How Penn Jillette Lost over 100 Lbs and Still Eats Whatever He Wants

, , 100 Comments


I lost over 100 pounds, a third of my weight. I was probably at my heaviest. You don’t ever weigh yourself at your heaviest
but I was probably over 340, certainly around there. And now as I sit here in front of you I’m
probably about 232. There’s a fluctuation of a couple of pounds,
it goes back and forth. That’s a lot of weight. And I did not lose it for vanity. I was pretty happy with myself fat. I didn’t mind being fat. It wasn’t a big deal to me. I didn’t mind how I looked. But my health was getting bad. I didn’t even mind how I felt very much. I didn’t mind not being energetic and stuff. But I started having blood pressure that was
stupid high like, you know, like English voltage, like 220 even on blood pressure medicine. And I have two young children. I’m an old dad. My daughter was born when I was 50. So I’m 61 now. And my life expectancy, the actuary tables
were crashing down and the doctor said that I had to get a stomach sleeve. It was a wonderful moment because it then
gave me the option to go crazy. If you’re going to surgically do something
to me to stop me from swallowing that means I don’t have to worry about doing a sane
diet. I can get nutty. And being given the option to be nutty was
all I needed. I realized that not only am I not good at
moderation, I also don’t respect moderation. Anyone I know who’s able to do moderation
I don’t like them. The people I respect and love are people that
go wild. I mean I don’t want to go into Kerouac here
but the mad ones. No one brags about climbing a nice little
slope. You brag about climbing Everest. So once my friend Ray Cronise who I can Cray
Ray, once Cray Ray told me that I could lose the weight but it was going to be really hard,
it got really easy. Once you make something a challenge, you make
something I can brag about, I can do it. So I wrote this book about me. It is more first person singular in it than
in a Donald Trump speech. I don’t’ write about you. If you take medical advice from a Las Vegas
magician you are an idiot who deserves to die. You have to do this for yourself and with
your proper medical professionals. That being said the first thing Cray Ray and
I wanted to do was change my way of eating. It turns out everything about eating is habit. It’s all habitual. You think you have a natural inclination to
like grilled cheese or donuts. Not true. All we eat is habit. So I wanted to take a couple of weeks and
change my habit. And one of the really good ways to do that
that worked tremendously for me is what’s called the mono diet which is just what you
think from the root, eating the exact same thing. And I could have chosen anything. I could have chosen corn or beans or whatever. Not hot fudge but anything. And I chose potatoes because it’s a funny
thing and a funny word. For two weeks I ate potatoes, complete potatoes
– skin and everything and nothing added, nothing subtracted. When I say nothing subtracted I mean no skin
taken off but also no water. You can’t cut it up and make it chips in
a microwave. Don’t take water out of it. Leave the potato completely – so that means
baked or boiled and not at any mealtime. You don’t get up in the morning, eat a potato. You don’t eat it at lunch or dinner. Mealtimes are obliterated. When you really need to eat, eat a potato. And over that first two weeks I lost I believe
14 pounds. So already I’m a different person. But I also reset my taste buds. I don’t like to use the word addiction. It’s a loaded word and also I don’t think
anyone really knows what it means. But I was habituated to a great deal of salt,
sugar and oil. After two weeks of potatoes that was gone. And the first ear of corn I had was candy. I mean it was just amazing. It was so sweet and so full of flavors and
so salty even. I grew up in New England where there’s wonderful
fresh corn in the summer but I always drenched it in butter and salt. I never tasted it. Then after that two weeks I went to, you know,
bean stew and tomatoes and salads. But still no fruit and no nuts. Certainly no animal products. And I lost an average – these words are
careful – an average of .9 pounds a day. So I took off pretty much all the weight in
three or four months, in a season, in a winter. Because we have so many calories our bodies
are constantly in summer. We’re preparing for winter that never comes. Winter came for me. And that was 17 months ago. So I’ve kept the weight off for 17 months. Now two years is magic. Very few people keep it off for two years. I’ve got seven more months to go. I think I have a shot at it. I feel better. I’m happier. I’m off most of my blood pressure meds. Not all of them, it takes a while for the
vascular system to catch up with the weight loss. I have more fun. I believe I’m kinder. I’m embarrassed about that because I’m
an atheist as I’ve covered to this very camera before. So I should not believe in a mind-body separation. But somehow I believed that my mind could
stay healthy and happy even if my body was falling apart and I shouldn’t have ever
believed that. But I did. And now that I’m lighter I feel lighter
and I feel happier. And, you know, there’s a chance, my chances
of living longer for my children have gone up considerably. You know I lost my mom and dad when I was
45 and a year of my life was in deep, deep mourning, you know. And there’s a very good chance my children
will have to go through losing their dad. And I’d much rather they do that when they’re
a little older than having to do that when they’re 15. It turns out that being with my children is
more important to me than chocolate cake. All of that having been said now that I’m
at target weight I also – this is important – I also didn’t exercise while I was losing
the weight. Exercising is body building. It’s a different thing. Wait until you hit the target weight, then
you exercise. Then it’s easy. Then it really does good. But while you’re losing weight make it winter. Sleep a little more. Get sluggish. Let your body just eat the fat that you’ve
stored up just the way you should. Hibernate a little bit. Let it eat the fat. Be a little bit like a bear. Now I eat no animal products, no refined grains. Extremely low salt, sugar and fat. Another way to say that same thing is two
words – whole plants. That’s all. That being said every couple of weeks at least
two weeks go by but every couple of weeks I just eat without thinking. I eat, you know, my son says come on dad,
eat like a man. I’ll have a pizza with him. I’ll have a hot fudge sundae with my daughter. If there’s a special occasion and I haven’t
gone off program in two weeks I’ll eat whatever. Do you know when I’m in New York if I haven’t
had anything in two weeks I’ll have a slice of really great pizza or maybe a little bit
of corned beef on rye. But that is an occasional rare inappropriate
meal. That’s a special thing. It’s not a cheat. I don’t cheat because it’s part of my
plan. The weird thing is though after the microbiome
changes and after the taste is reset I do not crave donuts. I do not crave pizza. I do not crave ice cream or hamburgers. They taste okay when I have them. Well that’s really not true. Chicken disgusts me now. I used to love chicken. Fried chicken, chicken and waffles. It’s kind of disgusting to me. Eggs kind of disgust me. Steaks I liked for a while and now that’s
kind of fading away, even hamburger. Everybody I know that’s gone through this
– we’ve lost all together a bunch of us like 5,400 pounds. Is that right? Yeah, 5,400 pounds. All my friends. And I was just talking to a couple of what
we call ourselves Cronuts after Ray Cronise. I was talking to a guy last night and he was
just saying now hamburgers have fallen away too. And I realized the other day I was in an airport. I was stuck for ten hours in an airport and
I said, you know, I’m going to eat for entertainment because I’ve got nothing to do. And so I just said it’s been a few weeks
since I ate badly, I’ll just eat whatever I want. I realized after and I’ve been noticing
– I had cookies, you know, I had a bagel. I hadn’t eaten any meat at all. And they’re all there, barbecue places,
you know. There’s good ribs places. McDonald’s. I just kind of – I lost the taste for it
which is really remarkable because I would have never guessed that. I would have never guessed it. And if someone had told me oh by the way you
just won’t want this stuff. So the kind of punchline to this whole thing
is after this whole incredibly restrictive diet and all of this willpower and all of
this climbing a dietary Everest as I sit here right now on the Big Think I now eat whatever
I want. But what I want has changed profoundly.

