Kathy Bates Shares Her Weight Loss Secret

The legendary actress uses a psychological trick to prevent her from overeating.

Kathy Bates attends National Women's History Museum's 7th Annual Women Making History Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 15, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Presley Ann / Getty Images

The legendary actress uses a psychological trick to prevent her from overeating.

Legendary actress Kathy Bates has lost 60 pounds due to a psychological trick, CBS News is reporting. The 70-year-old credits her niece for giving her the tip that completely changed her health. While she of course began to avoid junk food and sodas, Bates also began to listen to her body in order to lose weight.

“Mindfulness, just knowing when to push my plate away,” she said of her weight loss. “My niece told me this little secret, I guess it’s no secret, it’s a biological thing, that at some point when you’re eating, you have this involuntary sigh and that’s really your brain and your stomach communicating that you’ve had enough. The trick is to pay attention to that and push your plate away.”

Bates does say this new way of thinking is easier said than done, however. She claims it took years for her to get a hang of the mind trick.

“It took a few years,” Bates admitted. “I would say you have to be really patient … I don’t like the word willpower, but I like the word determination.”

While Bates is in an industry that often puts focus on appearances, the American Horror Story and Misery actress made the decision to lose weight for her health. According to People, Bates had a tough bout with breast cancer, but was fortunately able to enter remission. She did develop lymphedema, however. Lymphedema is a condition that results in the swelling of arms and legs due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. The swelling of limbs is often a common side-effect of cancer treatment, so many doctors don’t spot it and it goes undiagnosed.

Kathy Bates attends the 2019 WebMD Health Hero Awards on January 15, 2019 in New York City.
Kathy Bates attends the 2019 WebMD Health Hero Awards on January 15, 2019 in New York City. Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Bates worked with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network and is now a national spokesperson for the organization. She was even recognized at a WebMD event as the 2019 “Game Changer” for her involvement with the cause. Bates became passionate about the issue after not only learning that she suffered from this condition, but also learning the stats: it affects more people than ALS, MS, AIDS, and Parkinson’s combined, rounding up to a total of 10 million people with this affliction in the United States alone.

“When I heard those figures I got involved,” Bates said. “I got very pissed off because it was unfair.”

With a proper diagnosis and a new key to weight loss, however, Bates is feeling better than ever.

“I’m feeling great,” she said. “I’ve lost a lot of weight and it’s really helped with my symptoms. I just still have to wear compression sleeves or guard against nicks and bug bites because that can lead to sepsis.”