Jennifer Hudson Weight Loss Secrets: Diet Pills, Weight, Height, Tea, Surgery & Meal Plan

jennifer hudson weight loss

The Director of Brand Advocacy for Weight Watchers Liz Josefsberg, who used to be 65 pounds heavier than she is, is a celebrity health and wellness expert.

She was instrumental in helping Jennifer Hudson to lose so much weight.

Liz is also the author of Target 100 and Target 100: Crush the Plateau which only came out in January 2020.

She has worked at Weight Watchers for over 11 years and she is the one who helped a star like Jennifer Hudson, our weight loss celebrity of today, and others such as Jessica Simpson, Charles Barkley, and more, to achieve their weight loss goals.

“People don’t succeed by following a one-size-fits-all diet plan. No one is going to last eating food they hate or doing exercise that isn’t fun for them. Eventually, they will give it up.”

Liz also believed that counting calories aren’t the way to go when you are dieting.

Rather, she says, you should examine your habits, patterns, and behavior.

“Counting calories can lead someone to eat very poor-quality foods while still remaining in their budget.'”

So who is Jennifer Kate Hudson – born September 12, 1981

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer was born in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Today she is known as an American singer and actress.

She became famous when she won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in Dreamgirls (2006).

Her childhood years

Jennifer loved singing at an early age, being greatly inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin.

By the time she was seven years old, she was singing in her church choir.

Her voice touched the hearts of many people, because, by the time she was a teenager, she was performing at wedding receptions as well as local talent shows and musical theatre.

Her father was Ѕаmuеl Ѕіmрѕоnѕ and her mother was Dаrnеll Dоnnеrѕоn.

She grew up with two ѕіblіngѕ.

She attended the Dunbаr Vосаtіоnаl Ніgh Ѕсhооl, and became very active in the соmmunіtу thеаter wіth thе hеlр оf hеr grаndmоthеr.

After high school, Jennifer went off to Lаngѕtоn Unіvеrѕіtу, but after only two ѕеmеѕtеrѕ, ѕhе left university and returned home because she was hоmе-ѕісk.

So she then enrolled at Кеnnеdу-Кіng Соllеgе to study music.

Her young adult years

With the music experience gained at Kennedy-King College, Jennifer appeared in a local music production called Big River.

But she managed to get a professional singing job on a Disney Cruise ship.

She was Calliope, the head Greek muse, in a 2003 production of Hercules: The Musical.

She decided not to renew her contract but to rather go and audition for Simon Cowell’s American Idol.

There she reached the final rounds and then got eliminated at seventh place.

Not a bad achievement!

After fulfilling her obligation to perform with the American Idol: Season Three tour in 2004, Jennifer went on to perform at charity events on Broadway.

She also went on a concert tour throughout the Midwest.

Then in 2005, she auditioned for Dreamgirls.

This was a musical in the Motown era and she won over 780 competitors for the role.

During the third season of American Idol, she had sung “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” which brought the audience to its feet.

For that, she got a Golden Globe Award. Other awards she received were the Sammy Davis Jr, award.

That was for being entertainer of the year.

She also got a Screen Actors Guild award, as well as a BAFTA award (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

Family tragedy struck as well

Not everything was rosy for Jennifer Hudson though, and in 2008, tragedy struck her life.

Her seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, disappeared, going missing shortly after her own mother and brother were shot in what appeared to be a double-homicide.

Jennifer’s little nephew was later found dead as well.

Finally, in December 2008, her brother-in-law, William Balfour, was arrested and convicted for the killings and was sentenced to life in prison.

It was her precious baby boy that “saved her life”

It was also at this time that Jennifer got engaged to her current boyfriend, David Otunga.

This was in September 2008.

They two had a little boy together during the following summer.

Otunga was a Harvard Law School graduate and also a professional wrestler, as well as being an actor.

But sadly in 2017, their 10-year relationship came to an end and they reached a custody agreement over their son in 2019.

Jennifer has kept on going from strength to strength.

Jennifer has credited the birth of her son, David, in 2009, to help her get through all her difficult times she had previously gone through.

“I went from being an aunt, having a mom, and being a child to not having a mom, becoming a mom, and raising my own child,”  I tell David all the time, ‘You saved my life.'”

It was her son, David, who was the reason that Jennifer decided to go on her weight loss journey.

She started this journey by joining up with Weight Watchers; she even became a spokeswoman for this weight-loss service.

This was from 2010 to 2014. During this time, she shed 80-pounds using the company’s plan.

The book in 2012, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down documented Jennifer’s weight-loss struggle.