 

100 Responses

  1. FillUmUpp

    September 10, 2019 6:12 am

    i have a similar story. hes like me in the sense that its veganism for your health and if you eat a burger now and then it doesnt really matter..lol you have to look at your diet in terms of weeks/months.. there are 84 meals in a month.. if one meal includes mac and cheese and cookies, your fine and its the same the other way, like those people who only exercise one week out of the year on vacation. smh

    Reply
  2. SexJunkle

    September 11, 2019 1:34 am

    How Jillette lost over 100lbs? It's called meth, getting old and losing lean muscle mass, hyperthyroidism, cancer, and a whole host of other health problems. Absolutely nothing about Jillete's weight loss looks in the least bit healthy.

    Reply
  3. nina blanco

    September 11, 2019 9:48 pm

    No animal protein??? That’s why you look soooo old. Sorry Penn you are going to start losing your teeth, and you will make your bones brittle. Atheist?? That’s why you don’t have hope!!

    Reply
  4. Jesse Gilbride

    September 12, 2019 10:34 pm

    If you want to maximize your longevity, in addition to proper diet, lift heavy weights. As aging advances, lean muscle is harder to keep and bones get weaker, so sure them up. I recommend the book "Barbell Prescription", by Mark Rippetoe as a good starting point.

    Reply
  5. Cristiano Sousa

    September 13, 2019 2:13 pm

    I've had the same experience and same weight. I am amazed how alike we are (apart the talent and how famous he is)

    Reply
  6. Charlie Tango

    September 13, 2019 5:43 pm

    I think that's leave that you're talkin about it's where they cut out your stomach I'm the only food that can stay there is it food that fits in your intestine.
    If that's the case that's a pretty severe step you took to get skinny. I would think fasting and the ketogenic diet would have been better.
    The meat would have given you a far better complexion you wouldn't look so thin and pale.

