American Idol judge Randy Jackson has lost over 100 pounds since 2001. He started out at 350 pounds and then had gastric bypass surgery in 2004 to help him shed the weight. Now, his attitude and approach to food are totally different.
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“For the old Dawg, a holiday party was a chance to have something to eat, drink, and be merry, but the new Randy does not drink or eat at parties,” he said. However, the urge to indulge and snack is still there. It’s a constant battle. “Food was always my thing, because I grew up in the South where food and good times were king,” he said in a past interview.
In 2003, Jackson opted to undergo gastric bypass surgery, a procedure in which a surgeon creates a smaller stomach pouch to curb food intake by stapling a portion of the stomach, to energize his weight loss efforts and step on the path toward good health.
But weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet. Like many people who undergogastric bypass, Jackson eventually started gaining weight back. That’s why Jackson says he committed himself to eating the right foods and kick-starting his fitness routine. Neither of which was easy for this Louisiana boy who loves rich sauces and beignets. “I grew up in the South,” he says, “where food and good times were king.”
The longtime Idol judge and record company exec underwent gastric bypass surgery back in 2003 after finding out he had type 2 diabetes. “It’s not easy, and it’s a continued struggle,” Jackson said on the Today show in December 2008. “That’s part of why I wanted to write the book [Body With Soul], as an inspiration to people and say, ‘Hey, listen. It can happen to anybody. It happened to me, no matter how much money, no matter what I do, I’m still just like you.'”
Now hitting the scales at 220 pounds, Jackson admits that over the years he had tried as many diets as there have been Idol finalists. “Liquid fasts. Bee stings. Urine of pregnant women. You name it. I have tried it,” Jackson, 55, tells WebMD today, only half kidding. “The problem is that those diets don’t work for people who have the disease of obesity.”