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Jennifer Hudson’s healthy habits

Jennifer and personal trainer Elizabeth Josefsberg explain how to pinpoint your weaknesses and become more conscious of your eating habits

Art Streiber

Want to know the secret to Jennifer Hudson’s amazing 37kg weight loss? We’re revealing 30 of them! Here, in Jennifer’s own words, are the healthy habits that helped her take off the weight. And as an added bonus, Elizabeth Josefsberg, the certified personal trainer who helped lead Jennifer through the Weight Watchers programme, gives expert advice on how to make Jennifer’s tips work for you too. We’re picking up where we left off with Jennifer’s diet tips. Keep an eye out for her fitness and exercise tips later this month.


Healthy habits

15. Jennifer Says: Although it is a fairly new passion of mine, I discovered that I actually like cooking my own food. So, throughout the programme, I didn’t eat any prepackaged foods of any kind.

What You Can Do: If you take the time to prepare some of your own meals at home, try doubling the recipe. In this fast-paced world we live in, it is helpful to be able to put the second half away for a quick, healthy lunch or dinner another day that week, or even in the freezer for later that month.


16. Jennifer Says: Another secret to my weight loss was learning to make lunch my biggest meal of the day. One of my favourite choices is a turkey burger.

What You Can Do: Take a look at your day and assess where you expend most of your energy. Then ask yourself whether you feel energised by eating more or less at that time. This may differ for each person.


17. Jennifer Says: Since I mostly eat chicken, turkey and fish, what I discovered was that most restaurants are happy to accommodate special requests for how you want your food prepared. These days, I have no issue telling my server that I want my chicken grilled with no sauce, my fish grilled with no butter, and my vegetables steamed instead of sautéed. It’s so easy once you know how to make the right choices.

What You Can Do: One of the greatest weight-loss skills to learn is to be assertive. Ask for things the way you want them and return them if they are not done correctly. You deserve to ask for and get what you want.


18. Jennifer Says: One of the tools Weight Watchers taught me in order to become consciously aware of what I was eating and when, was to keep a journal and write down everything I ate and how I was feeling at the moment of making a decision. [My Weight Watchers leader] explained that doing this would help me understand my triggers that create a habit.

What You Can Do: Track everything along the way. Certainly write down what you are eating, but also track your measurements and your weight, track your exercise and the intensity of it. Write down how you feel after certain meals and how long they kept you full. Take pictures of yourself along the way. All of it is important data that will help motivate you and teach you where you need to make adjustments.


19. Jennifer Says: I began noticing that whenever I was home alone with my little munchkin [her son, David Jr] or worse, on my own, I often found myself hitting the refrigerator and then sitting on the sofa eating mindlessly. Writing these habits down helped me to pinpoint my weaknesses and to become conscious of my behaviour. With that awareness, I learnt to make better choices. Instead of sitting on the sofa, I got up and exercised to a DVD.

What You Can Do: Boredom and alone time are often where bad food habits live and prosper. Reframe that time and instead of eating, call a friend, get some activity or clean the house. Learning to pass up on a food ‘urge’ is an important weight-loss skill. If 10 minutes into your new activity you are still thinking about food you may actually be hungry, but likely you will not and will discover it was just emotional boredom eating setting in.


Five readers will win a copy of Jennifer Hudson’s inspirational book, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways And Lost What Weighed Me Down.

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