    Reply
  7. Charlie Tango

    September 13, 2019 5:48 pm

    Having part of your stomach cut out is not really a mountain to climb. Fasting and natural nutrition would been like climbing a mountain.

    Reply
  8. mica onyx

    September 14, 2019 5:52 pm

    My aunt is 4'11 178 lbs and don't think she is obese. I'm 5'4 120 lbs and when I tried to tell her she shouldn't weight more than me she said no way that was way too thin. Sadly a lot of people in the African American community think that was.😣

    Reply
  9. Some Guy

    September 14, 2019 11:32 pm

    I eat mostly rice, and the other things I need in my diet are on the side. Eat whatever I want for the most part, just kind of have rice for filler. Works great for me. Started because I was poor.

    Reply
  10. Troy Kelso

    September 15, 2019 6:23 pm

    2:03 Trump makes many, many fewer first-person references in his speeches than Obama did (and continues to do).

    Reply
  11. Alex

    September 15, 2019 9:01 pm

    It's funny he talks for 9 minutes about his weight loss journey but only briefly mentions he did stomach reduction surgery.

    Reply
  12. TechPimp

    September 16, 2019 4:44 pm

    you didn't have to cut out meat its the cutting out refined grains and sugar the ones that helped you. Low salt will lead you to insulin resistance.

    Reply
  13. spiritual619

    September 17, 2019 12:32 am

    In reference to the pronoun density of Trump…go back and count the same in Obama's speeches. Much higher, it's just no one was paying attention. Also, how many times did he say he loved "his" country i.e., USA?

    Reply
  14. Xcution Unknown

    September 17, 2019 5:44 am

    I know exactly what Penn's talking about.
    I've quit drinking soda for 5 months; and have been drinking only water for the time being.

    Even though I ate any food I wanted, I only drank water. Ooooh boy, the one day my boss bought me a tea or my Dad handed me a soda made me enjoy it on a whole new level.

    I still keep it up because it's easy too.

    Reply
  15. Linda Sanger

    September 20, 2019 3:42 pm

    you need to accept Christ so that you will go to heaven , I hope you decide to soon. There is a hell. I cannot imagine that I did not have Christ in my life.

    Reply
  16. soldier of tough love

    September 22, 2019 12:23 pm

    Nutrition and hydration is the cure…Nutrition and hydration is the cure for everything from depression to obesity to cancer.
    Learn the Gastrointestinal tract…"all dis ease begins in the gut" Hippocrates 400
    https://youtu.be/rxbb_AELw_M

    Learn about oxidative stress!!!! ..https://youtu.be/p1PEWZRHylo

    Learn the potential hydrogen scale (PH scale).. https://youtu.be/9DYXS2R4f14

    Learn the ORAC score.

    Learn the 12 bad foods…https://youtu.be/Jm71w3LzhQE

    Start consuming Himalayan pink salt! …https://themeadow.com/pages/minerals-in-himalayan-pink-salt-spectral-analysis

    The biggest piece of information is that our farming soils are depleted of minerals you must supplement but 98% of supplements are synthetic and don't work!
    Youngevity has natural plant derived minerals!..https://kerwin74.youngevity.com/us_en/plant-derived-minerals-trade-32-fl-oz-1.html

    Reply
  17. aliswonderland

    September 23, 2019 10:06 pm

    He's making a really good point to only eat when we are hungry instead of at set meal times. Eating the same thing every day does also help with losing fat, I have tried it at one point when my breakfast and my dinner were the same every day and the only thing I was changing was the lunch, and dropped about 5 kilos.

    Reply
  18. Dónal McCaughey

    September 24, 2019 9:32 am

    I really like Penn and Teller but don't forget they are performers and ya boy has just released a book on this. The mono diet is really bad for you

    Reply
  19. J

    September 24, 2019 9:51 am

    Eat soup whenever you are hungry but not more than twice a day.
    250 g/8oz. Thats about 3 (or 2 depends on size) ladles
    Add some fat to soup
    See magic

    Reply
  20. Keto Beach

    September 24, 2019 4:00 pm

    But look how thin his hair got also…If you don't get the vitamins you need, you will lose your hair, period the end.  I'm living proof.  But thankfully I did hours of research and found the answer now reversed it.  Vlogged my findings to share with those of you experiencing this problem in an entertaining take…

    Reply
  21. DJ Donald

    September 25, 2019 12:34 am

    At the beginning he says that if you take dietary advice from him, you deserve to die – which I think is the only time he is being honest in this video.

