Precious Star Gabby Sidibe has lost a lot of weight recently. The Precious star has dropped 50 pounds and is looking and feeling great. Find out how she did it.
A Weighty Childhood
Gabourey Sidibe has been known more for her weight than her acting ability ever since her breakout role in 2009’s Precious. She has been criticized, lambasted and lampooned for her excessive weight. Yet, Gabby was happy in her skin and wasn’t going to lose weight just to please other people. When she did decide the time was right to lose the pounds, the actress, who now is a regular on the American Horror Story series, made sure that she did it the right way.
Gabby’s weight gain began early on in life. Her mother would regularly take her to McDonalds and other fast food outlets. Gabby got into the habit of over indulging on junk food, which led to binge eating and other unhealthy food practices. As the weight piled on, she resorted more and more to food in order to feel better about herself. By her mid-teens, she was in the obese category according to the national weight scale.
Gabby doesn’t know how heavy she got at her highest weight because she avoided the scale.
Time To Lose
After years in the spotlight following her breakthrough Oscar-nominated role in Precious, Gaby has endured the cruelest media bashing imaginable. People had told her that she’d never get any decent roles because Hollywood didn’t write scripts for large black women. She was also informed that she would never have a shot at winning the Academy Award unless she lost a ton of weight. Yet, the impetus to start losing body fat didn’t come from outside sources. Gaby made the decision within herself to drop the fat in order to live a healthier, longer long.
Gaby set January 1st, 2013 as the date for her to begin her transformation. She knew that she would need to be absolutely disciplined if she was going to find success. But she also knew that short term drastic calorie reducing diets were not the answer. She needed to implement a program that would last for the rest of her life. For Gaby that meant slowly putting into place one principle at a time that would allow her to build a foundation of sound nutritional practices. At the same time, she’d start exercising to burn more calories.
Gaby set her sights on losing 50 pounds over the course of the 2013 calendar year. That meant dropping one pound of pure body fat per week. Knowing that a pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, Gaby realized that if she focused on creating a daily caloric deficit of 500 calories, she would be on track to dropping a pound each week (500 calories x 7 = 3,500 calories).
The Nutritional Make-Over
The first thing that Gaby did was to stop drinking soda. In fact, she went from downing half a gallon of Coca-Cola per day to zero on New Year’s Day, 2013. She had been brought up on soft drink, so this was a real challenge for her. She replaced the soda with ice cold water with a lemon slice, and iced tea. This one step dramatically reduced her sugar intake, allowing her insulin levels to normalize.
Next, the actress began weaning herself off of the highly processed snack foods that had been staples of her life for so long. Oreo cookies, potato chips and cupcakes were replaced by such healthier options as hummus and crackers, fresh fruit and vegetable chips.
Into the second week of her nutritional makeover, Gaby gave her attention to the timing and sizing of her meals. Her whole life she had followed the traditional pattern of having a very light breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a huge dinner. She now realized that this pattern was totally counterproductive to maintaining healthy weight. By reversing the pattern and eating a larger breakfast, medium sized lunch and small dinner, she would be supplying her body with the energy it needs at the right time.
Gaby also realized that, by planning her meals every three hours apart, she would avoid the tendency to snack between meals. To do this, she began having a mid morning and mid afternoon snack, which usually consisted of fresh fruit or a green smoothie.
In terms of her dinner meals, Gaby learned the wisdom of eating from a smaller plate. She traded in her 12 inch diameter plates for more compact 9 inch versions. She made a practice of filling two-thirds of the plate with complex carbohydrates such as green leafy salad, broccoli, green beans and corn. She would then add a fist sized portion of protein. This would often consist of skinless chicken breast or pan-fried fish fillets. She would limit herself to red meat two times per week. Healthy fats would come from avocado and fish oils.
Before every meal, Gaby would drink a full glass of water. This would help to stay hydrated while making sure that her body didn’t mistake thirst for hunger.
The Exercise Solution
After a month of fine tuning her new eating pattern, Gaby was beginning to lose weight and feeling a whole lot more health conscious. She also had a lot more energy, no longer feeling sluggish and lethargic. She knew that the time was right to start adding in some exercise to the mix. She joined a gym and signed up with a personal trainer.
Gaby’s large frame meant that she had to be very careful not to include exercises that would put undue pressure on her joints. She worked with her trainer to devise a cardiovascular program that would be joint friendly while giving her the calorie burn that she was after. By concentrating on walking on the treadmill, using the stair stepper and working out on the Versa Climber, she was able to get in a great calorie burning workout without unduly stressing any of her joints.
After a month of 30-minute cardio sessions three times per week, Gaby added in a weight training routine designed to target specific muscle groups, shaping, strengthening and firming them, while also burning calories. The following exercises formed the core of her program:
- Leg press
- Bench Press
- Lat Pull Down
- Barbell Curl
Gaby performed her weights routine directly after her 30 minutes of cardio. This had her in the gym for an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The sensible, slow and steady approach worked wonderfully for Gaby. The combination of clean, nutritionally sound eating and graduated exercise allowed her to stay on track to lose a pound of pure body fat per week. By the end of the 2013, Gaby was 50 pounds lighter and a whole lot healthier and happier.