Celebrities Who Lost Extreme Amounts of Weight in Dangerous Ways

Plenty of people envy the lives of the reach and famous. Some do to the point where they’ll copy their favorite celebrity’s style, playlist, even their diets. These popular celebrities vary in age, gender, and height, but they all lost a lot of weight in not-so-healthy ways.

They opened up about the controversial, occasionally dangerous ways they lost weight that neither they nor any health professional, would encourage you copy.

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton attends her "Paris Electric Christmas"

Paris Hilton didn’t eat much in her 20s. | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Hilton was first to admit that she focused on drugs and alcohol far more than healthy eating in her 20s. The actress reportedly took Adderall for her attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and reaped the benefits of its appetite-decreasing quality. “I’d been to every incredible party in the world,” Hilton told PEOPLE in 2011. “But I was going out with my girlfriends and dancing, having a lot of coffee and Red Bull. Being on the go, I would just grab fast food or skip meals because I was busy.”

Her mom and friends noticed how Hilton’s lifestyle took a toll on her health. “‘You’re way too skinny. It doesn’t look good,'”  Her mother, Kathy, told her. “I said, ‘Mom, everyone is skinny in Hollywood. It’s just the way it is.’ And she’s like, ‘No. It’s not normal.'”

Next: The ‘Lemonade’ artist made the diet of the same name pretty popular.


Beyonce crash dieted for her role in Dreamgirls. | Instagram

Beyonce came clean about how she lost 20 pounds quickly for her role in Dreamgirls — the Master Cleanse. The fast allows specific liquids, but no food. The singer and actress sipped on a combination of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper — the “lemonade diet” — for 10 days to drop weight fast.

Nutritionists and fitness professionals have a serious problem with the “lemonade diet,” Latreal Mitchell included. “I have a huge problem with any cleanse that doesn’t allow you to have food … It’s not going to sustain you,” she said. Nutritionist Jennifer Crum, M.S., R.D., had a similar issue. “… all this does is slow down your metabolism … You can become deficient in crucial minerals like sodium and potassium, which affect heart function,” she said.

Next: This rapper became addicted to exercise.


Eminem in a t-shirt and jacket against a black background points to the sky

Eminem developed unhealthy workout habits. | Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV

The rapper told Men’s Journal how he developed an exercise addiction to the point where he injured his hips and lost significant weight. “It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise. One addiction for another but one that’s good for them. I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I think I got a little carried away … Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill.”

Eminem would run eight and a half miles per hour — first before heading to the recording studio and again after.

Next: The actress struggled with weight loss and a serious condition.

Jennifer Hudson

US singer Jennifer Hudson poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2018

Jennifer Hudson needed to break unhealthy dieting habits. | Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

The singer/actress has tried plenty of different tactics to lose weight, some healthier than others. Hudson relayed how different her recent weight loss using Weight Watchers was from the dangerous habits of her past.

“I had to break my diet mentality. I used to deprive myself, thinking that was healthy,” she said. “If you’re on a strict diet that says you shouldn’t have any carbs or this or that, your body won’t function the way it should. I know now that I can eat anything I want and still lose or maintain my weight. It’s about portions and balance.”

Next: Royal pressures may have gotten to this famous person.

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton necklace

Kate Middleton did the Dukan diet before her wedding. | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

Middleton was the most-watched bride-to-be in 2011. That meant everything from her dress to her diet was under scrutiny. She followed the Dukan Diet, a four-phase diet. While the steps appear healthy, fans and friends began to notice Middleton thinning out drastically.

Buckingham Palace denied Middleton was intentionally dieting in a harmful way, but an admirer advised she “not lose any more weight” on a trip to Northern Ireland.

Next: If it’s liquid-only, chances are it’s unhealthy.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox in Jonah Hex, Warner Bros

Megan Fox in Jonas Hex | Warner Bros.

Actress Megan Fox was vocal about the apple cider vinegar diet trend and how she loved it. In 2010 she said, “It just cleanses out your system entirely,” according to E! News.

She was criticized immediately for promoting the detox, which when abused will not only lower your appetite but your potassium levels. Consuming too much apple cider vinegar can also damage tooth enamel and mess with your digestive system.

Next: This woman had both a controversial weight-loss story and mantra

Bethenny Frankel

She began trying to gain weight after her pregnancy. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

The SkinnyGirl creator has faced criticism for her brand’s name as well as her secrets to losing weight. When she posed in a bikini for Life & Style post the birth of her daughter, the new mom revealed her slightly concerning mantra about dieting.

