E. J. Johnson’s Dramatic Weight Loss

E J Johnson, the twenty four year old son of NBA legend Magic Johnson, is reveling in his new body after dropping a jaw-dropping 180 pounds. The Star of the E! Reality series “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” has struggled with weight his entire life.

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“Weight is something that I’ve been struggling with for pretty much all of my life,” EJ recently revealed. “Nothing was working, and I wanted to make a more permanent decision to get back on track,” he said. ” But I wanted to wait until I was a little bit older to know how to handle myself afterwards.”

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After trying diet after diet, only to end up with more weight on his frame than when he started, EJ made the decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach by around 15%. The removal of such a large section of the stomach leaves a sleeve like structure. The reduction is permanent.

The surgery has taken Johnson from 360 pounds down to 180 – that means that he has halved his body weight!

Keeping the weight off, however, is not guaranteed. That requires regular exercise and healthy eating. EJ has been doing both.

Dance and Pilates

EJ 3In order to burn off the calories, EJ has been doing dance and pilates classes four to five times each week. In addition to assisting to keep the weight off (it burns about 430 calories per hour), pilates is a great way to realign the posture of the body. EJ’s dramatic weight loss meant that his whole center of gravity changed. Pilates was the perfect tool to get his balance and coordination back.

Pilates focuses on major muscle groups and slow, deliberate moves that really get you in tune with your body. According to EJ, this helped him to become more aware of his body’s needs . . .

“Pilates helped me to get in tune with my physical self. A great session led me to want to eat better and generally look after myself more.”

We’ve got the actual Pilates program that EJ uses to keep the weight from creeping back. He does the following routine three days per week on alternate days (usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday):

Warm Up

EJ starts with two minute of jumping rope. At first he hated it, feeling that he just didn’t have the coordination to skip properly. But perseverance has paid off. He can now go for a full two minutes without missing a skip. He’s glad he stuck with it- skipping burns up to 750 calories each hour and it is probably the best form of cardio that there is.

The Pilates Workout

Hundred Pump – EJ would lie on the floor and raise his legs off the floor at a 45 degree angle. In his hands he’d have his jump rope, which he’d hold off the ground with his hands at the sides of his hips. Bracing his core, he’d lift his shoulders off the ground. He’d now do 10  pumps where he would tuck his knees to his chest and bring the rope over his knees to touch his feet. He’d then reverse the movement to return to the start.
Waist Slicer – EJ would sit on the floor with his legs extended and knees slightly bent. He would hold his jump rope behind his head in a taut position. With a straight back, he’d lean back to a 45 degree angle. From this position he would slowly twist his torso, first to the right, and then to the left. His goal was to touch each elbow to the floor on the opposite side.
Lunge Pulse – EJ stood with both feet together. He held his jump rope over his head with both hands. His ams should were spread apart. He would then step his left leg forward in a lunge position. The right knee would drop to the floor. He would then slowly pulse up and down 10 times to work the muscles of the glutes, thighs and hamstrings. Then he’d repeat it with the other leg.
Lat Pull Plie – EJ would stand with his feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. He would be holding his jump rope overhead. Then he’d rise up onto his toes and turn those toes out. He held the rope tightly behind his neck as if he were holding a barbell. Then, he would sit back and bend his knees. From this position he would drop down into a parallel squat position. At the same time he’d press the jump rope overhead. After a pause, he’d pull his shoulder blades down and together, while straightening his legs. That was one rep.

Putting it Together

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This workout takes EJ about 20 minutes to perform. He does it in circuit form, going from one exercise to the next without a rest between them. He does between 15 and 25 reps on each move, depending on how he feels on the day. He will complete 3 complete circuits of the workout and finish with another 2 minutes of skipping to finish the workout.

Eating Clean

EJ knew that he had to dramatically cut back on his sugar intake if he was going to keep the weight off. The first thing he had to do was to nix the soda.

EJ used to be a huge consumer of Coca Cola. Yet, following his gastric sleeve operation he went cold turkey on all soft drinks. He replaced the sugar laden drinks with iced tea and lemon water.

EJ also drastically cut back on his consumption of processed foods. He cleared his pantry and fridge of anything containing MSG or other chemical toxins that made the food taste good while making his body unwell. In their place he opted for fresh vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.

EJ has been down the diet road many times. He now appreciates the wisdom of a balanced approach to eating. So, rather than trying the latest calorie restrictive diet plan, he is following a sensible, long term approach to weight management eating.

Following the 80 / 20 rule, whereby he eats clean 80% of the time, is working well for EJ. He allows himself the occasional treat – and that keeps him motivated to stay on his healthy eating regimen.

          A Blossoming Career

ej and mj

EJ’s weight loss is carrying over to his career success. He has a new reality TV show on the way, along with a burgeoning fashion career in NYC. All indications, are that even though there a lot less of him, we’re set to see a lot more of EJ Johnson in the near future.

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