Magician Penn Jillette is a new man after his 120-pound weight loss in four months with a vegan-inspired, low-calorie diet.
The 6-foot-6 Jillette previously weighed 330 pounds and now weighs 210 pounds, thanks to diet and exercise, Celebrity Health & Fitness reported.
“I adopted what, in its simplest terms, is called an evidence-based diet,” Penn told Yahoo. “I eat whole plants. No animal products, no olive oil, no salt, no sugar, no refined grains.
Jillette’s doctors wanted him to get stomach-sleeve weight loss surgery after he was hospitalized in October 2014 for obesity-induced high blood pressure.
I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down. My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 pounds it would be a little easier to control.
Then he said something that completely blew my mind: ‘If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn’t need any of the meds.’ ”
At that point, Jillette adopted a mostly vegan 1,000-calorie-a-day diet from December 2014 to April 2015 and lost almost a pound a day without exercise, as Examiner has reported. Penn continues to follow his strict diet because he believes moderation is a slippery slope to excess.
I’ve never had a drink of alcohol in my life. I’ve never had a puff of marijuana. And if I did do drugs, I’d be a heroin addict and I’d drop LSD every day. Not only do I not do moderation, I don’t respect it in any way.
Jillette said former NASA scientist Ray Cronise helped his weight loss journey. Cronise suggested Penn get a Withings smart scale programmed so that every time he stepped on the scale, his weight would show up on Ray’s phone. The accountability motivated Jillette to stick to his diet.
The scale and a group of friends who also wanted to lose weight gave Jillette the determination and accountability he needed to stick to his weight loss goals.
We became this coven of late-middle-aged obsessive men who are living, breathing, and thinking about how much weight we lost today. It was like starting a band.”
The former couch potato also started doing the “scientific 7-minute workout” (which involves high-intensity interval training), as well as weightlifting, juggling and 10-mile tricycle rides. Since losing 120 pounds, Jillette no longer takes drugs for high blood pressure — or any medication — and feels better than ever.
“People always ask me, ‘Don’t you miss pizza and stuff like that?'” said Jillette. “That’s kind of like asking someone who plays in a band if they miss watching TV. No, motherf*cker, I’m playing in a band. I didn’t watch CSI: Cleveland tonight because we recorded a f*cken album. I don’t miss pizza because we’re all obsessing on getting our weight perfect.