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The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's 5 Best Weight Loss Secrets

The 53-year-old dropped over 55 pounds in a year!

It has been exactly one year since Ree Drummond decided to change her life. Since then she has lost over 55 pounds. However, according to her recent blog post, "it hasn't changed my life itself." Her day-to-day schedule is still full of ranch living, filming her cooking show, working on cookbooks and other products, and, of course, being a wife and "weird mom."

In a September 2021 interview, The Pioneer Woman opened up to Entertainment Tonight about the moment that led her to change her life. "I basically hit rock bottom eating chips and salsa one night. I went a little overboard," she said.

Though she decided right then that it was time to make a change, she also insisted that it was not about the number on the scale. "I feel great and that's what matters," she explained. "The scale was sort of a gauge for me that I was heading in the right direction. And it was never about I have to lose this amount, it's really about how I feel."

So how did she do it? "I didn't use a trainer, I didn't do Keto or Paleo or follow an official diet, I didn't eat specialty foods, and I didn't do intermittent fasting," she wrote.

Keep reading to learn five weight loss secrets that Ree swears by, and later don't miss these 16 Famous Celebs Share How They Make Oatmeal.

Portion Control

It may seem like such a simple answer, but Drummond says learning portion control has changed her life. "The answer 'smaller portions' is so lackluster and boring," she wrote. "But it has absolutely held true for me."

She learned through her journey just how "off the rails" her portions were in the years prior. "During the five-month period I weighed my food and counted calories, I really broke the spell of eating too much volume and during this process, I trained my body to get used to smaller—well, I should say more normal—portions," Ree said.

Now that she has trained her body, Ree eats all the delicious foods she wants, but says she is "satisfied with much less."

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All Things in Moderation

Woman pouring glass of white wine

Making a huge life change, like deciding to lose weight, means making drastic lifestyle changes. For Ree, however, she doesn't restrict herself from the things she loves and craves.

"I knew I had to eliminate alcohol entirely during the initial/intense stage of my weight loss, but beginning in the summertime, I started having a social drink or two here and there," the Pioneer Woman said. Though she still avoids sugary drinks like margaritas and anything fruity, lemon and lime juice are her go-to's.

"My two favorite drinks are Ranch Water and White Wine Spritzer," she described. These are great low-calorie alternatives to those fan-favorite fruity options. Plus, according to Drummond, "They also spread out the calories more: In other words, you can have two drinks for the calories of one." That's a win-win!

Build Muscle

The Pioneer Woman is adamant that building muscle made all the difference in her weight loss success. "You can have a day or two or three when you fall off track with eating or exercise, but if you have that strong foundation of muscle, you can climb right back on the bike," she wrote.

Drummond insists that the muscles she built from doing lunges, squats, and deadlifts "laid the foundation for a summer and fall of more efficient calorie burning." She likened her muscles to an engine that's "always working behind the scenes!"

Keep it Movin'

Ree has described her workout routine as a mixture of rowing, weight training, Pilates, and walking five or six days a week. However, she also admits that real life can sometimes get in the way. "When school and football started and I had lots of filming and cookbook events going on, I fell off my disciplined exercise routine a bit," she said.

Her five or six-day routine suddenly dropped to two or three days."I found that if I had a couple of days at home when I was sitting and working a lot, it showed itself both in the number on the scale and in the way I felt overall," she recalled. The Pioneer Woman was able to find balance in her life even with a hectic schedule by making small changes throughout her day. "I made sure to stay more committed than ever to using my standing desk, stepping away for frequent breaks, and putting myself in a position to move more."

Weigh Yourself

Ree Drummond
Monica Schipper / Getty Images

Though Ree knows that stepping on a scale daily "can be triggering to some," it was instrumental in her own journey. Just as her weightloss journey was never about losing pounds, she acknowledged that weighing herself is "not about fixating over every pound and ounce."

"I've just found that when excess weight has crept on through the years, it has happened when I've chosen not to weigh myself," Drummond recalled. "I willfully hadn't weighed myself because I never wanted to know."

If you don't know what the scale says, it's easy to just shrug it off as "just a few pounds," she said. Now, as part of her healthy lifestyle, Ree steps on her scale first thing every morning and logs her weight to track trends.
It's not a lifestyle change

"I don't want to change my lifestyle. I just want to wear smaller jeans," the mother of four insisted.

Drummond always took the phrase "lifestyle change" as insinuating that her daily life would be flipped upside down, so she prefers the term "perspective change."

"During the first five months (and in the ensuing months) of my journey, I experienced a seismic shift in my perspective of everything I've mentioned: Portion size, calories, daily movement, sitting vs. standing, protein percentage, muscle mass, wasted calories, and so on," she wrote. "I think about all of those things totally differently now."

Now, looking back she insists that her daily life is still the same as it always was. "I still have cow manure in my yard, for example," she laughed. "Only difference between before and after is that I've lost weight. Aside from that, my daily life really hasn't changed all that much."

Kayla Aldecoa
Kayla was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and now works as a writer in Austin, Texas. Read more about Kayla