Kelly Clarkson's Weight Loss Transformation Has Us Stunned

It's no secret that Kelly Clarkson has gone through many ups and downs in her weight loss journey. Since winning the first season of "American Idol" in 2002, Clarkson has been candid about struggling with her body image and the pressure of living up to Hollywood's impossible beauty standards. "I was the biggest girl," she previously told Ellen DeGeneres of her time on "American Idol," adding, "I wasn't big, but people would call me big ... I've kind of always gotten that." 

In 2020, Clarkson explained to Glamour how being thin has only made her more vulnerable to criticism about her body, if anything. "I felt more pressure from people actually when I was thin," the "Breakaway" singer said, adding that she used to be so skinny to the point of almost being sick. "It was more of magazines shoved in front of you and, 'This is what you're competing with' and we've got to compete with it," she said. "I can't compete with that."

Through the years, the Emmy-winning talk show host has also been significantly open about her weight loss journey as well, telling "Today" in 2018 that she'd lost a whopping 37 pounds after being diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and a thyroid condition in 2006. However, for Clarkson, the weight loss was just a bonus. "For me, it wasn't [about] the weight," she said. "It was 'I'm not on my medicine anymore.'" Clarkson's stunning weight loss transformation in recent years has left us in awe.

Inside Kelly Clarkson's dramatic weight loss

Kelly Clarkson has undergone a significant transformation since famously separating from Brandon Blackstock in 2020 — and no, it wasn't because she was aiming for a post-divorce revenge body, but rather, she was focused on improving her physical health. During a January 2024 episode of her eponymous talk show, the 41-year-old vocal powerhouse spoke about embarking on a weight loss journey after learning that she was pre-diabetic a few years ago. "Well, I wasn't shocked. I was a tiny bit overweight," Clarkson told guest Kevin James after he commented on her appearance. "They were like, 'You're pre-diabetic. You're right on the borderline,'" she recalled. But the thought of losing weight didn't come to her overnight; Clarkson said it was only in recent months that she decided she had to do something regarding her diagnosis, and thus began her road to achieving a fitter body.

Speaking with People about her remarkable weight loss, the Grammy winner spilled some of her secrets. First up, her diet, which consists of "a healthy mix," but is particularly heavy on protein-rich foods like meat. As for her exercise regimen, Clarkson said she likes walking around outside as much as she can. Having recently moved from Los Angeles to New York City, Clarkson spends most of her time away from work exploring the city with her kids, River and Remy. She also engages in infrared sauna sessions, a practice Healthline notes can aid in weight loss. "And I just got a cold plunge because everybody wore me down," Clarkson added, in jest.

Kelly Clarkson loves herself regardless of her size

Make no mistake about it. Kelly Clarkson is confident in her own skin regardless of her size. Speaking to People in 2017, the former "The Voice" coach said she's not fazed by all the negative chatter regarding her physique as she feels totally secure in her body. Reflecting on her time on "American Idol," Clarkson recalled getting so much hate from fans for simply being bigger than her fellow contestants, saying, "People would say things to me. But luckily I am superconfident, so I've never had a problem with shutting people down and saying, 'Yeah, you know, that's just what I'm rocking. It's fine.'"

In her 2017 cover story for Redbook, Clarkson said it is when she's not at her thinnest that she's actually — and truly — happy. "People think, Oh, there's something wrong with her. She's putting on weight," she told the magazine. "I'm like, 'Oh, no! I'm sorry, but that represents happiness in my emotional world.'" The opposite goes for when she's sporting a thinner body, with her saying, "[It's] usually when I'm not doing well."

For Clarkson, there's a power to being confident in your own skin and not caring what others might think of you. "You're going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone," she told Redbook. She said folks should care less about other peoples' opinions and more about their personal health and happiness. "And whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it." Preach, Kelly!