If there’s one thing that provides a helpful distraction from the pandemic, it’s a dramatic celebrity weight loss. This week, Kelly Osbourne was pictured in Malibu looking noticeably slimmer in tight black jeans and a tailored suit jacket. The actress revealed through comments on an Instagram post earlier this year that she has lost 85lbs.
The revelation was sparked by Olivia Mai, whose daughter Jennie hosts talk show The Real, when she wrote under the post: "Oh my gosh, you lost a lot of weight." Osbourne quickly replied: “That’s right Mamma Mai, I lost 85 lbs since I last saw you. Can you believe it?”
In the past, Osbourne has been open about her struggles with weight. In her 2017 memoir, she described herself as having had a "a little dumpling body" which put her off going to the gym and exercising around thinner people. Over the past decade, she’s struggled with yo-yo diets and fad weight-loss regimes. Osbourne is a petite 5ft 2in, but says at her heaviest she was a size 14 and weighed 11.5 stone.
But, in 2020, it seems she is finally starting to reap the rewards of her hard work. Here’s what we can learn from her transformation.
Weight loss surgery
Speaking on the Hollywood Raw podcast, Osbourne revealed that she had chosen gastric sleeve surgery to help her lose weight.
“I want to be very clear about this kind of surgery I had. I didn’t have a gastric bypass. The kind of surgery I had… if you don’t work out and you don’t eat right, you gain weight. All it does is move you in the right direction,” she said. "What people don’t realize is, it cuts out this hormone that if you have addiction issues, it stops your craving and it makes you not emotionally eat which is a huge problem for me.”
A gastric sleeve works by stapling off a portion of the stomach which turns it from a pouch into a sleeve. According to Nuffield Health the procedure has a high success rate, achieving up to 70 per cent excess weight loss – just shy of the standard set by a gastric band. A gastric bypass is a more complex operation that requires two joins in the stomach. Patients who have undergone the operation often experience absorption issues and are required to take supplements for the rest of their lives to make sure they absorb nutrients.
A vegan diet
In 2012, it was reported that Osbourne's close relationship with the vegan chef Matthew Mosshart might have pushed her to loosely follow a plant-based diet – which she may still be sticking to.
“I used to think being a vegan was boring. Now I have more fun with food now than I ever have before," she captioned an Instagram post of hummus and cucumber on bread in 2018.
It wouldn’t be the first time that veganism has been linked to dramatic weight loss. A 2016 study published in the journal Nutrition compared weight loss over six months among people who followed vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous diets. The results showed that people on a vegan diet lost more weight than other groups. They also decreased their consumption of saturated fats.
However, the relationship between plant-based food and weight loss is highly contentious. The restrictive nature of a vegan diet can lead people to over-indulge on pasta, bread and fast-food. Many vegans lack Vitamin B12 in their diet, and can also experience poor bone health caused by calcium and Vitamin D deficiency. In fact, research shows vegans have lower bone mineral density and fracture rates nearly a third higher than the general population, with teenagers and post-menopausal women particularly at risk.
If you are going to follow a vegan diet for weight loss, or ethical reasons, it’s important that you seek out expert advice so you can incorporate the correct supplements into your diet.
Watch: Easy peasy watermelon choc ices
An occasional treat
Prior to joining Dancing with the Stars in 2009, Osborne admitted to Shape magazine that she used to “eat chips and cookies and drink soda all day long.” And although it's unlikely that she still eats these foods in large quantities, Osbourne isn't shy of allowing herself an occasional treat.
"I indulge with pizza and cheese — I love brie — and have cookies sometimes," she told Shape. "But now, when I'm full? I stop eating! It may have taken me 26 years to figure it out, but I've finally learned how to do it right."
If you allow yourself the occasional biscuit or cake, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon and binge unhealthy foods later down the line. But you should savour it slowly to heighten the experience. In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, people who took a photo of an indulgent dish before eating it found it more delicious, because the momentary delay allowed all of their senses to kick in before they ate the food.
Cardio workouts and strength training
Osbourne works out with Lacey Stone, a celebrity personal trainer based in Los Angeles. Stone is a fan of high-intensity interval sessions, and circuit training - which could explain how Osbourne achieved her toned figure.
“Some of my favourite workout moves have been around forever because they work,” Stone told an online publication. “The squat, lunge, deadlifts, push-ups, dumbbell bicep curl shoulder press combo, and dips are staples to my workouts.”
She recommends doing circuits of these moves two to three times per week and spin classes, or any other sorts of cardio, two to three times a week.
“Spin is a great way to lose pounds, but strength training is an absolute must-have to keep your curves. You don’t want to do so much cardio that you lose definition and that’s why adding a strength component is essential to a weight loss plan even though you’d think it adds size; stimulating muscle will really help highlight those curves and definition. I would recommend you do it 3-4 times a week of doing both, hopefully starting with strength training and ending with indoor cycling for maximum efficacy.”
Watch: Lower body and core workout
In 2013, Osbourne said that using a weighted Hoopnotica hula hoop has helped her to sustain her weight loss. Hoopnotica was founded by Gabriella Redding, who claims that she lost 50 pounds in a year through hula-hooping.
“I have a Hoopnotica hula hoop,” Osbourne told one magazine. “I use it every day. It’s made my back and arms stronger, and my waist has gone down two inches. On Saturday nights my friends and I put on ridiculous outfits and hula-hoop and dance when everyone else is at ‘da club.’"
It's been reported that Michelle Obama, Kelly Brook and Beyoncé are all fans of a hula-hoop workout. According to the American Council on Exercise, a personal training provider, you can burn seven calories a minute while hooping. It also helps improve posture, boost circulation, and strengthen core muscles. And the best part? All you need is a hoop and some comfortable clothes, making it a perfect pandemic work-out.
On the Hollywood Raw podcast, Osbourne revealed that she stopped drinking in order to kick-start her weight loss journey.
“I stopped drinking, which is the best thing I've ever done. I really wanted to fix the things that were broken in me. I'm not perfect. I still make a lot of mistakes. I have bumps in the road, I fall down, I get back up again.”
And as lockdown taught us, booze is full of hidden calories that can cause our weight to creep up. Earlier this year, the Government outlined mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol as part of their obesity strategy. Dr Michael Mosley, TV medic and bestselling author of The 5:2 Diet and The Fast 800 Diet, agrees that alcohol is what leads many of us to pile on the pounds.
"Alcohol is rich in empty calories," Mosley previously told the Telegraph. "For example, there are approximately 120 calories per 150ml of white wine or 250 calories per beer, so the calories can add up very quickly. Alcohol is also high in sugar, which is not only bad for your teeth and your waist, it is bad for you brain as well."
With Macmillan’s Go Sober for October upon us, now might be the perfect time to kick the habit.
Viewing weight loss as a life change, rather than a quick fix
Regardless of her diet plan, Osbourne has made it clear that she has a holistic approach to diet and exercise. “Once I learned how to work out right and eat right, it’s one of those things that you just have to commit to a life change rather than being on a diet," she told Huffington Post Australia. "Because a diet doesn’t work. You lose weight and you stop it and it will all come back. So you just have to take baby steps, commit to something and stay true to it."
It's widely agreed among experts that rapid weight loss can actually slow your metabolism, leading to future weight gain, and deprive your body of essential nutrients. Crash diets can also weaken your immune system and increase your risk of dehydration, heart palpitations, and cardiac stress - none of which are conducive to healthy weight loss. If you think of your weight loss as a lifestyle change, and set yourself a realistic long-term goal, then you're more likely to stick to healthy habits.