“Taste everything, eat nothing,” she said, claiming it was her secret to dropping the pesky baby weight. Months later, Frankel admitted online that she felt she looked too skinny. “Eating enchiladas … at 10am.need to gain weight,” she tweeted.

Next: He lost weight for a role but didn’t stop there

Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid once had to lose 40 pounds for a role. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

The actor had to lose 40 pounds to play the titular role in the 1994 biopic, Wyatt Earp. However, the weight loss proved dangerous for his mental wellbeing. “For many years, I was obsessed about what I was eating, how many calories it had, and how much exercise I’d have to do [after eating it].”

He told PEOPLE how he began to sympathize with other disordered eaters as he became consumed with his own body image. “My arms were so skinny that I couldn’t pull myself out of a pool. I wasn’t bulimic, but I could understand what people go through with that.”

Next: Doctors ordered her to gain back the weight

Courtney Love

Courtney Love in a white dress, singing into a microphone

Courtney Love is too thin. | FOX

The former rock star was diagnosed with malnutrition and admitted she knew she looked gaunt. “I know I’ve got too skinny,” she says in an interview with Grazia magazine. “I know I need to sort it out. I am going to put on 15 lbs in one month.”

Loves doctor ordered she gain weight. She claimed she didn’t have body dysmorphic disorder and wanted to pack on pounds, attributing her significant weight loss to severe stress.

Next: Gwyneth Paltrow’s site faced controversy for its advice

Tracy Anderson

Goop had to walk back Tracy Anderson’s comments. | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for imagine1Day

Fitness guru Tracy Anderson advised Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop readers how to “effectively do a fourteen-pound weight loss in four weeks,” in “Tracy Anderson on How to Lose Weight Fast.” Anderson shared her “tips for shaping up fast — whether you have a month, two weeks, or just forty-eight hours.”

Readers took issue with the lifestyle site’s advice and a Goop representative released a statement. “We would never advocate for an unhealthy diet or extreme routine,” the statement said. “As Tracy said in the interview, you should make choices based on what is best for your individual body.”

Next: All protein, all the time? Not always a good thing

Julia Roberts

Actress Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts used the Parricone Prescription diet. | Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

The Perricone Prescription is a diet and lifestyle choice that celebrities follow to lose weight. But how healthy is it? Nicholas Perricone, who wrote The Perricone Prescription, recommended eating two portions of salmon a day, eliminating carbs, and nixing specific fruits and vegetables.

While it’s proven to make you look younger — and thinner — some experts warn against it. Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston were at one point devout followers of the admittedly protein-rich and expensive diet. Turns out it could harm the kidneys as well and lead to serious malfunction, according to Elizabeth Ward with the British Kidney Patients Association.

Next: This guy was after a slim, muscular look.

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Zayn Malik opened up about the stress he underwent while touring with One Direction. The band’s growing popularity combined with his busy schedule and created for an unhealthy singer.

“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns … I’d just got for days — sometimes two or three days straight — without eating anything at all,” Malik said. “It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was.”

Next: The singer struggled with a serious disease. 

Elton John

Elton John

Elton John | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Even Sir Elton John has battled with dieting. The singer and songwriter sought treatment in 1990 after 16 years of bulimia. He told Larry King in an interview that admitting the disease was the first step to fixing it. He also got help from his close friend, Princess Diana, who was bulimic as well.

Next: His movie role may have turned him into a dangerous dieter.

Kit Harington

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones | HBO

The Game of Thrones actor began losing weight in an unhealthy way but stopped himself just in time. While training for the lead role in 2014’s Pompeii, Harington realized his habit was bordering on dangerous.

“I was going to the gym three times a day for six days a week,” he told Vulture. “So the trainer stepped in and said, ‘Look, you don’t need to go through all of this. This is body dysmorphia now.'”

Martine McCutcheon

Martine McCutcheon attends a book signing for her new novel ‘The Mistress.’ | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Martine McCutcheon claimed the Blood Type diet helped her slim down to a size ten in her post-EastEnders days. However, the diet was debunked as unhealthy years ago. The diet can be harmful, especially for Type O — it can increase your risk of heart disease — and may exclude necessary vitamins and minerals from your diet.

“It’s just a really cool idea that has no substantive support,” Dr. Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., told HuffPost. “There’s no consistency, no logical rationale for this diet.”

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