How did magician Penn Jillette lose an impressive 105 pounds? He has no illusions about what was involved, and now one of the world’s most famous masters of how-did-they-do-that magical tricks is sharing his weight loss secrets with People.
Topping the scale at 330 pounds, Jillette now admits that he tried to maintain his normal life. But even at six feet, seven inches, that much weight was too much for his health, and he ended up with such high blood pressure that it required hospitalization.
That’s when his doctor gave him the weight-loss wake-up call.
“I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down. My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 lbs. it would be a little easier to control. And then he said something in passing that completely blew my mind – he said, ‘If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn’t need any of the meds.'”
That advice was enough for Penn to get motivated. To lose almost a pound a day by his March 5 birthday, the magician limited himself to 1,000 calories daily.
Now that he’s at goal, Jillette has shifted into maintenance mode with Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Nutritarian diet. The plant-based plan eliminates processed grains, sugar, salt, and animal products.
“I eat unbelievable amounts of food but just very, very, very healthy food,” emphasizes Penn.
So what’s a day like for the magician now?
Penn skips breakfast but eats a big salad for lunch. Rather than salad dressing, he uses zero-calorie vinegar. For dinner, he consumes three pounds of vegetable greens and three servings of rice. A stew made of vegetables helps him feel full after his evening meal.
To satisfy his sweet tooth, Penn eats a dessert made from a variety of fruits, with his favorite treat consisting of blueberries sprinkled with unsweetened cocoa powder. When he’s craving a snack, the magician noshes on vegetables using Tabasco sauce or vinegar to spice them up.
So does he cheat or indulge once in awhile?
“I could probably have a steak or a doughnut every couple of weeks, but I just haven’t felt like it,” insists Jillette.
“When you’re feeling as bad as I felt, and you go to feeling as good as I feel, the temptation to go back to doing what you were doing when you felt bad is not very great.”
Although Jillette refrained from exercise when he was eating only 1,000 calories a day, he now does a seven-minute workout on alternate days. He also lifts weights, juggles, and rides a tricycle for 10 miles.
“Now it’s really fun to exercise,” admits the magician. “The only hard part of exercise is keeping it hard enough to be hard.”
As far as the impact on his attire? He lost 10 pant sizes, going from 44 to 34.
“I have so much energy and I feel so good. I’m just plain happier.”
The weight loss also has benefited Jillette’s relationship with his family, reported USA Today.
The magician’s wife, Emily, is 49-years-old, and they have two children, Moxie CrimeFighter, 9, and Zolten Penn, 8.
“My relationship with my children has always been wonderful – I always spend a lot of time with them, but now they know that I’m a lot more energetic.”
As the Inquisitr reported, both Ariana Grande and Andy Hurley, voted Sexiest Vegetarians in 2014, follow similar plant-based diets.
“I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-round happier person,” stated Grande.
[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for IDA]