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Ecorazzi’s Food Editorial Series is brought to you by Ecorazzi Eats Restaurant Week happening in vegan, vegetarian, & sustainable restaurants across the US on October 12-19, 2011.

It’s safe to say that the USA has an obsession with weight loss. Between the pills, the surgeries and the fad diets, it’s hard to escape the constant promise of tiny waists and fast results. These notable figures and celebrities have lost the weight, but without any of the quick fixes. Whether it was a vegan diet, cutting out the processed foods, exercise, or all of the above, these 8 men and women found the secret (if eating healthy food and working out is a secret) to looking great and feeling even better.

President Bill Clinton

Back in his White House days, President Bill Clinton was notorious for his love of burgers and other high fat foods. He gained weight, and in general, was not taking care of his body. In 2004, after feeling a tightness in his chest, Clinton underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He made some changes after that, but nothing drastic. Then, a few years later he needed two stents to open up the veins in his heart. That’s when his doctor said that what they were doing wasn’t enough. If he wanted to live, he needed a total overhaul on his diet. With a strong will to live to see his grandchildren, the former president went vegan (mostly). Studies have shown that a plant based diet not only has the power to stop heart disease, but also to reverse it. Clinton told Dr. Gupta on CNN, “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy.” He lost 24 pounds by feasting on beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits. Now, the Bill Clinton Foundation fights childhood obesity with healthy eating programs.

Alanis Morrissette

Photo credit: INFPhoto

A few years ago Alanis Morrissette decided she wanted to live until she’s 120. In order to do that, she needed to change her eating habits. The singer (already a vegetarian) said she was eating too much salt and too much processed bread. She went to her favorite local bookstore in Vancouver to look for a book on diet and saw Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s title ‘Eat to Live.’ Morrissette said about the book, “That’s exactly what I want to do. I wasn’t interested in some fad diet that was unsustainable, like “lose 10 pounds in two weeks.” I don’t believe in diets; I think they’re short-term and a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. So I opened it and flipped through and thought the weight loss is incidental. The primary focus is disease prevention.” Morrissette, who also works out with weight training and kickboxing, lost 20 pounds on her vegan diet. She also feels more energetic, and has gotten rid of her aches and pains.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson didn’t know that she was considered plus sized until she entered the public eye. In her neighborhood in Chicago, most of the people Hudson knew were the same size as her, so she never felt different. But once she entered Hollywood, she started getting asked questions about her weight. Then, when she got pregnant she wondered, “Why doesn’t anybody know I’m pregnant?” For herself and for her son, Hudson lost 80 pounds and shrunk from a size 16 to a 6 by eating smaller portions and exercising regularly. The singer said about her new look, “I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar!” After losing the pounds, Hudson went on to become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and even has a weight loss center named after her in Chicago.

Jerry Ferrara

Photo credit: INF Photo

Last summer Jerry Ferrara started appearing in photos looking like a different man. The self-proclaimed “short, chubby Italian kid” was positively svelte. Ferrara reportedly lost 55 pounds by ditching burgers and opting for tofu, organic fruits and veggies. The Entourage star also started hiking in Runyan Canyon for exercise. No details on if he cut out the animal products completely or permanently but one can certainly see that organic vegetables and tofu agree with him.

Megan Fox

While most people are trying to slim down by following a healthful diet, Megan Fox is trying to gain weight. What’s her secret to packing on the pounds? Well, ditching her vegan diet. The actress and Armani underwear model said, “For a year and a half, until about four months ago, I followed a strict vegan diet based on raw fruits and vegetables, no bread, sugar and coffee. But I had lost too much weight.” Now, one would think that if she wanted to gain weight she could have just stayed vegan and added carbs, sugar and coffee back into her diet. Megan has gained some weight but is still maintaining her enviable figure. She said about her new routine, “So now I eat a bit of everything. And I train three times a week doing circuit training with my trainer Harley Pasternak.”

Robin Quivers

In 2007 Robin Quivers ended her struggle with weight by making one simple decision. She went vegan. That change in her diet led to her losing 80 pounds. In addition to talking about her diet on The Howard Stern Show, Quivers writes about health for the Huffington Post and works with non profits to bring more vegetables into schools. In a few weeks, she’ll be hosting the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food (an organization that advocates for schools to offer plant based options) Gala. Quivers said about people’s reaction to her weight loss, “I have a lot of people now coming up to me because I’ve changed drastically, saying, ‘What’s your secret?’ When I tell them, they say, ‘Ugh, never mind.’”

Mike Tyson

After the tragic death of his four-year-old daughter back in 2009, Mike Tyson turned his life around. He got sober and he lost 130 pounds by adopting a vegan diet. He wanted to change everything he didn’t like about himself, and succeeded. The former boxer said, “I didn’t realize how weighed down I was when I ate meat. I never really felt 100 percent until I freed it from my diet. Now, I can’t imagine going back to meat. I feel incredible.” Tyson didn’t just cut out meat and dairy. He also stopped eating processed foods. Perhaps most famous for biting a man’s ear off during a fight, the new Mike Tyson is definitely a healthier man, inside and out.

Drew Carey

Drew Carey is known more for his comedic and hosting skills rather than his fit figure. But that’s changing now that the ‘Price is Right’ star has dropped 70 pounds. Before Carey lost the weight, he was suffering from type-2 diabetes. Now, he’s off medication and his diabetes is gone. Carey said about his transformation, “I like being skinny. I was sick of being fat on the camera. Really, I just got sick of it. Once I started losing weight, again, like once I started dropping a couple pant sizes, then it was easy ’cause once you see the results, then you don’t wanna stop.” He didn’t just change his diet either. Carey lost weight the old fashioned way. A combination of diet and exercise. He reportedly put in 45 minutes at the gym each day in addition to his healthy meals.

Ecorazzi’s Food Editorial Series is brought to you by Ecorazzi Eats Restaurant Week happening in vegan, vegetarian, & sustainable restaurants across the US on October 12-19, 2011.

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • http://MyTopWeightLossGuides.com Geoff

    Celebrities are people too. If they can do it, so can you!
    Weight loss isn’t easy, but if you stick with a solid plan, anyone can accomplish acheiving their desired weight. I recommended taking a look at several weight loss guides I personally bought and extensively reviewed. http://MyTopWeightLossGuides.com Only look if you’re serious about losing weight though. ;)

  • Katie J

    There are some good tips here but i feel most people who are not going out to a weight loss meeting every week want something like step 1 -2 -3 sort of guides.

    I did an online diet a while ago but i wont suggest it as people should make up their own mind after properly looking into it.

    I found this site offering some information after just 5 seconds googling !!

    http://quickie-weightloss.com