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The Pioneer Woman Just Explained the Exact 10 Things She Did to Lose 43 Pounds

Ree Drummond's gimmick-free plan helped her transform her body in just six months.

Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman, has undergone a massive weight loss transformation in the past six months, shedding a staggering 43 pounds since January. However, the star says it's not a trendy diet or expensive exercise routine that helped her lose the weight. Read on to discover Drummond's 10 essential habits for dropping the pounds and keeping them off.

For more insight into how stars really slim down, Raven-Symoné Says This Exact Diet Helped Her Lose 30 Pounds.

She cut calories.

Woman eating baked chicken breasts with salad.

In a new post on her website, Drummond says that she didn't do keto, intermittent fasting, or any type of weight loss program to shed the pounds, nor did she buy diet foods. Instead, she relied on the tried-and-true "calories in, calories out" method.

"I tried to achieve a calorie deficit most days, which means I expended more calories (through exercise and just basic daily activity) than my body required to maintain my then-weight," she said, explaining that she used online tools to help her find out the calories in her food.

"Counting my calories was nothing short of eye opening, and for me it was essential."

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She weighed her food.

bowl of oatmeal on a food scale
Shutterstock / Anton Belo

In addition to tracking her daily caloric intake and shooting to eat fewer calories than she was burning, Drummond used a digital food scale to make sure she was consuming the right portion sizes.

"It really woke me up to the portions I had grown accustomed to eating! As with calories, I had completely lost sight of the volume I was eating—so it was an education in those first few weeks," says Drummond, who says that she no longer weighs her portions for every meal now that she has a better idea of how to eyeball things.

She moved more.


Drummond says that she didn't use a trainer to help her slim down, relying on what she had on hand instead to help her get more exercise.

"I walked 2 to 3 miles, or did the rowing machine, or did Pilates," using a floor-based Pilates routine, she explained. "I exercised 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day (morning walk, evening rowing machine), sometimes just once."

She built muscle.

Set of dumbbells

After finding her weight loss plateauing after just over a month on her journey, Drummond began incorporating weight-bearing exercises into her routine.

When she started, Drummond says, "I had zero strength in my lower body and my legs trembled and gave out. But I still did it, about four days a week to start, and laughed at my uncoordinated clumsiness every time." She now does a routine of squats, lunges, and other muscle-toning exercises on a regular basis.

She increased her protein intake.

boiled eggs

While Drummond says she didn't stick to any particular diet plan to lose weight, she does admit that ramping up her protein intake was essential in terms of her weight loss.

"On a typical day, I had been landing at around 15% to 20% of my calories from protein…so I pivoted and steered my eating so that I was around 30% to 40% protein. It worked!" In doing so, Drummond says she got past her weight loss plateau and experienced greater satiety on a daily basis.

For more insight into how your favorite celebs work out, Country Star Jana Kramer Reveals the Exact Exercise Routine That Keeps Her Fit.

She slashed her sugar consumption.

woman refusing cupcakes
Shutterstock / LoveBigHomeStudio

As a means of cutting calories while staying satisfied, Drummond cut down her sugar intake dramatically, opting instead for more filling foods. However, she says that the occasional treat is still on the menu.

"Were there days I gave in and had a piece of cake? Yes! I'm The Pioneer Woman and I love food! Ha. But the piece of cake was the size of Rhode Island instead of Texas, and it wasn't an everyday thing," she says.

She cut out alcohol.

woman turning down glass of red wine
Shutterstock /

As a means of both cutting calories and adopting healthier habits in terms of her exercise and eating, Drummond drank no alcohol during the first four months of her weight loss journey.

While Drummond says she's "back to having an occasional grown-up beverage again," she now opts for tequila with Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and fresh lime juice instead of more caloric drinks.

She logged her weight with an app.

woman counting calories with diet app
Shutterstock / Africa Studio

To stay on track with her weight loss, Drummond relied on the Happy Scale app, which helps illustrate how many pounds you've lost and the rate at which you're losing.

"Let me tell you that it was a GAME CHANGER in terms of motivating me to keep going,' she says.

"It was the magic bullet for me because it takes away the occasional frustration of natural ebbs and flows of weight loss by giving you your moving average weight along with your literal weight."

She used a standing desk.

woman using standing desk
Shutterstock / 4Max

Since Drummond was writing a cookbook while trying to lose weight, she opted for a standing desk to ensure she didn't spend the whole day sitting.

"I found more than anything was that when you are working in a standing position, you are a lot more mobile and prone to step away and take breaks…If I'd been standing and working awhile and I felt like moving around, I'd just leave my desk and go outside, go get water, go take a short walk."

She kept going.

Instead of declaring her weight loss journey over after shedding significant weight, Drummond says she's looking at her transformation as an ongoing lifestyle change that keeps her feeling healthier.

"I'll keep weighing in every day to have all the information I need going forward, but the number isn't what I'm paying attention to now…My experiences over the past few months have equipped me with real, doable tools that I feel like I'll be able to whip out whenever things get off track in the coming months and years." And for more on how celebs have stayed healthy during the pandemic, Brooke Burke Is Thrilled She Doesn't Have to Track Calories With This Diet and Exercise Routine.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah