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Lose Weight With A-Listers’ Slimming Strategies

Learn how Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan and Shonda Rhimes dropped 70, 75 and nearly 150 pounds!

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Sisters Newsletter Staff
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It’s one thing to drop pounds. But what really matters is maintaining a healthy weight over time — or getting back on track after a gym hiatus, illness, diet derailment or pregnancy. That’s why we’re inspired by these ladies who lost weight and have reportedly committed to lasting change. Most have maintained scale success for years!

Shonda Rhimes, 50
Weight lost: Nearly 150 pounds

Habit she changed: Running Shondaland is no easy task, so Rhimes would often overeat for comfort. The turning point? She only ate she felt hungry, upped her water intake to eight cups a day and found an exercise she loves: Pilates.

Obstacle she faced: “I miss eating ALL THE FRIED CHICKEN. All of it. Every piece, everywhere,” she wrote in an essay for in 2017.

How she’s maintaining: The mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal eats the foods she loves but in smaller portions, which has been her secret to managing her weight since 2015.

Beyoncé, 38
Weight lost: Queen Bey weighed 175 pounds when she started rehearsing for Coachella 2018. With the help of a professional trainer who oversaw an extreme diet and exercise regimen, she appears to have lost several dress sizes and gained muscle tone.

Habit she changed: As a Texas native, Beyoncé has a soft spot in her heart for southern foods, including Popeyes menu items. But in her documentary, Homecoming, the superstar shared that she stuck to a strict plant-based diet, which meant steering clear of sugar, carbs, dairy, alcohol, meat and fish.

Obstacle she overcame: After giving birth to twins Sir and Rumi, she struggled to lose her postpartum weight. In Homecoming, the mother of three also confessed it was hard to put herself first. “In the beginning, there were so many muscle spasms and just internally, my body was not connected,” she reveals. “My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice.”

How she’s maintaining: Bey followed longtime trainer Marco Borges’ intense plant-based program to prepare for Coachella, but switched to a less restrictive diet afterwards. She also uses Sundays as cheat days, allowing herself to indulge in whatever she wants, including pizza with extra tomato sauce and jalapeños.

Missy Elliott, 48
Weight lost: 30 pounds

Habit she changed: Elliott was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 2008, which forced a change in her diet, she revealed in People. Calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and selenium are thought to alleviate some of its symptoms. In 2018, the rapper made additional adjustments to her diet by ditching bread and sugary drinks.

Obstacle she faced: Like so many of us, Elliott has sweet tooth, making her even more relatable in our book.

How she’s maintaining: Exercise, diet and portion control. She doesn’t believe in depriving herself, so she still enjoys cupcakes in moderation.

Janet Jackson, 53
Weight lost: 70 pounds

Habit she changed: Jackson started lifting 5- or 8-pound weights a few times a week for 45 minutes. Resistance training adds lean muscle and burns calories long after the workout ends.

Obstacle she faced: Jackson embarked on her “State of the World” tour less than a year after giving birth to her first child, Eissa, and she also went through the stress of a divorce.

How she’s maintaining: Jackson eats healthy 90 to 95 percent of the time. She’s crazy about grilled fish, so she never feels guilty after eating chocolate cake or a candy bar.

Mo’Nique, 52
Weight lost: 80 pounds

Habit she changed: Mo’Nique credits raw eating — plant-based meals that are mostly uncooked and unprocessed — for her dramatic weight loss.

Obstacle she faced: Mo loves to snack. The comedian admits to once dunking Doritos in blue cheese, but swapping potato chips for kale, fresh fruits and other healthier alternatives keeps her on track.

How she’s maintaining: Fun, playful dance moves liven up Mo’Nique’s fitness routine.

Jill Scott, 47
Weight lost: 63 pounds

Habit she changed: Becoming a mom in 2009 forced Scott to reexamine her eating habits, which now consist of three low-fat meals and two snacks a day.

Obstacle she faced: “I don’t beat myself up! I do what I can. But bread is my enemy,” she told WebMD. “I love it. I love croissants.”
How she’s maintaining: She keeps her exercise routine fun and diverse, alternating between activities such as cardio, kickboxing and biking.

Oprah Winfrey, 65
Weight lost: 42 pounds

Habit she changed: Winfrey doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to her own struggles with weight, admitting to emotional eating and yo-yo dieting for decades.

Obstacle she faced: The media mogul tried losing weight in 2015, but an ankle injury derailed those plans and she packed on nearly 20 pounds through stress eating.

How she’s maintaining: Due to its a flexible point system, Winfrey swears by WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) since joining in 2015. With WW, fruits and vegetables cost zero points while red meat, pasta and other higher-calorie foods are assigned a point value based on their nutritional content. Lady O also learned how to better cope with stressful situations instead of turning to food. She’s a big believer in meditation and prayer.

Chaka Khan, 66
Weight lost: 75 pounds

Habit she changed: Eating vegan and cutting out dairy turned out to be the best decision for Khan after getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Obstacle she faced: Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can be difficult when you’re managing type 2 diabetes, so eating frequently throughout the day is a must.

How she’s maintaining: Khan turned to high-protein smoothies to jump-start her weight loss journey in 2012. Protein is great for maintaining weight loss since it curbs hunger longer and boosts your metabolism, which is especially important as we get older. Above all else, switching to a vegan lifestyle makes it easier for the Queen of Funk to control her diabetes without meds, she told HuffPost.