Ever struggled to lose a few pounds or tried in vain to adopt a healthier lifestyle? Well, these 40 celebrities all succeeded in doing just that. These big names were once famous for their bigger builds, but today they’re sporting slimmer frames and bags of self-confidence. Read their incredible stories of pain and gain and find out how they did it.
40. Russell Crowe
Actor Russell Crowe decided to put weight on for his 2016 movie The Nice Guys in order to better portray his character. And after that he faced the challenge of losing it all again. Thanks in no small part to his love of cycling, he succeeded. Crowe’s gained and lost weight for roles again since then – but in 2019 he told magazine Entertainment Weekly that talking about that was “boring.”
39. Ed Sheeran
Pop star Ed Sheeran decided to shed the pounds after discovering his diet mostly consisted of “pizza and beer.” In 2017 he told Signal 1 Radio’s Total Access, “Suddenly I didn’t fit in anything. I was like, ‘All my clothes have shrunk.’” He had the help of his sportswoman girlfriend Cherry Seaborn in losing weight – and now she’s his wife.
38. Sherri Shepherd
Sherri Shepherd lost weight for two reasons: she wanted to be slim for her wedding, and she wanted to play with her son more. In 2013 she told People magazine, “I was the mom who would be yelling at him from the benches because I was just too tired to move.” Eventually, after changing her diet and starting dance exercise classes, she shed 46 pounds.
37. Christina Aguilera
In 2013 pop star Christina Aguilera lost a lot of weight, and it was all thanks to changing her diet. She stopped eating unhealthy food and began putting lots of fruit and vegetables in her meals instead. Instead of fat-filled snacks, she took to eating celery with almond butter and shrimp cocktails. And it worked!
36. Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee played the sweetly dimwitted schlub Randy in the TV show My Name is Earl. But now he looks very different from his character. In the years since the show ended he changed his diet and started weight training. He also started a podcast, American Glutton, where he talked about how he overcame binge eating. And the result now is amazing.
35. Missy Elliott
Famous rapper Missy Elliott lost a lot of weight in 2018, and she explained on her Instagram how she did it. She stopped drinking sodas and stuck to only water, cut out bread, and reduced her junk food intake. And she had a very good reason for doing this: in 2011 she had been diagnosed with Graves’ disease, which can be managed via changes in diet.
34. DJ Khaled
In 2018 DJ Khaled became a spokesman for Weight Watchers, and it was a big success for him. He told Fox News that year, “Right now, the last weigh-in was like 26 pounds. I got rid of – I don’t lose.” And then by the following year he had achieved his goal by shedding 43 pounds. On Instagram he thanked the slimming program for changing his life.
33. Khloé Kardashian
After splitting from Lamar Odom, Khloé Kardashian decided to lose weight. She told Women’s Health magazine in 2015, “At first it was so hard. It was baby steps, but I started feeling so much better.” Two years later she began hosting a TV show called Revenge Body, and told USA Today, “I finally have learned to process things in a healthy way, and for me, that’s my ‘revenge body.’”
32. Simon Cowell
In 2017 Simon Cowell had a major health scare when he fainted and fell down the stairs. That year he told British newspaper The Sun, “They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out. After all, I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.” He changed his diet, and the weight came off.
31. Miranda Hart
In 2015 star of the movie Spy Miranda Hart debuted a new look. She was suddenly much slimmer, and people were amazed. And in 2019 the actress wrote an Instagram post about body positivity, speaking about how fitness activities were “important joys that feed [her] soul” and how people needed to “switch off that bullying voice” to be healthy.
30. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin avoided serious health problems thanks to his wife, Hilaria Baldwin. When he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic she knew it was time to act. In her 2016 book The Living Clearly Method she wrote, “This was an alarming wake-up call that rocked him to the core,” and she quickly helped him improve his diet.
29. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah struggled with her weight for a while, so she became a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig. And it worked. In 2010 the star told People magazine, “I wish I had known more about nutrition and exercise and how really good [sic] it could affect you at a younger age. Then I would have kicked it up a lot sooner.”
