How Randy Jackson Really Lost And Kept Off Over 100 Lbs

From his early days as an "American Idol" judge, Randy Jackson managed to transform his body with incredible weight loss. In 2008, Jackson revealed that he had Type 2 diabetes, but that the illness came with a silver lining. "It's a curse to be saddled with a disease that's life threatening," he wrote in his health book "Body and Soul" (via Today). "But it's a blessing to get that huge wake-up call." The famed producer said his weight-loss advice came from a different place than most health gurus. "I am the guy who knows what it's like to be walking around with 100 extra pounds," he wrote, via WebMD.

While working as a touring musician with the likes of Carlos Santana and Whitney Houston, Jackson's pitfall was not drugs or alcohol, but overeating. The ready availability of unhealthy food options was difficult for Jackson to manage. "There are all kinds of sandwiches plus chips, cheeses, cookies, cakes, candy, beer, wine," he shared with WebMD in 2008.

It was not until Jackson worked on "American Idol" that he started to fully take stock of his weight. "You come in and they go 'Yeah dawg, you're telling me I'm terrible but you're fat!'" he told People in 2020 while discussing his run-ins with unruly contestants. Around Season 2 of being a judge on the show, Jackson began to shed pounds but initially struggled to keep the weight off. That all changed when he came to a personal realization.

How Randy Jackson avoided weight loss cycles

At one point while working on "American Idol," Randy Jackson weighed over 350 pounds. In 2003 he opted for gastric bypass surgery, but that only tells a fraction of his weight loss journey. "It's a great jump starter. You lose a bunch of weight really fast, but maintaining's another thing," he told People on May 4. The "Name That Tune" band leader warned of the cycles that can develop. "Anybody that's lost weight, you lose it and then you start eating and drinking more and it all starts coming back," Jackson said while mentioning that is what happened to him initially.

Eventually, Jackson recognized that his unhealthy eating habits were tied to psychological issues with food. "Eating's all emotional. I needed to really get it together so I could keep it off," he explained. The Unify Health Labs owner said that trying to fully abstain from eating junk foods was a recipe for disaster. "The more you deny yourself, the more you're going to go on a bender and have 18 candy bars without stopping at some point," he said.

Jackson identified that he needed to completely change his relationship with food. "I had a food divorce is what I usually say ... I had to let it all go and start over," he said while appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2021. However, the TV host isn't fully divorcing from treats. "Never say 'I will never have another piece of chocolate,' because it won't happen," he told WebMD in 2008.