up the idea of depriving via diets, she was better able to portion control and eat meals ever few hours, which helped curb her appetite. She also says that not skipping meals helped her stick to a diet plan better.
Habits are everything (and making them fun)
Even though Weight Watchers helped her with their expert opinions, she embraced workouts and healthy eating in a way that brought passion and joy to her life. Hudson told Oprah that she loves to cook meals with home and playing basketball, which is what helps her burn calories while having fun.
Indulge in chocolate once in a while
Even though she’s not about indulging in processed foods all the time, it’s ok to have your vices, according to Jennifer Hudson. When she needs to calm down, she eats a piece of chocolate, which she calls her “cigarette.” Science says that if you let yourself have cheat meals once in a while, simply satisfying cravings can ward off that deprived feeling. It can actually boost your metabolism, and motivate you to stick to the rest of your diet plan.
Her whole diet isn’t chocolate, of course. Her breakfast is usually either an egg white scramble or fruit and yogurt combo, while lunch is filled with protein and greens. Examples of her favorite meals include grilled chicken salad turkey sandwich, or seafood and broccoli stir fry. She snacks on granola, celery, and chai tea, with either chicken or fish for dessert.
Incorporating food rituals
Food rituals, or mindful eating, are a big part of Jennifer Hudson’s weight loss journey. On Loraine, the spectacular actress explained, “I’m very conscious of what I put in my body.” When you don’t practice mindful eating, like having your meals in front of the television, it’s easy to give into junk food cravings and keep stuffing your face since you’re distracted. Just like any other part of life — remain mindful!