In 2020 Rebel Wilson set herself a challenge and embarked on a new weight loss diet plan that resulted in her losing almost 80 pounds to reach her goal weight in what she has called her "Year of Health".
In an interview with People, the actress said "I'm just trying to go for overall balance, overall healthy balance".
Previous to 2020 the celebrity superstar actress of Pitch Perfect and Senior Year, Rebel Wilson, had been eating a massive 3,000 calories per day loaded with carbohydrates and she struggled to control her weight.
"Before I was probably eating 3,000 calories most days, and because they were normally carbs, I would still be hungry," she confessed.
By changing her diet to reduce carbohydrates and increase the amount of protein she was able to quickly shed the extra weight she had been carrying which resulted in a stunning body transformation that made news headlines around the world.
"So, I've really changed to eating a high-protein diet, which is challenging because I didn't used to eat a lot of meat."
How did a High Protein Diet help?
So you might be thinking that switching from a high carb diet to a low carb, high protein diet couldn't possibly explain her dramatic weight loss results, but from my many years as a Clinical Nutritionist helping my clients to lose weight I can confirm this approach does work for some.
Rebel explained that by eating mindfully and ensuring her meals contain a good portion of protein such as chicken breast, or high quality fish such as salmon she was able to control food cravings she had previously struggled with.
With a high protein “You feel satisfied and then you stop eating,” she said.
“Whereas if I’m eating a whole frickin’ bag of chips I’m just like devouring that and suddenly there’s a ton of calories and game over and yeah, no weight loss that week.”
Other Big Changes to Rebels Food Choices:
Replacing Starchy Carbs with Fruits and Vegetables
One of Rebels changes to her diet was to add fruits and vegetables loaded with dietary fiber and packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Fruits and vegetables are healthy carbohydrates, however like many people Rebel had previously been loading up on unhealthy carbs in the form of starches such as bread, pasta, potato chips, donuts, candy, and ice cream. So reducing these and replacing them with healthy fruits and vegetables she was able to increase her dietary fiber, feel full, and feed her body with healthy vitamin packed carbs.
Choosing Healthy Fats
Healthy forms of fat help reduce inflammation induced weight gain. They also low down your digestion and help to cause carbos present in your body to be absorbed at more slowly which helps to reduce cravings. Rebel started selecting healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds to control her hunger cravings and reduce inflammation which can contribute to weight gain.
Consuming Healthy Snacks
To lose weight Rebel Wilson had to stop her bad habit of loading up on sugary, starchy, high-fat unhealthy snacks. But she likes to snack, so instead of depriving herself she changed her snacks to be healthy ones so that she could snack and satisfly her hunger cravings without gaining weight. Here are some of the healthy snacks in her diet:
Half a cup of almonds, cashews or Brazil nuts
Celery and apple cider vinegar
Celery, carrot, and almond butter
Chicken breast with olive oil and guacamole
Zucchini chips with vegetable hummus
Carrot and cucumber with guacamole
How Strict was Rebel with her Diet Plan?
Like most people it was hard for Rebel to eat a perfectly balanced healthy meal each and every day.
"We’ll be like, 'Should we get In-N-Out burger?' And I'm like, 'Nothing is forbidden.' I can go there, I just might eat half of what I used to eat before. You know? And I'll have a burger, and a few fries, and then you feel fine." she said.
This approach of allowing yourself the freedom to deviate from your optimal healthy diet every so often is practical and is something I encourage my clients to incorporate into their program so that they don't feel too guilty if they stray from their plan once in a while, particularly when social events such as birthdays and weddings come up. I use the 80/20 rule where I encourage my clients to be 'on plan' at least 80% of the time to maximize their results, acknowledging that occasional deviations are a normal part of our lives and is acceptable and even encouraged as part of a healthy lifestyle approach.
In an interview with BBC in 2021 Rebel Wilson opened up about her past relationship with food and acknowledged that while she had been a confident actor that deep down inside she knew that the emotional eating behaviors such as eating a whole tub of ice cream at night weren't healthy. She shared her stories on social media so in the hope that her experience would be helpful to other people in similar situations. She told the BBC how her desire to have the option for children was one of the primary drivers leading to her decision to lose weight in order to become more fertile and keep her option to have children open.
As explained in the video by Entertainment Tonight (below) Rebel's doctor suggested that by losing some excess weight it would give her a better chance at being able to freeze some eggs and have the eggs be a better quality. Rebel was initially offended by her doctor but then realized the truth in what he had said, and changed the way she thought about losing weight to focus on doing it for the benefit of her future potential child which she referred to as "mini-me". In my experience working with clients sometimes it is helpful to have an external reason for losing weight, doing it for your children for example rather than yourself as some people will be more motivated to work hard for others rather than for themselves.
In an exclusive 2022 People interview with Rebel Wilson, the beloved 42 year old actress opens up about remarkable health transformation, and how her healthier lifestyle has also led to healthier relationships.
"I'm very proud of myself now in 2022 for the first time ever I've not put weight back on... I've changed my lifestyle and my approach to eating" She said.
