For Randy Jackson, eating healthy and maintaining his weight is all about finding balance.
The TV personality, most known for his role as a former “American Idol” judge, underwent gastric bypass surgery almost two decades ago. But like many people who undergo the procedure, he found himself gaining weight back over time.
In 2008, Jackson opened up about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in a book called “Body With Soul” and admitted that it was “both a blessing and a curse” as it forced him to take a hard look at his lifestyle habits. “It’s a curse to be saddled with a disease that’s life threatening and that you can’t completely get rid of (though you can certainly manage it). But it’s a blessing to get that huge wake-up call,” he wrote in the book.
That wake-up call inspired him to develop a healthy relationship with food. These days, the 65-year-old is feeling great, but he’s quick to note that it took him a bit of time to get there.
“I hate the word diet. I don’t use that anymore. Anybody that’s lost weight, you lose it and then you start eating and drinking more and it all starts coming back. That’s what started happening to me,” he told People in a new interview. “I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to spend my life going through this.”
Jackson acknowledged that his 2003 surgery was a great “jump starter” for his health journey, but said that keeping the weight off was a lot more difficult.
“You lose a bunch of weight really fast, but maintaining’s another thing because you get there and your mind tells you, ‘Okay, phew. I’m here now. I can start to party and bring out the cheesecakes,’” he said.
Through hard work and dedication, the “Name That Tune” star has maintained his 114-pound weight loss, and he’s also steered clear of “quick fix” diets.
“Eating’s all emotional. I needed to really get it together so I could keep it off,” he said.
We’re all tempted by emotional eating and binging, but Jackson has a few tricks for managing his cravings. He has five small meals a day. Lunch or dinner usually consists of “fish, some sort of veggie and maybe a little handful of rice or potato” and his go-to snacks include bananas, apples, cheese and protein bars and shakes.
Still, the music industry veteran knows it’s important to treat himself once in a while, and he doesn’t avoid sweets entirely.
“If I really feel like I need to have a piece of candy, I have a small piece so that in my mind, I’m not saying, ‘No, no, no,’” he explained. “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.”
Fitness is an important part of Jackson’s health regimen and he typically begins the day with spinning or a bit of Pilates. Between physical activity and a healthy approach to eating, Jackson has figured out a sustainable way to maintain his weight loss and still enjoy life.
“I think if I had not figured it all out, I would’ve gained at least half, if not more, of that weight back,” he said.