28. Sam Smith
Non-binary singer Sam Smith lost 14 pounds in the same amount of days back in 2015. They told TV program 60 Minutes Australia, “When I was at school and wasn’t having a great time or when music wasn’t going very well. I would eat, eat. Eating would make me feel better. When I felt lonely I would eat.” Changing this helped change their health.
In 2018 actress Mo’Nique posted on her social media account that she had got her weight down to under 200 pounds, and she was delighted about it. She said in her Instagram video, “It’s called raw food. It’s called dancing your pants off. It’s called giving yourself a chance to live the best life you can live.”
26. Miranda Lambert
Country music star Miranda Lambert dropped down to a lower weight in 2014, losing 20 pounds. She explained to Women’s Health magazine how she’d done it. It was simply a case of finding ways to eat more healthily, even though she didn’t like vegetables. She would drink green juice every day, and for meals, “I just literally would make grilled chicken breast, sweet potato salad. There was no miracle.”
25. Jimmy Kimmel
In 2015 television host Jimmy Kimmel spoke with Men’s Journal magazine about his weight-loss journey. He said, “I definitely feel pressure to keep slim. I don’t want to be the guy who lost weight and gained it all back. But it’s hard. Sometimes I’ll gorge and gain nine pounds in a weekend somehow, and I get bummed about it.” But he’s still trying hard.
24. Jordin Sparks
In 2012 singer and actress Jordin Sparks lost 50 pounds, no small feat, by taking Zumba classes and changing her diet. But she also didn’t want to go overboard. She told the website blackdoctor.org, “I’m good with my thighs touching. I grew up in a family where we have meat on our bones. I just want to be healthy.”
23. Shonda Rhimes
TV queen Shonda Rhimes announced in 2015 that she’d lost 98 pounds. And by 2017 she’d lost 150. But that year she wrote in her official newsletter, “I did not do it because I thought I would become beautiful like in the movies. I did it because I could not walk up a short flight [of] stairs without stopping to take a break and wiping sweat from my brow.”
22. Chrissy Metz
Chrissy Metz plays Kate Pearson on the hit show This Is Us, and the character’s weight-loss journey mirrors her own. And she’s learned a lot. In 2020 she told Good Housekeeping magazine, “I’ve battled weight issues, but I realize that I don’t have to beat myself up if I have XYZ food. Instead, I change my perspective and think, ‘What is it that I’m angry about?’”
Singer Adele shocked everyone in 2020 when she suddenly dropped down to a much slimmer frame. How had she done it? A person in her inner circle, Camila Goodis, told the media that the singer had been following the “sirtfood diet,” where you eat foods high in sirtuin. It definitely seemed to have worked.
20. John Goodman
After filming 10 Cloverfield Lane, John Goodman decided that it was high time for an image overhaul. He told ABC News in 2016, in fact, that he was “sick and tired of looking at myself.” So how did the Roseanne favorite manage to lose a whopping 100 pounds? Goodman says that, quite simply, he “just stopped eating all the time.”
19. Kelly Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne has worked hard to get her body down to a healthy weight. After trying every fad under the sun, the reality TV star finally found success with the “mushroom diet” in 2013. This diet plan is exactly what it sounds, with followers feasting on mushroom-based meals for lunch or dinner. It’s certainly worked for Osbourne anyway, who has managed to shed an impressive 70 pounds.
18. Jennifer Hudson
When Jennifer Hudson was launched to fame on American Idol in 2004, she was a fairly large lady. But after becoming a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, the vocal powerhouse ended up losing 80 pounds – and today she looks incredible.
17. Ricky Gervais
In a 2010 interview with People magazine, Ricky Gervais rather critically described his former self as “a fat, lazy, out of shape slob.” These days, the British comedian is anything but. Gervais cut out late night snacking and managed to lose 22 pounds, although he did admit to Men’s Health magazine in 2013 that the weight loss might have a downside. “I play fat putzes,” explained Gervais. “If anything, this could ruin my career!”
16. Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr, ever the comedian, joked to US Weekly in 2014 that “doing crack” was the secret behind her dramatic weight loss. But in truth, it was a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise that made the funny woman lose over half her body weight.
