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Jennifer Hudson's Weight Loss No Overnight Success

By +Carolyn Richardson on Feb 08, 2011 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

By Carolyn Richardson

Celebrity sponsors continue to crop up in weight loss commercials, but none was more shocking to me than Jennifer Hudson becoming the spokesperson for Weight Watchers.  The singer, who has said she will always have curves multiple times, lost a significant amount of weight seemingly overnight.  But while the relationship with Weight Watchers was announced in April 2010, the singer actually started her weight loss journey years before.  Jennifer’s history of healthy eating and exercise has been buried behind misconceptions about plus-size women.  From her childhood, to American Idol, to Dreamgirls, her weight has a story to tell.

The Idol Hopeful – Size 10

Before America knew her name, Jennifer Hudson went on a strict diet and exercise regimen for the opportunity to become a household name.  A photo gallery posted on references a 60-pound weight loss prior to her American Idol audition in 2003.  She apparently went from a size 22 to a size 10 by cutting fried foods and ice cream and jogging.  Of the rigorous workouts she’d endured she recently said, "I'd do the workout tape, I'd run up the steps for about 20 or 30 minutes, go outside, jog around the block, go to the gym--all in one day."

The Dreamgirl – Size 16

Jennifer’s extreme Idol routine would be exchanged for a sedentary lifestyle and "cookies, cakes and pies" to recreate the role of Effie White in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls.  Following her unsuccessful stint on American Idol, Hudson beat almost 800 singers to secure the role in 2005.  Obligated to gain 20 pounds the star said she was bothered by not working out and after filming wrapped, she got back on it.

The Oscar Winner – Size 12

While party-goers no doubt downed the best champagne in Hollywood, Jennifer Hudson rode her Oscar win for Dreamgirls straight to the gym.  She reportedly did not drink that night so that she could workout the next morning. A New York Times article published in 2007 spoke of her size 12 physique as “unapologetic.”  The article revealed what now may deserve a retraction from Hudson. “I would never want to be smaller than an 8,” she said, “and even that’s too small. I think 10, 12, 14, is a beautiful place to be.” So what was the catalyst to the extreme weight loss she’s enjoying now?

The Mother – Size 16 +One

While 2008 saw two more major film releases for Hudson in The Sex and the City Movie and The Secret Life of Bees, there was no new news regarding her weight.  However, her healthy eating and exercising took a backseat to motherhood.  She gained the average 35 pounds during her pregnancy and was unhappy with pictures following the birth of her child in August 2009.  Only two months after becoming a mother, Hudson was back at it with exercise which she told Access Hollywood entailed walking for 45 minutes to an hour.  A interview quoted her diet to be free of red meat and fried foods.  At the time she said she was not counting calories and had "8 lbs to go."

The Spokesperson - Size - 6

By January 2010, Jennifer revealed she had enlisted celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to help with those last few pounds, reportedly for her upcoming role as Winnie Mandela.  After announcing that she uses the Weight Watchers app on her iPhone, it was clear that she was poised to become Weight Watchers’ next spokesperson.  By April 2010 her first Weight Watchers ads were in print and on the air.  In an advertisement for Weight Watchers, the singer and actress Jennifer Hudson says she is "a jean size smaller" and "a confidence size bigger."

As her new 2011 ad as a size-6 bombshell continues to wow onlookers, consider her rollercoaster weight loss journey through the years.  While no one can say how much weight Jennifer lost with Weight Watchers, it is clear that diet and exercise or a lack thereof are the keys to losing, gaining, and maintaining a healthy weight.  However you choose to get to your weight goals, keep her journey in mind.

Your thoughts....

Does Jennifer Hudson make a good role model?

More Articles about Jennifer Hudson's diet and exercise:


No, not until we see her keep it off for a couple of years, if not, she goes in the same category as Oprah

why do these companies have to use a celebrity to represent them????

I am so tired of seeing celebrities selling products and it just comes across as fake

wouldn't having a regular person mean more and gain some respect for companies???

   Because celebrities create a common bond for all of us familiar with their persona. We can all feel like we "know" them personally through their carreer/life's journey.      Not just an average Jane or John Doe, that while having a great story to share with us, is just a name in a story here on this blog that is here today and gone tomorrow. 

   I love the stories everyone shares here, but next week, month or year I will not remember your names or feel that connection that I will have by continuing to watch a celebrity that I feel acquainted with. Smile 

NO , not at all.  She seems to have gone through the unhealthy yo-yo cycle that most dieters  find to be  a trap.  She's on the up side of that right now for sure    Still,  this with  a personal trainer and the motivation of an Oscar and American Idol ?

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We aren't to put ourselves up against them.  It is just the fact that they do create interest.  That was my point.


This is my favorite part "By January 2010, Jennifer revealed she had enlisted celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to help with those last few pounds" - If we had money, we would be thin too.

I think that lilly71's comment is sad. I'm sorry but it's not her fault if she has the money and connections to make it easier. Having a chef or a personal trainer doesn't mean that she doesn't do all the work. She still gets her but out there to do the exercises herself, she just has support to make sure she does it the right way. She is a role model in a small way, but I agree that she isn't THE role model that most women would identify with. And as far as the fact that she is a celibrity and not someone ''normal'', isn't the fact that she yo-yo's with her weight the proof that she actually IS like every other women who juggle with their weight and have trouble keeping up pace at times ? Think about that...

I spent frequent flyer miles on a first class flight to London this December and had Jennifer sitting in front of me with her adorable son. She looks awesome in person--very healthy, downright glowing, and is still definitely a woman with beautiful curves. I have to say seeing her was a HUGE boost to my own exercise/diet confidence because I could see in person what those last 20 pounds will do for me.

I wonder if some of you posters say the same thing about Kirstie Alley or Marie Osmond...Yell

Anyway, yes Jennifer is a roll model to me. Any woman with the discipline to lose weight I find impressive be she a celebrity or not.

I can't believe grown adults still look at celebrities as "different" than the rest of us. They may have more money, but they have to wipe their butts the same way we do. How about looking to ME for a role model. I'm unemployed for almost 2 yrs., living on food stamps, can't afford a gym, let alone a trainer. I still found a way to lose 105 lbs. eating "normal" healthy foods and working out at home with little or no fancy equipment. Anyone with lots of money can afford the best of the best and still, if you don't have the ambition and motivation found deep inside yourself, you will NEVER succeed.

I believe Jennifer could be a good role model, anyone who is naturally heavier is going to go through the ups and downs bc they are going through a battle with thier body, trying to keep the pounds off that their body is used to carrying. It seems that no matter what was thrown at her Jennifer went back to square one and started exercising and eating healthy. Its clear that Jennifer wants to be healthy but with set backs such as having a baby and then do the movie role where she had to gain a few pounds, thats what understandbly side tracked her. But right after that she went back to square one. These are normal issues that one has to deal with when they are not naturally skinny. The important thing is that she is able to refocus.

and I am not saying she could be a role model just because she is a celebrity, anyone who is doing the right thing could be a role model!

Jennifer Hudson is like most of us...she loses and she gains.  I have yo-yo'd and I'm back on WWs.  Do I think of her as a role model - sure.  She's worked hard at trying to lose weight and she will have to keep working hard on it - just like me.  I hope she keeps the weight off.  I've been on WWs for 5 weeks and I've lost 11 lbs.  It doesn't seem like much but someone recently noticed that my face seemed thinner. Laughing My weight loss has always started in the face and neck, so I'm happy right now.

I think your comments missed the point entirely.  Hudson is a "SPOKE'S PERSON" not a role model.

She is selling a product.  She is a professional entertainer.

The point is that everyone is missing is that CALORIES in and CALORIES out, count calories, make good choices.

Weight Watchers is only a teaching tool to help people make good choices.

If you count Calories or count Plus Points, control your choices by eating healthy food and exercise anyone can loose weight.

So now get off the computer and start walking!!

I really don't care who represents WW but Jennifer Hudson has been through a battle and she deserves some accolades. I have been off and on the WW program since the early 1970's and I have to say this is the BEST program I have ever experienced. I have lost every week since starting the new Points + program and before I was doing nothing but going  up and down weekly. I love the new Point+ program and am positive it is going to help me reach my goal and I am 66 years old and it is not easy as we age to loose weight. 

Original Post by: ellektra

No, not until we see her keep it off for a couple of years, if not, she goes in the same category as Oprah

She isn't any more inspiration to me than any other person I've read about/seen who has lost a large amount of weight and kept it off.  I wonder though if a company was paying me a million dollars for a weight loss ad campaign if I would find that extra motivation to do it!  :)

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I wouldn't say she's a bad or good role model - she's just a person. And it's not fair to hold it against her that she said she wouldn't want to be any smaller. She was bigger then so it's safer to say that that's how you want it to be. I think her reasons for the changing sizes are pretty legitimate. It's different for entertainers, they have to be able to lose and gain weight for certain roles.

Regardless, she looks FANTASTIC. And considering the person tragedy she endured just a few years ago, I'm rooting for her.

Original Post by: marjeanne1944

All the chefs and trainers could not stop Oprah when she went off her diet and regained weight . Now she says she will never diet again and is looking heavy.Over the years she has told women how to diet so many times and she would say she has finally found the answer. Now she will never diet again. I don't think we need role models. They eventually disappoint. A spokes person is just that. They tell you about a product and you decide if it may work for you. Too bad people don't make educated choices as to what plan to use and blindly follow people like Oprah. We have to look into what they are saying and see what the real results for people have been. All the plans work, but will they work for you for a lifetime?Fighting overweight is hard and I applaud Jennifer. I don't care how she did it. As for curves, even at size 6 she has them and looks great. Recently looked at a model in a Sears ad and wrote them to ask if they want our young girls today to die trying to look that way. The look is of someone who is sick and not healthy at all.Jen looks healthy and happy. I hope she keeps it off and wins her battle once and for all.  




Nobody should idolize an individual bc we are all human, we all make mistakes, but we can look at their accomplishments as motivation. As humans we will always have bumps in the road.

Of course she is a role model. Why? A couple of reasons:

  • She did it by changing unhealthy habits to healthy habits,
  • She didn't lose the weight rapidly with the aid of a weight loss suppliment that she is now pushing on a viewing audience, many of those who are naive, impressionable young ladies,
  • We know her and have seen her for the past 8 years, so seeing is believing,
  • As a yo-yo dieter myself, who's reality never stays constant (marriage, children, changing jobs, moving homes, family deaths...), I can relate to how hard it is to stay focused when everything keeps changing

Many of us on these boards cannot relate to what it would is like to have that type of money or fame but, by the same standard, we cannot relate to her pressures. Many famed people put on weight, just read your local gossip rags as they love to exploit them. If I had all that access to decadent food, I probably would have to call on all the resources available to me to keep my self-control.

even if she is getting paid to be healthy it does not matter bc the most important thing is that she is healthy. Some people lose weight bc they entered a wieght loss contest at work...does that make them less inspirational or less healthy?...nope! ..if you were paid a lot of money to do weight watchers you would do it too! and you would be proud of yourself for looking and feeling waay better! congrats to Jen!

Original Post by: libzar

I wonder if some of you posters say the same thing about Kirstie Alley or Marie Osmond...Yell

Anyway, yes Jennifer is a roll model to me. Any woman with the discipline to lose weight I find impressive be she a celebrity or not.

The only thing about Marie Osmond's Nutrisystem is that she completely relies on their packaged meals so I wonder if she actually got off of them if she would gain all of the wieght back. It seems one would get tired of that food.

Original Post by: libzar

I wonder if some of you posters say the same thing about Kirstie Alley or Marie Osmond...Yell

Anyway, yes Jennifer is a roll model to me. Any woman with the discipline to lose weight I find impressive be she a celebrity or not.

Not sure where that comment is going.... if this were about Kirstie Alley or Marie Osmond, I'm sure there would still be plenty to say....

But, Oprah is such a good example because even with all her money to afford her personal chefs and trainers we get to see that losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge for most of us with weight issues. Her example shows us that you have to want it and continue to want it. Is it fair for me to discount the efforts of friends of mine who have lost weight because they can afford the money and time to go to Weight Watchers and join a gym but I can't? Losing weight is as simple as a "2 + 2" equation, expend more calories than you eat. Change healthy eating habits for unhealthy eating habits and increase your physical activity.  However, Oprah down to a average person, like myself, has the same issue - choices.

Do people quit Weight Watchers and/or put down the whole organization because someone they knew lost a significant amount of weight following the plan and then put the weight back on because they were no longer following it? That would be silly because the plan works, it's the person who has to make it work.

I think anyone who has some success at weight loss can be a good role model.  The fact that Jennifer is a celebrity whom we all know has had weight issues over a long period of time can help us relate.  But, yes, she is being paid to endorse her product, so take it all in stride.  In 3 months it will be someone else on the ads.

yes.  She seems to be self-motivated and determined. Her diet and exercise philosophy seems to me simple, basic, and about loving yourself. No frills. About back to basics and about love - loving life, loving yourself, loving being healthy, and loving being ready for anything. That is so exciting to me! The motivation is all within. I LOVE THAT!! You go girl!

Weight watchers works. It is research based and incorporates everything we know about weight loss - balanced healthy eating; activity; group support; water ...

Why can't we be happy for Jennifer and celebrate her success? I am not waiting till she gains it all back or watching for failure in 2 years. She has done an amazing thing and deserves applause not criticism.She is not just a celebrity - she is a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother ... If she wasn't a spokesperson, this discussion would not even be taking place - that is why companies use celebrities.

My story is similar - 50+ years of yoyoing, unhealthy attempts to lose, self-hatred when I gained ... Jennifer is just one more inspiration in my life. She set out to do something and she did it. More power to her if she accessed all the help she could find and afford. None of that would matter if she did not have the motivation and persistence to make it happen.

Bravo, Jennifer. I too am with Weight Watchers and I am delighted with my success. At 66 I no longer have a goal weight. I do not care how fast I lose. I do not care how fast others lose. I do not care who WW uses as a spokesperson. It is all about ME! I am healthier, fitter, and happier than I have been in a long time. It works for me. I hope you all find whatever works for you.

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I love cherylarleith  comment. Weight loss is something you have to do for yourself.  And if a spokes person or their product helps you with that that is all that is really needed.  When I really want to get motivated I watch weight loss shows that have the average person on them.  Where we watch them go through a normal workout routine and day to day struggles.  With all this it is still your choice to what helps your motivation.

I love it and I love her confidenance.  She actually motivated me and I joined WW again.  It had been over 15 years since I was a member.  I went to a meeting with a friend from high school, who has been a member for two years and she looks like she did in high school.  After seeing Jennifer's success, that just gave me the extra push.  The Points Plus Program just clicks.  Tracking your food intake is key!  I highly recommend it to anyone who needs that extra push and encouragement through the group meetings and on-line support.  I am down 6 pounds in 3 weeks.  It works!!!!!!!!!!Smile

I am very inspired by Jennifer Hudson's weight loss, regardless of what program if any she used. I look at her who as someone who had a long-standing history of being overweight from a young age. I think that's really hard to overcome, especially with the social obligations of a celebrity.  I never got the impression that she lost weight overnight because I saw her progress periodically on the ads.

I don't look to any celebrity as a role model... especially if they lose and gain weight as much as Ms. Hudson did. It's not healthy for the body to constantly gain and lose weight over and over... not to mention the skin getting stretched out over and over again.

Uh -no.  Because I don't have endless resources from movies, royalties and celeb appearances to be able to work out any-day, any-time, have meals made for me, a personal trainer at my disposal, etc, etc.  THAT is the real reason WW works for celebrities, and ordinary folks find it hard to maintain the 'goal weight' (which is based on an out-of-date BMI anyway).  It's a fake lifestyle they lead - one many ordinary people can never aspire to.

How many people (by the way) know that Nestle bought out Jenny Craig!  Yes, eat the chocolate, buy the weight-loss solution .... all-in-one-dividends for the shareholder. 

Additionally, what 'they' often don't tell us, is the celebrities' heights!  Eva Longoria is only 153cm - that's FOUR INCHES shorter than me.  So, I see the photos and want the look.  I will NEVER get it because film is deceiving and she is not only shorter than me, but petite in bone structure etc.  I got a real surprise to hear the same about Reece Witherspoon (whom I LOVE in movies).  She too is a tiny-dot compared to me, although I'm not 'tall'.  Again, I cannot physically attain their results because I am built bigger ... celebrity-ville and the media have a lot to answer for with their smoke and mirrors ppfffttttt

I congratulate Jennifer on her hard work.  It is always hard work at first but when you start seeing those numbers going down that's the motivating factor.  Not to mention she looks great and feels better.  That speaks volumes in itself and I am sure she will continue to work at it and knows wants others to know if she can do it so can you!  

Hey everyone, I usually don’t reply but to this one I wanted to add my 2 cents.  Oprah can be very controversial in her ways. She seems to be a live in the moment type of person and from time to time I believe I’ve heard her say that.  It’s good that Jennifer Hudson is doing so well and I admire her enthusiasm and accomplishments. A role model, yes but only to the extent that exercising and eating healthy has been in her nature for a long time.  I took the time and went to the above referenced link and it seems that she’s been eating healthy for years, so this wasn’t a change that was unusual for her. With the no ice cream and eating brown carbs thing.  That’s wonderful, but my question to all these “celebrity’s” is how can this work for the realistic mother, parent, husband, wife, teen & etc. that may be on a fixed budget and can’t buy the weight watchers?  Or those that can’t get a personal trainer and spend hundreds or thousands?  Obviously she fluctuated for her Dreamgirls role because they asked her to pack on the pounds and soon after it was over she took it off.  So overall she does appear healthy even before the role and before stardom.  I want to know what really helped her take off that extra weight and really widdle down.  So again, I do applause her accomplishments, but for the average women I think we can look up to her. But still have question marks dancing in our head.  What works for one doesn’t always work for another. It’s finding that spiritual & physical healthy balance. So yes, a role model to keep aspiring for change because the road may be long, but in God’s time, not ours, we’ll get there.  – Be Blessed everyone.

