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

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

  1. So he believed his mind could be happy without a body, I don't know why you should be embarrassed over it, atheist or not.

  2. "You are an idiot, who deserves to die" pretty cruel man. No matter how naive people are, pretty harsh. You're a shitty human being.

  3. Doesn’t matter how much he loses he is still a piece of shit.. Anybody who wants to defend the Moon Landings as being real has no integrity.. Flat Earth is not a Psyop it Destroys all Psyops including Sputnik, Apollo, Space Probes, Satellites And Telescopes as represented, Space Shuttles, ISS, Mars Rovers.. 500 years is enough.. Peace on the Plane Brothers and Sisters..

  4. Comedians who lost LOTS of weight are no longer funny. So his career is toast. Also, I get better looking YOUNG size-2 girls at 275 pounds than I could ever get at 155, so STFU. OPPOSITES ATTRACT.

  5. You eat ANY one food for months on end and NOT allow anything else into your diet, you'll lose weight. Food is a HABIT, like smoking, screwing, coffee or RED BULL, your stupid Iphone, YouRube videos, pizza, pussy, etc. There are people in monasteries who haven't eaten food for 30 years! They just don't go out.

  6. You know, for a guy who mocks stupid people for a living, making a fool out of yourself with such an obvious way to loose weight —while reallly risking your health— is really supportive of them. Maybe the real reason why you hate dumb people so much is because you are so dumb yourself.

  7. Why not eat meat eggs and fish ? Humans are made for it , eating just hole plants ? This guy will starve to death slowly …. his problems was clearly sugar and processed foods … not steak

  8. So you started out by only eating potatoes ? That's weird, as I'm doing the opposite diet ( no potatoes, no broad, no pasta. Just meat and vegetables ) and I'm losing weight that way as well

  9. 2:15 "If you take medical advice from a Las Vegas magician, you deserve to die"! ok bye! Next time save me the two minutes and lead with this! I'm outta here.

  10. After having watched this video, and aside from his obvious and proven professional talents, Penn Jillette is an absolutely gifted and remarkable speaker

  11. This is amazing. I got the same feeling for foods I used to like, I took only two bites of fried chicken and my body was reacting negatively to the chicken like I instantly regretted having those two bites. My stomach started to hurt right after the second bite and the thought of it kind of gave me a knot in my stomach.

  12. So when you get off of that potato diet, won't you think the weight will come back?! Naive, oh so naive. Eat everything in moderation, exercise everyday. Then if you still fat, well accept it then and move on. Life is short, live it everyday. Even perfect body builders with incredible physics die young age.

  13. I have scrolled through the comments and have not seen anyone focus on the real basis of this diet. I think a good case can be made that none of this would have happened for him without the love he has for his children. This love was what powered all the rest of what happened. He needed to find a way to be there for his kids and he did.

  14. Why do people refer to McDonald's as "meat" lol there is lil meat in mc dees food, mostly carbs and GMO processed sauces. Fuckin dummies

  15. This guy used to make fun of vegetarians and in his sketches implied they were naive, etc… now he has a diet that is predominantly vegan and has seen massive results from it. Seems he has realized that those eating a plant-based diet weren't so dumb or naive after all. Kudos to him for admitting he was wrong about something and doing something about it.

  16. Great video. I suspect the re-setting of the tastebuds and all that crap is in the mind and desire to live for his kids is 99% of the change.

  17. Everyone's got their own way I suppose. I went back to eating sugar. I now eat more sugar than I ever had. I feel great. I've got lots of energy. I eat less. I lost fat. My workouts are like 15 years ago.

    I follow Dr. Ray Peat. In short, sugar is good! But, you obviously can't eat only sugar. You need quality meats (whole animal ie shrimp, oysters, gelatin, bone broth)

    If what Penn is saying worked for him then great. But I found hat without sugars my workouts sucked adn if I want cardio consitioning (which is obviously good for the heart) I need energy to actually be able to do it.

  18. aged the fk out of him though .. that's why it's good to avoid getting that fat in the first place .. you always look gaunt and worn down if/when you lose the weight

  19. Salty buttered bacon .. cheese potatoes onions and creme cheese ..mayo..Lobster tails floating on the potatoe…slathered in Grape Jam with chocolate frosting..under Cognac..take a your bank acount..tell Peasants to eat potatoes..Magic!! 😉

  20. Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, this guy talks too much. To lose weight you need to be in calorie restriction.

    Take you weight in pounds and multiply it by 10 and eat that much amount of calories, guaranteed weight loss.

    If kilos then take you weight multiply by 2.2 and then multiply by 10

  21. It is 2019 and you kept the weight off, admirable indeed.
    Nonetheless, one of lifes great pleasures comes from the sense of taste.
    Many healthy people enjoy a great variety of foods including potatoes, meat, fish, chicken, nuts, salads, ice cream, etc…
    My take on diet is simple: eat fresh and observe portion control.
    There, now you know.

  22. 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 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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!!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.😣

  29. 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.

  30. "Hi I'm Penn JilletteI and I'm an atheist", Yawn… . I have had the .same experience on the carnivore diet. I think you"re shilling for the late Maurice Strong

  31. 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.

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