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Ree Drummond Opens Up About 50-Pound Weight Loss: 'I Was Tired, Puffy & Desperate'

Drummond's sustainable approach to losing weight—and keeping it off—is inspiring.

Losing 50 pounds—and maintaining a new goal weight—is no easy feat. In fact, it's a journey The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond knows well. Drummond kickstarted her wellness journey back in January 2021 and has been maintaining her 50-pound weight loss for almost three years since then, according to PEOPLE. In a recent exclusive interview with, Drummond opened up about the healthy habits that helped her along the way and the one major takeaway she learned. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out Rob Lowe Reveals His Secrets to Staying Fit & Healthy at 59: Exclusive.

Ree Drummond's #1 takeaway is "trying not to waste calories."

In a June 2021 blog entry, Drummond shared what motivated her to begin this wellness journey—and weight loss was just part of it. "What motivated me the most was just wanting to feel better and have more energy. In January, just before I bit the bullet and took the leap, I was tired, puffy, and desperate…and I knew I shouldn't be feeling that way. So while the eighties child in me does not necessarily bristle if someone occasionally says an encouraging 'You look thinner!' or 'You've lost weight!' I mostly just think about how much better I feel every day and feel grateful that I've made it over the hump."

Drummond recently shared with that combining exercise and moderate diet tweaks really helped her succeed along the way. "I tackled it from different directions," Drummond explained. And the "biggest takeaway" Drummond learned from the process? It's one she revealed she doesn't always stick to: "trying not to waste calories." She said, "I could eat a plate of delicious food with different elements and colors and flavor, or I could eat a donut … Sometimes, it's the donut, but it's just a good thing to have in mind." So relatable!

No matter how much weight you're looking to lose, sustainability is key. Following fad diets or restricting calories to the extreme are totally unsustainable approaches and can lead to weight gain down the line. That's what makes Drummond's success story so great; her habits are sustainable, and she established what works best for her and her body.

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She loves her home rowing machine, which helped boost her muscle tone.

When it comes to getting active, Drummond explained she enjoys going on walks with her dogs every day, and she's a major fan of her rowing machine. In fact, she noted it's what helped her boost her muscle and body tone. "I'm an impatient home exerciser, so the rowing machine was probably my favorite," Drummond said.

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Here's how Drummond stays on track throughout the holiday season.

Let's be honest: The holidays can be an incredibly challenging time to stay on top of your weight loss goals. From pumpkin pie to sweet potato casserole to chocolate peppermint martinis, there are indulgences lurking in every kitchen and on every restaurant menu.

Drummond shared with what helps keep her on track during the holiday season. "I think what I've done over the past two years is knowing that I don't want to push things away or say no to foods. I upped my movement a bit. I take a couple extra walks with the dogs each week. I make sure to get on the rowing machine at least once a day, especially through November and December," Drummond said. As far as smart indulging is concerned, Drummond shares a tip: "One slice of pecan pie is every bite as delicious as three slices of pecan pie."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa