The Grammy Award-winning singer lost an impressive 80 pounds—slimming down from a size 16 to a size 6—over the course of her weight loss journey. But do you know what’s even more impressive? She’s kept it from creeping back for 7 years! While studies show most people who drop significant pounds regain the weight they lose, Hudson has managed to keep her svelte figure all this time.
Even though it's been nearly a decade since she toned up her body in 2010, somehow, Hudson looks exactly the same—maybe even better! We compiled her best tips for losing weight and keeping it off, so you can incorporate them into your daily routine. For even more ways to slim down, check out our 50 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Tips.
She Keeps Tempting Food at Bay
As the saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind." Hudson stresses the importance of surrounding herself with appropriate portions and healthy options, and is sure to limit temptation. “I don’t like too much junk in my dressing room because I have to watch what I eat, so I put everything else out of the room,” she told Lorraine Kelly on the British talk show Lorraine. Take a page from Hudson’s book and keep your cheat meals covered and out of reach. Better yet, hide temptations behind healthier options to give yourself a chance to first notice better-for-you choices first.
She Exercises Without Exercising
"I don’t have time to do much exercise, I just watch what I eat," Hudson admitted on Lorraine. And while J-Hud might not get in the classic iron-pumping workouts, she still finds time to get her heart rate up. In the past, Jennifer has revealed how she incorporates unorthodox workouts: "I love basketball. It’s fun, you don’t even realize you’re working out," she said, "[You] just keep that metabolism going and just keep that energy up."
Eat This! Tip:
You don’t even need to be into sports to stay active, either. A study published in BMJ found that walking one minute two times per hour could minimize spikes in blood sugar and lower post-meal insulin levels in overweight participants. Especially important if you have a sedentary job, get up and stay moving throughout the day however you can. For more tips on fitting in a workout, read 31 Sneaky Ways to Workout Without Hitting the Gym.
She Eats Chocolate
“I always have to have chocolate around—it’s my cigarette. I don’t smoke but it calms me so well,” Hudson told Yahoo! Style. As surprising as it seems, people who allow themselves cheat meals are actually more successful in their weight loss journey. Satisfying cravings can boost metabolism and ward off feelings of deprivation, allowing you to more easily stick with your diet plan the rest of the week.
She Stays Away From Crash Dieting
Hudson explained on Oprah when she first dropped the pounds that “It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.” "I had to break my diet mentality,” she told Self in 2011, “I used to deprive myself, thinking that was healthy. I didn't eat pasta, fried food, red meat. I hadn't had pizza in 10 years. If you're on a strict diet that says you shouldn't have any carbs or this or that, your body won't function the way it should.” Extreme diets are unrealistic and can even be unhealthy. This is why saying no to fad diets is number one on our list of 20 Ways to Lose Weight Forever. Instead, focus on saying yes to other weight-loss secrets, like meal prepping and spreading out smaller meals throughout the day.
She Keeps Food Rituals
On Lorraine, Hudson explained, “I'm very conscious of what I put in my body,” adding, “I'll be out and think, "no it’s too early to eat right now." Mindful eating is a key element to a healthier lifestyle and relates to not only deciding when to eat, but also what, how much, and where the meal should be.
Carolyn Brown, MS RD of Foodtrainers warned us against the dangers of eating in front of a TV. Commercials for unhealthy food and drink can cause unhealthy cravings and, because TV is so distracting, it’s easy to keep scarfing down food until we’re way past full. Paying attention to your plate can also mean using smaller dishes and waiting in between portions to give your body time to register being full. Like Jennifer Hudson, you can establish food rituals by making a point of always eating meals at a table. This ritual is great because it can be done anywhere, but ensures you will always focus on what you’re eating and not get distracted by work or TV. This is just one of the 21 Eating Habits That Help You Lose Weight—Without Depriving Yourself.