Penn Jillette, master illusionist and one-half of the illusionist and entertainment duo Penn and Teller, lost 105 pounds between December of 2014 and March of 2015. He did so because he was on several medications for high blood pressure. His doctor convinced him that if he could lose some weight, he could control the hypertension easier.
“I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down,” Jillette said during a recent interview with People magazine. “My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 lbs. it would be a little easier to control. And then he said something in passing that completely blew my mind–he said, ‘If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn’t need any of the meds.'”
From December through March, Penn Jillette consumed very few calories–only 1,000 per day. This allowed him to drop about a pound every day. His waist measurement went from 44 inches to 34 inches.
Now that he has met his goal weight, Penn Jillette doesn’t have as many rigid dietary restrictions. He doesn’t eat meat, processed foods, and no added sugar or salt.
To be clear: I don't eat many animal products (like none) any more, but "vegan" doesn't describe me well. There are many unhealthy vegans.
— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) April 9, 2015
“I eat unbelievable amounts of food but just very, very, very healthy food,” he said. “I could probably have a steak or a donut every couple of weeks, but I just haven’t felt like it. When you’re feeling as bad as I felt, and you go to feeling as good as I feel, the temptation to go back to doing what you were doing when you felt bad is not very great.”
— People magazine (@people) April 9, 2015
Now Penn Jillette is adding exercise to his new healthy lifestyle.
“Now it’s really fun to exercise,” he says. “The only hard part of exercise is keeping it hard enough to be hard.”
Does losing 105 pounds between December and March sound dangerous? Do you think Penn Jillette lost the weight in a healthy manner, and if so, will he be able to keep it off?