15. Carrie Fisher
When Carrie Fisher was asked to play Princess Leia again in Star Wars: Episode VII, she knew she would have to lose weight before her on-screen return. And lose weight she did: the actress ended up shedding an impressive 40 pounds, simply by following a better eating and exercise plan.
14. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen surprised everyone when he slimmed down considerably in 2008, losing almost 30 pounds. That same year the Canadian star told Ryan Seacrest that there was no special secret behind his weight loss, which was purely down to eating less and moving more. But as simple as it sounds, in 2011 Rogen admitted to the Long Island Press newspaper that it hadn’t been easy. “Uh, stay fat, people,” he joked. “That’s my motto. It’s no picnic.”
The Cosby Show child star Raven-Symone lost 70 pounds thanks to four sessions of cardio a week. But the actress has always been determined to promote body positivity no matter what her weight. In 2011 she explained to People magazine, “Whether or not I’m this size, I always preached, ‘Be comfortable with yourself.’”
12. Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley’s weight issues have been very well documented throughout her career. However, from 2015 to 2015 she lost 50 pounds thanks to the Jenny Craig weight loss program. It’s little wonder, then, that these days the actress is a promotional representative for the regime.
11. Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson bore no small resemblance to a Hobbit himself when he was helming the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But once the movies were finished, the filmmaker suddenly shed 50 pounds. In fact, he looked so different that Middle Earth fans barely recognized him.
10. Perez Hilton
It took celebrity blogger Perez Hilton almost four years to lose 70 pounds, and he was mighty proud of himself once he was done. In 2007 the newly-slimmed-down queen of gossip posted this triumphant message on his blog: “No surgery! No drugs! No gimmicks! No shortcuts.”
9. James Corden
British actor and TV host James Corden lost 84 pounds after he moved to Los Angeles to take over The Late, Late Show. And it wasn’t just the change of scenery that did him good. “I’ve cut out sugar and bread, and only eat at mealtimes now,” he told British newspaper the Daily Mirror in 2015.
8. Aretha Franklin
A stint in hospital convinced Aretha Franklin to turn her life around, and she lost 85 pounds in the process. Speaking on TV show The View in 2012, the singer revealed that she had ditched the processed foods and completely overhauled her diet – and had never felt better.
7. Drew Carey
Fearing he would die of a heart attack like his father, Drew Carey put himself on a strict weight-loss regime at the beginning of 2010 and proceeded to lose no less than 85 pounds in nine months. The actor credits his tremendous weight loss to cardio workouts and a sugar-free, carb-free diet.
6. Jonah Hill
Jonah’s Hill weight has fluctuated dramatically over the years and in 2011, following a more rotund appearance in the sports drama Moneyball, he dropped an impressive 40 pounds. The actor credited the dramatic weight loss to his new sushi diet, and in 2013 he told media, “Getting in better shape is a sign of maturity. I think you are taken more seriously.”
5. Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy is always going to be a big and beautiful woman, and the actress is proud to run her own plus-size fashion line. These days, however, McCarthy is at a much healthier, happier weight than she was in her Gilmore Girls days. In 2016, thanks to some careful dieting, the Ghostbusters star lost an incredible 75 pounds.
4. Randy Jackson
American Idol judge Randy Jackson has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and in 2003, the TV star ended opted to have gastric bypass surgery to help him lose weight. Since then, and with the help of a healthier diet, Jackson has managed to shed 100 pounds.
In 2012 reality star Snooki managed to successfully shift her pregnancy weight – and then some. The TV personality lost 42 pounds by eating well and exercising regularly, and now she actually looks slimmer than she did before motherhood.
2. Rosie O’Donnell
Outspoken comedienne Rosie O’Donnell lost 64 pounds in just a couple of years, with a gastric bypass to help her along. “That surgery changed my life,” she told People in 2015. “Your relationship with food ends.”
1. Chris Pratt
After watching a chunkier version of himself star in the movie Zero Dark Thirty, Chris Pratt vowed to make a change, and he’s stuck to it. Today, after losing 80 pounds, Pratt is one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men – and the ultimate weight loss success story.