In the interview Rebel explains how she faced her emotional eating, got healthy and now hopes to become a mom.
In relation to emotional eating Rebel said "I'm not cured of it [emotional eating] but I can manage it better and so now I just try to maintain all the good healthy habits."
As part of my holistic weight loss approach, it is very important to address emotional and stress eating for lasting change. This is something that I am very passionate about and give practical, solution based tools to help with this process.
In November 2020 Rebel Wilson made an appearance on the Drew Barrymore Show where she revealed that one of the motivations for her 'Year of Health' was due to her 40th birthday milestone that year (in March 2020). She explained that she had never really focused on her health and would often consume a ton of sugar during her jet setting travels where she would succumb to her sweet tooth.
Having previously tried losing weight by following fad diets and failing she knew she needed a holistic approach to seriously make lasting changes. She admitted that becoming internationally famous brought additional stress into her life, something she would deal with by emotional eating, for example binging on donuts. She started questioning why she didn't value herself more and identified that she wanted to improve her self worth which was very low. From a nutritional standpoint she realized she was eating primarily carbs and learned that for her body type this was a big part of the reason she was overweight (not having a healthy balanced diet, with appropriate healthy vegetable carbs, lean protein and sources of good fats such as avocado).
What did Rebel Wilson Look Like before her Weight Loss?
Rebel Wilson was born in 1980 in New South Wales, Australia. She has appeared in several movies including Bridesmaids and Senior year. Prior to starting her weight loss plan in 2020 she often played the "funny fat girl" part in movies.
How much weight did she lose?
Why did Rebel decide to lose weight?
Rebel suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and has dealt with emotional eating in the past. During the pandemic she was able to slow down and focus on taking care of her health.
She had previously tried to lose weight but would always gain it back. In 2020 her approach changed as she really wanted to maximize her chances to have children.
As part of her weight loss program she included exercise. Her workouts included high intensity interval training and walking. For maintenance she is mostly focusing on walking.
Was it Easy for Rebel Wilson to Lose Weight?
During her weight loss journey Rebel made sure to share her experience online so that other women could learn from and hopefully be inspired. She has been honest about her struggles during and explains her motivation to make the changes to her lifestyle to become and stay healthy in her interview with BBC below.
One of the tricks Rebel used during her wellness journey was to remember to treat and reward herself. A lot of my clients need to be reminded about the importance of rewards, and non-food rewards can be especially helpful. For example rewarding yourself with a swim at the beach, a weekend getaway, a beauty treatment, massage or something as simple as a bubble bath like Rebel did. She posted this message on Instagram "Remember though girls, you still gotta treat yourself 😘 🍰 (I just do it with food now only once or twice a week...and substitute bubble baths on alternate nights)"
A New Lifestyle
Rebel made many positive changes to her diet and lifestyle to make her weight loss possible.
Her approach to reduce carbohydrates and eat more protein was effective however her focus on counting calories is not something I recommend to my clients as it is not necessary and unsustainable in the long run. In my 26 years of clinical experience I've found that calorie counting is not an effective way to lose weight, especially for women over 40.
Since Rebel Wilson has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and is now in her 40s she needs to pay careful attention to her hormones. She will need to look carefully at what she is eating to make sure she is getting enough of the right nutrients to keep her hormones balanced. It’s not enough to say just eat less carbs and more protein, but a customized healthy eating plan with the right sources of quality protein, selected carbohydrates and healthy fats is essential for you as an individual. Everyone is different and needs a specific, uniquely crafted plan to suit them and their individual differences.
Walking is great exercise for the mind and body, but she may need to include other types of exercises to maintain her health and her weight as she gets older.
I do love that she has added a meditation practice and mindfulness to her routine. I focus on holistic weight loss and find that the mind body connection developed with these practices is an important part of keeping hormones balanced to prevent weight gain.
One reason that celebrities like Rebel are successful is that they have professional help. This means getting a weight loss plan that is exactly what they need and designed specifically to each individual to lose the weight. But you don't need to be a celebrity to get the personalized help you need. Book a call with me for a free nutrition assessment to find out how I can help you lose weight.
My programs are unique and take a different approach than what most dieticians and nutritionists offer. My holistic eating plans are customized to you and your personalized internal body and external influences to create a lasting successful lifestyle.
Not only will you lose body fat but your whole quality of life will improve as you see your entire body optimize and work FOR you, rather than against you.
My clients are always happy with their weight loss, but the other benefits they get from my program often surprise them. My clients often report significant increases in energy levels, motivation, improved restorative sleep, brightened mood, regular and smooth working bowels, balanced hormones, and elimination of cravings and hunger. This is not just a weight loss program, but an overall improvement to your lifestyle, similar to the experience Rebel Wilson has shared.
Health is priceless so keep in mind the huge benefits and what your life would look like when you feel amazing every single day! Life becomes easier, smoother, more joyful.
What is that worth to you? Don’t miss this opportunity to give yourself the greatest gift of all. You deserve not to suffer anymore!
Become the change you seek!