John Goodman’s Incredible 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey- How Did He Do It?

John Goodman. Body Transformation.

By the end of his run on Roseanne, John Goodman was convinced that he would be a yo yo weight gainer for the rest of his life . . .

“I’d get off of Roseanne every spring. I’d lose 60 pounds every spring but I’d gain it back and then some every year.”

The ‘and then some’ had seen Goodman pushing the scale to just over 400 pounds in late 2011. Pushing past the 400 was the final wake-up call that he needed to get off the yo yo dieting treadmill and put in place steps that would work long term. And it was the determination to not only take the weight off, but keep it off that led John to celeb trainer Mackie Shilstone.

John Goodman’s Diet Switch For Weight Loss- Going Mediterranean

John Goodman. Food, Mediterranean. 

Shilstone knew the reason the actor had been losing the weight and then piling even more back on was that he was undergoing restrictive diets that were not sustainable in the long run. The severe calorie restriction was putting his body into starvation mode. It responded by hoarding every morsel of fat that it could find. Shilstone introduced John to a better way.

Rather than a quick fix solution, Goodman learnt to think long term. A slow, gradual permanent route to fat loss was way preferable to the on again, off again cycle he’d been trapped into.

Shilstone introduced the star  to the Mediterranean way of eating. He explained that the success of the Mediterranean Diet for fat loss depends upon some foundational life-style changes. The most important has to do with the pace with which you are living your life. Slowing down will allow you the peace of mind, freedom and time to give attention to your health. You’ll be less likely to grab junk food on the run, to down sugar laden energy drinks to keep yourself going and to skip meals only to gorge yourself at the end of the day.

The life-style of people who live on the Mediterranean coast is far more laid back, relaxed and stress-free than that experienced in most other pats of the world. They not only savour their food – they savour their lives! John came to understand that, before he copied what they put in their mouths, he needed to copy how they lived their lives.

Goodman took this on board. Despite the hectic schedule of a move star, he managed to make some fundamental changes that allowed him to slow down and appreciate the journey. Here are the top 5 things that he did in order to adopt the Mediterranean pace of life . . .

  • Have a prioritised things to do list – and cut out the unessentials.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Schedule definite you time each day.
  • Schedule time for physical activity.
  • Learn to delegate.

The deeper Goodman delved into the Mediterranean diet, the more he came to appreciate that it encompasses a lifestyle of healthy choices. To tie all of the elements together, Shilstone, introduced John to the Mediterranean Food Guide Pyramid. It is based on the dietary traditions found on the island of Crete, and southern Italy in the early 1960’s (at this time Cretans were found to be among the healthiest people on earth).

John began to slowly replace his high fat, high sugar diet with the recommendations on the Mediterranean Food Pyramid. At the base of the pyramid are foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds and whole grains. These are the foods that John would eat every day. The next level up is white meat, fish and seafood and eggs. The actor consumed these several times a week. Cheese and yogurt are next, followed by meats and sweets at the very top of the pyramid indicating that they should be consumed sparingly. John ate red meat just once per week and stayed away from the sweets completely.

In accordance with the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, Goodman also got into the habit of having the following beverages on a daily basis:

  • A glass of red wine
  • 6-8 glasses of water

Mediterranean Movement

 John Goodman. Serious Face.

When it came to working out for fat loss, trainer Marty Shilstone had John take a further leaf from the people of the Mediterranean. Rather than viewing exercise as something that they had to get done in the day, it became a fun, leisure activity that was actively looked forward to. Rather than shutting themselves away in a stuffy, smelly gym, they moved around outside, under the sun.

Goodman’s physical focus was on walking and on playing sport. He’d strap on a pedometer every day. His initial goal was to hit 10,000 steps throughout the course of the day. Within 3 months that goal had doubled to 20,000 steps per day. To achieve this challenging walking goal, John developed the habit of rising at 6:30 and trail walking. He’d speed walk around his local ark for an hour each day. Then, throughout the day, he’d add to his pedometer count with the walking he’d do while conducting his normal business. In the evening if he hadn’t hit his target, he would hit the streets until he got there.

John’s sports of choice were tennis. He’d get down to the court three times per week for an hour long session with Shilstone. As well numerous rallies, Marty devised a special workout for Goodman that allowed him to tone and develop his core, torso and legs while he lost the body fat. It consisted of . . .

Spiderman Push Up

Execution method

  • Assume a regular push up start position.
  • As you lower into the bottom push up position, bring your left knee up to meet the elbow. Be sure to keep your butt down.
  • Exhale as you push up, returning the leg to the start position as you do so.

Repeat with the other leg.

Lunge Kicks

Execution method:

  • Assume a bottom lunge position rear knee just off the ground.
  • Come up out of the lunge, kicking the leg directly in front of you as high as possible.
  • Return to the start position and repeat.

Praying Mantis

Execution method:

  • Get down on all fours.
  • Draw one knee in then kick it back out and back behind you. Keep the head up.
  • Bring the knee back down, crunching the abs, then kick it back out.
  • Do a press to bring your forehead down to the floor. Repeat.


Execution method


  • Lie flat on the ground on your stomach. Stretch your arms out in front of you and have your legs together.
  • Exhale as you arch your torso up to stretch your arms out in front and your legs behind you. Try to lift as high as you can, feeling the stretch in your lower lumbar area.
  • Lower and relax and then repeat.

Plank Crawl

 Execution method:

  • Assume a normal plank position with a straight body and tight core.
  • Take small steps with the toes and forearms to move forward, sideways and backwards.

No More Yo Yo Weight Loss

 The result of John’s slow, steady approach to weight loss has been that he has developed lifestyle habits that have allowed him to keep the weight off. He’s now one hundred pounds lighter and loving his new body. His lifestyle is way healthier and, whereas before lethargy and lack of motivation were his default settings, he is now able to wake up each day, rearing to go – and looking sharp.