She also started her own clothing line in 2012 – the Jennifer Hudson Collection.

Women loved it because it was suitable for women of all different sizes.

At the same time, she was also continuing to star in film projects as well.

Jennifer Hudson and her incredible weight loss and tips

Jennifer Hudson Weight Loss

Amongst other things that Jennifer Hudson was successful in achieving was fantastic weight loss.

She proved to the world that women if they are determined, can achieve anything if they put their minds to it.

Imagine dropping a whole whopping 80 pounds and then still keeping it off over the years until this day!

She dropped this weight after her pregnancy and it wasn’t by going on any crash diets.

She partnered with Weight Watchers (WW), changing her lifestyle to get rid of the fat.

“It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change,” she says.

When it’s a lifestyle change, you can be assured that the weight stays off for the rest of your life.

She is a real go-getter, is Jennifer, standing up against many adversities that she suffered in her family.

But best of all, she started living a healthy life at the time her baby boy was born and for that, she deserves a Grammy!

She has done such an excellent job of her weight loss that she has been traveling around and inspiring other women to choose a better lifestyle.

We are going to look at what her weight loss secrets were because if Jennifer is sharing her tips with us, she knows that if you are determined, you can do it too!

Let’s look at how she lost her weight

1) She used Weight Watchers to lose the weight

Jennifer became interested in losing weight around the time she was expecting her son.

“I thought, hold on – why doesn’t anybody know I’m pregnant? … Right after I had him, I began trying to change things.”

So she joined Weight Watchers’ which has a regimented and healthy way of addressing weight loss.

She gave much praise for how it had encouraged her to focus on a balanced diet rather than a restrictive one.

She left her fans and others incredulous at her massive weight loss, admitting that it wasn’t only eating that had achieved her stunning body.

2) Jennifer also trained with the renowned celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternak

We all know that it can be a real challenge to lose weight, but to lose it permanently and keep it off is the real big challenge.

And it makes it worse when you are used to a lifestyle where you more or less ate what you felt like and then on top of it, you were also inactive.

You could say that strong motivation would be needed if you are determined to lose weight, no matter even if it is the simplest of weight loss programs you decide to choose.

Harley got Jennifer into shape with 25-minute time-saving workouts.

3) She took responsibility for her own health

Jennifer said that if you really want to achieve something, you need to do it for yourself, not for anyone else.

4) She made sure that her weight loss goals were realistic

If you make sure that you have set realistic goals, usually they work harmoniously and perfectly together for your weight as well as your life.

5) If you want to lose weight, have the commitment, passion, and drive

Those have been her top goals to lose weight, and she followed through with those, dropping 80 pounds, but best of all, keeping it off.

6) She made excellent, determining changes in the way she thought, acted, and lived

This ensured that she maintained her new weight, but that her health and life also improved!

What tips has she given those who are motivated to follow in her footsteps?

1) First of all, watch what you eat

When Jennifer made up her mind that she wanted to start living a healthy lifestyle she knew she had to start avoiding all the fattening foods that she was used to.

Once when she was being interviewed by Yahoo! Style, she said, “I throw pancakes across the room! ]

I don’t let the food intimidate me.”

That’s her clear message to all her fans out there – stay away from too many unnecessary carbs.

Simple carbs like sugar can be really harmful to your health [1] because these lead to your blood glucose levels rising.

You can easily become insulin resistant, pick up weight, or you could develop diabetes and high blood pressure.


She found out that the best types of carbs are complex carbs.

These are the ones found in veggies like broccoli, carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, celery, spinach, kale, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, etc.

Whole grains were also recommended to her such as wheat, barley, broken wheat, sorghum, brown rice, etc.

Remember there are plenty of sugars to be found in sauces so don’t cover your food in ketchup.

Packaged fruit and vegetable juices and sodas are also full of sugar.

Even the energy drinks are laced with plenty of saccharine.

If you really want to lose weight, give up on the high-carb foods for a month and see already what it does for you.

2) Have you got plenty of self-motivation to do this?

Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson for Weight Watchers, so many people assumed she was getting paid to lose weight; that she had money to have help from a personal trainer and a nutritionist.

But when she was on the Oprah Winfrey show, she told Oprah...

“It’s all about self-motivation because, at the end of the day, you can have all the trainers and all the money in the world, but if you don’t have the mindset, it’s (weight loss) not possible.”

It’s really just about what you want to do – do you really want to lose weight and have a sexy body, fit and healthy?

If you really want to, no matter how much money you have or not, you can start eating right and working out straight away. It’s all up to you!

3) Don’t do quick fad diets or crash diets

Jennifer told Self in 2011 that she used to deprive herself of food and think that was being healthy.

She would starve herself, and maybe for a while, it took the weight off.

Once she started eating, the weight just came back on.

  • Fad diets and crash diets don’t work long-term, because when they are over, how do you plan on eating then?
  • What diet will you follow then?

At the same time, your health might even have deteriorated in the effort as well [2].

So Jennifer set about concentrating on eating healthy stuff rather than depriving herself of food.

In fact, every 3-4 hours she would have something to eat; learning all about portion sizes and portion control.

4) Cook meals at home to avoid taking out take-outs

One of the weight loss tips that Jennifer highly recommends is that you cook your meals at home.

That way you stop yourself from all the extra calories that you find in the shops like extra sauces, sodas, candies, and bread, etc.

Also, if you stick with organic food, a lot of it will be raw such as healthy organic fruits and veggies.

Don’t forget that there are healthy fats to include in your diet.

Use healthy oils such as olive oil or rice bran oil.

Stay away as much as you can from deep frying or cooking food for long periods of time so that they lose a lot of their nutritional value.

5) Expert advice always helps

Jennifer Hudson was battling to lose weight when she tried doing it herself, like starving herself, thinking she would drop the weight and it would stay off.

So she reached out to Weight Watchers.

If you are overweight yourself and feel you need to lose weight, then you will benefit from getting an expert to help you, like Weight Watchers, a dietician, or a nutritionist, even your doctor.

They will have the knowledge to tell you how much weight you should ideally lose.

You might have some medical conditions that could be causing you to put on weight [3].

There are medications that can hinder your efforts to lose weight, plus there are a host of other factors that affect weight loss.

A professional might do a full assessment which you will be grateful for, and then give you a diet chart to adhere to.

6) Get out and burn those calories

Jennifer told Oprah on her show that apart from eating healthily she started to work out to keep herself in shape and fit.

She loved playing basketball and that’s what helped her to burn the calories.

Food is a source of energy for the body so you can perform your job and do other functions.

When you eat too much food, the excess energy gets stored as fat.

Working out for 3 hours a week initially, increasing your hours, and also the number of times you work out will start budging that fat.

7) Chocolate can take the stress away

Whaaaat! – You can eat chocolate on a diet?

Yes, Jennifer did!

She said that in order for her to stay calm throughout the weight loss journey, she would eat chocolate.

“I always have to have chocolate around – it’s my cigarette.”  

If you do have a lot of stress in your life, it is actually a known fact that it can lead to you putting on weight.

But chocolate helps to stimulate serotonin, a naturally occurring substance in the body, the feel-good hormone.

That means it helps to eliminate stress.

So firstly, if you do want to lose weight, you need to avoid stress, but that means the same for good health.

Stress is a nasty companion throughout the journey of life and it is advisable to try and avoid it as much as you can.

If you do eat chocolate, make it dark chocolate; the one that contains 80% or more cocoa in it.

That will calm your stress and eating it will help to eliminate the feeling of being deprived which one can often feel when dieting.

8) Practice mindful eating

mindful eating

Jennifer is very particular when it comes to mindful eating [5].

She said that “I’m very conscious of what I put in my body.”

So she consciously decides what she will eat, how much she will eat, and also how frequently she will eat.

She advises people who are interested in following her weight loss journey to avoid eating in front of the TV.

This often tempts people to want to eat more when they see delicious ads about different foods to order.

It is also suggested that you don’t go past all those delicious ready-made fast foods in the supermarket and say to yourself, “just this once” – in fact, throw away all the junk foods that you find in your kitchen.

Now you can see why Jennifer lost 80 pounds – she worked hard, but she allowed herself some ‘treats’ in the form of chocolate and she worked out too.

What made Jennifer feel she had to lose weight?

Jennifer Hudson was never really bothered much about her weight.

But when she was pregnant she became more aware of her health and what she was feeding her unborn baby.

She wanted to lose all the weight she had gained so that she could give her son all the care and energy that was required to raise him, and be healthy and fit while doing it.

Did Jennifer invest in a personal trainer to lose weight?

Yes, she trained with a renowned celebrity fitness trainer, Harley Pasternak.

Can you believe that her new way of eating and her working out caused her to drop 80 pounds to the point that she weighed 157 pounds?

She used to be a size 16 and she dropped down to a size 6! 

All it amounted to was her cooking her own meals and avoiding all junk foods.

She also avoided skipping meals and never started any fad diets or crash diets.

Naturally, she followed the Weight Watchers techniques of a disciplined lifestyle and being self-motivated; two key factors that helped Jennifer to be successful in her weight loss.

Lots of experts believe that you don’t have to count calories to lose weight, you just have to decide to change your lifestyle and take out all the wrong foods; letting go of all the habits that promote weight gain.

It’s not a whole lot of magic.

Jennifer just put her whole heart into her weight loss efforts and sought help when she saw that she wasn’t getting anywhere on her own.

What she was rewarded with was a body that still turns heads and inspires others to follow suit.

She also walks a lot

Jennifer took a therapeutic approach to exercise instead of pressuring herself to hit the gym constantly as she did in the past.

“I began walking 30 minutes every day … I figured me walking is better than me sitting on the couch.”

She started with walking and built up to other activities she loved, like bike riding, jogging, and of course she has a great love for basketball.

When she has time, she likes to do a workout called a trilogy.

This is a quick 15-minute exercise that combines cardio and strength moves.

What does Jennifer eat in a day for instance?


She starts each day eating a consistent, high-protein breakfast.

Her breakfast is clean and full of protein.

She will eat something like egg whites scrambled up or a yogurt and fruit combo.

Sometimes a breakfast burrito is her breakfast.


Lunch will usually consist of a turkey sandwich, or a grilled chicken salad, maybe some fish such as shrimp and veggie stir-fry.


Jennifer will combine lean proteins like sushi, turkey, shrimp stir-fry, and veggies for dinner.


She does consistently snack but will ensure that her midday snacks are healthy.

She will have something like celery sticks, an apple, popcorn, or a few of her go-to options like a spoonful of peanut butter, granola, low-fat tortilla chips, etc.

She says she doesn’t deprive herself of treats – once again, she sticks to portion control.

And as we mentioned above, she does allow herself chocolate.


Jennifer Hudson has become a household name – she has worked hard to achieve her hugely successful career since she made a name for herself in the movie Dreamgirls and came 7th in the American Idol competition 16 years ago.

More recently she starred in the big-screen adaptation of the classic Broadway show, Cats.

But her fans were mesmerized by her amazing weight loss transformation around 2010, when her baby boy was born, and when she showed her new fit and healthy figure on the catwalk with 80 pounds gone!

And the incredible thing is, today she still looks amazing because she actually changed her lifestyle, always being cautious of what she puts into her body.

That’s why, in closing, she would offer fans her personal advice that never to give up; if you are determined to lose weight like she was, you can do it.

Her personal advice to her fan and would-be overweight people who are also desperate to lose weight is this: “For anyone who wants to lose: Dude, if I can do it, you can do it.”

She also said that while her career did go well before she lost weight, dropping the pounds did even more wonders for her work.

“Since losing weight, I haven’t stopped. I have worked every single day of this year.”

That’s a fantastic achievement and a just reward for all your hard work.

Your weight loss journey has been inspirational, Jennifer! 

“You have to accept the plan and realize that if you slip, and you might, you can’t use that as a reason to give up or stop.”Jennifer Hudson

Frequently Asked Questions about Jennifer Hudson (FAQs)

What is Jennifer Hudson’s net worth?

As of March 2021, the estimated worth of Jennifer Hudson is around $25-mіllіоn.

A lot of her income has come from her contribution to movies and television. She also earned a lot of money by selling her three music albums.

Why did she leave The Voice in 2017?

She started becoming so busy she found it hard to commit to the ITV filming schedule, so after 3 years, she left The Voice.

She said, "I was thinking that I truly, truly love this and that's why I'm three seasons deep in. I want to continue it, but I don't know that my schedule will allow me to."

What is Jennifer Hudson up to now?

Well, so far for 2021these rumors have surfaced

  • The American Sun-Times has reported seeing Jennifer and her boyfriend shopping for pricey bling in a couple of major jewelry stores. Only time will tell if we will any news soon.
  • Further speculation has been rife that Jennifer Hudson is going to announce her retirement from music. She says, “As we get older, there are phases of life that we enter into, and being a singer-actress just isn't fun anymore.” This is apparently what she might have said, says one source that has remained anonymous. That’s another bit of news that fans will just have to wait and see.
  • According to a source, there are apparently true rumors that Jennifer is working in a recording studio with about eight songs having been put to tape. Another rumor is that she is planning a worldwide tour at the end of 2022. Once again, fans will just have to anxiously wait and see what happened.
  • This Grammy-Award singer has kept the weight from creeping up over the years. Studies show that most people who drop off a lot of weight regain the weight they lose, but Jennifer to date has retained her weight loss.