    Reply
  22. armsongs

    September 25, 2019 8:13 am

    When I met Penn I surprised how he was loos a waight.This is ubelivable story .Right after I met him the same thing had happened with me.exactly what he says
    I was getting a seek by gaining a wagit. 2 weeks I didn't eat I just drank a lemon water.And I lost 45lb.was 220 now 175.Thank you Penn.now I know why I started to think so much about my waghit.you are real magician.
    About 20 minute we were together in one car.He wasn't talking that much but I think He wishes me to loos a waghit and it happened.
    Wow what is this life is about.?

    Reply
  23. Framboise

    September 25, 2019 12:56 pm

    First off: the guy delivers the message beautifully. You have to give him this: he's a communication genius. And he seems so likeable too. But. He's also an accute case of narcissism ("Because I can brag about it"). Well, keep channelling your bragging my man, if it's for a good cause. Maybe eventually your new and improved microbiota will crawl its way to you ego, too).

    Reply
  24. Steve 1961P.

    September 25, 2019 10:26 pm

    WOW!! It's amazing that you have lost so mush!! Only I have to tell you, CORNED BEEF comes from an, dare I say it, ANIMAL!!

    Reply
  25. StuTheBru me

    September 26, 2019 10:38 pm

    why not eat less as you realize we kill thousands of living things to live one life..i realized that in 1978 age14 ,and im still 130lb no change.. funny how people only change for there own reasons when 150m animals are killed everyday yes EVERYDAY for food,,ive never liked living in a world where people are so greedy,oddly im still singel says it all,who wants to know truth .. stu

    Reply
  26. Tammy Howard

    September 27, 2019 3:10 am

    He said the doctor said he should get the sleeve, but Penn clarified that he doesn't respect eating with moderation (which the sleeve would make your diet extremely selective). Evidently he did not take up the doctor's suggestion about getting the stomach sleeve, instead he chose to do the potato diet. 🤔

    Reply
  27. baddoggie101

    September 29, 2019 6:50 pm

    He is wrong. It is not all habit. There are things in dairy that mimic morphine and stimulate the pleasure center of the brain. That is why infants get a glazed look in their eyes when they suckle milk.

    Reply
  28. Ello Oku

    October 2, 2019 6:51 am

    After fasting for 3 days, I almost vomit trying to take the same food I use to love. Eating is a habit. Water, nuts, vegetables and fruits taken with caution is best for the body.

    Reply
  29. Rainier Lansangan

    October 2, 2019 12:17 pm

    It would be funny if be called out bullshit and said I'm on the keto diet and all I eat is chicken and steaks

    Reply
  30. 2 stupid 2 know anything really

    October 7, 2019 6:58 am

    Hates Moderation but uses moderation lol… He's so hilarious with his ideologies. I hope he has something paranormal happen in his life next so he sees that he's been talking shit about other people for no reason. I hope that next revelation embarrasses him with humbleness.

    Reply
  31. 2 stupid 2 know anything really

    October 7, 2019 6:58 am

    Hates Moderation but uses moderation lol… He's so hilarious with his ideologies. I hope he has something paranormal happen in his life next so he sees that he's been talking shit about other people for no reason. I hope that next revelation embarrasses him with humbleness.

    Reply
  32. Vadlor

    October 13, 2019 7:15 pm

    I did for three weeks, 5 days a week, with a healthy eating "rest" on weekends. 15 pounds so far. First week I lost 11 pounds, the second week, I stayed the same, and the third week lost another 4 pounds. Already seeing changes in some eating habits. So I'm going now to give a full week or two of "rest"=healthy eating before going for two full weeks again.

    Reply
  33. Livia Montalvo

    October 13, 2019 7:35 pm

    "If you take medical advise from a Las Vegas Magician, you are an idiot who deserves to die!" LOVE this quote! Exactly what I think about many who give advise about diets and know 0 about Medicine. Let the people die from bad judgement and followers to pseudo doctors!

    Reply
  34. HokeDesigns

    October 16, 2019 5:17 pm

    @5:34 love Penn. I find it boring how much contempt Atheists have for the religious. No religious person thinks the mind is disconnected from the body. Health is fundamental for proper mind health. And I am a fat Christian. You can fail no matter what you think is going to happen to you when you die. And our bodies don’t give a shit about our beliefs.

    Reply
  35. Karmah's Law

    October 18, 2019 2:56 am

    Interesting concept EXCEPT he never addresses what he had to drink. Only water? Or is coffee, milk, beer, soda, etc. acceptable?

    Reply

Leave a Reply