You really want to know what helps?  Stacking of T3 and Clenbuterol along with diuretics combined with working out - what we see is only their public persona.  We don't see the sweating, the tears, the tantrums, their bad moods and exhaustion from losing the weight, from eating small amounts and from the stacking of gym-drugs. 

These are the drugs of choice that body-builders use to drop weight.  Some even use Anavar a mild androgenic safe for women which will strip fat, raise muscular development and not produce any androgenic-reaction (i.e. you don't suddenly develop chest hair and drop the voice 3 octaves).  Don't think for a minute that Demi Moore didn't have 'some assistance' for her stripper role or the GI Jane role.  If we think she did it 'naturally' we need our heads read - I am absolutely CERTAIN (without proof of course) that she had her metabolism 'enhanced' in some way. 

There is rarely any such thing as a 'clean' sports person or gym bunny these days.  THIS is how they drop the weight and tone up so rapidly - maybe to the detriment of their health later in life, but later in life isn't when the money is being earned.  It's being earned now so they will do what it takes 'now'. 

Original Post by: membernameavailable123

I think your comments missed the point entirely.  Hudson is a "SPOKE'S PERSON" not a role model.

She is selling a product.  She is a professional entertainer.

The point is that everyone is missing is that CALORIES in and CALORIES out, count calories, make good choices.

Weight Watchers is only a teaching tool to help people make good choices.

If you count Calories or count Plus Points, control your choices by eating healthy food and exercise anyone can loose weight.

So now get off the computer and start walking!!

Uh, so why are you sitting on your computer pontificating?????  Get off your own computer dude!!!

Weight Watchers work even tho I count calories and not points-guess I am old fashioned but hey whatever works!

I commend Jennifer Hudson on her success!!!

U go girl!!!

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Nothing but the MOST respect for Jennifer Hudson! She lost the weight smartly, she looks amazing, she's georgous and that SONG is perfect! Who else could look and sound like that giving us all hope singing "it's a new day...?"

How sad any of us diet bloggers would say something negative about her. You go Jennifer!!!

Yes she is a role model- she has always kept it real and been honest, round-the-way kind of girl...never pretentious, always giving credit where it is due and remembering where she came from.

I get sick of celebs who make it seem easy, who have a baby and a month later are a size 0- it's not even real or healthy to do that.

I appreciate celebs who are honest and tel us it is hard to lose weight, that they needed help, and like Jennifer, will admit that they are not always happy with their weight- buit willing to do something to lose it in a healthy way. Even Oprah, she is heavy now but she has honestly said MANY times that she has a problem with food and has found it difficult to solve. A person is a role model not just because they have success but because they are fighting the fight, doing what they can. Jennifer got help, the help she can afford- she's rich so that's a lot more help than i can afford- but isn't that what we can all do? Get the help we can to lose weight and get fit? So why hate on her and wait for her to gain it all back??? I am happy for her and inspired to know her story, I didn't know all that background info. It just makes me respect her more.

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Yes, but the rich can do it quicker with $$ because they can afford to train all day every day, buy the foods like 'edamame' easier and more regularly and pay for the drugs which enhance the loss. 

Why are more wealthy people thinner than poor people?  Because high carb poor quality foods are cheaper (potato crisps and fried food) than better quality food (eye fillet and high quality vegetables).  They also have better schedules or one party at home who can cook rather than both parties (in a married situation) working two or three or more jobs between them leaving little time for quality food preparation ... and don't deny there IS a social aspect to this because there is.

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Then marjeanne, you have NEVER had a thyroid issue either.  And I never said quicker was the issue - just that this is one of the ways 'the celebs' manage to lose weight as quick as they put it on and just toss it off as "oh, that ol' few kilos" without fessing up that they are actually using drugs. 

"Quicker is not the issue.  Prioritize and anyone can eat right and exercise. It takes knowledge and planning."

Yes, there are plenty of fat wealthy people too, but just as many thin.  But I do want to point out just one thing in relation to the above bit I quoted - not everyone can eat right and exercise and lose weight.  You may have figured by now, I know my way around a gym.  I do.  But thyroidal issues put paid to any gain made there - until I found T3 it didn't matter what I did.  Now my efforts pay dividends.  So, am I using 'drugs' to achieve?  Yes, albeit prescription ones but drugs all the same.  And they too cost money - they're not free.  So, can anyone do it?  Not necessarily and sometimes not without intervention - again $$$$$. 

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