Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Secrets

Gabourey Sidibe is an American actress who rose to fame with her breakout role in the 2009 film Precious. Precious was Sidibe’s first major acting role and she received widespread critical acclaim for her powerful performance as the title character, a young woman struggling with abuse and poverty in 1980s Harlem. Sidibe’s raw and emotional portrayal earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, instantly catapulting her into the spotlight.

The film was a critical and commercial success, and put Sidibe on the map as a talented up-and-coming actress with immense potential. Though her career started with this hard-hitting drama, Sidibe has since proven herself to be a versatile and charismatic performer across genres like comedy, drama and TV. But her turn as Precious will always be remembered as her breakthrough that introduced audiences to her one-of-a-kind talent and screen presence.

Struggles with Weight

Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Before and After

Gabourey Sidibe has struggled with her weight for most of her life. In an interview with People magazine, Sidibe shared that “My weight was my defense mechanism. It was how I stayed safe and protected myself”.

Sidibe has been candid about her lifelong challenges with food and emotional eating. She revealed that she started gaining a significant amount of weight in elementary school as a way to cope with trauma from childhood sexual abuse. Food became her source of comfort and protection. This pattern continued into adulthood, with Sidibe’s weight reaching nearly 300 pounds at her heaviest.

Health Issues

Gabourey Sidibe struggled with several health issues directly related to her weight, including type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. In her memoir, Sidibe shared that she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her mid-20s, likely caused by her obesity.

She also suffered from sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The extra weight around her neck likely contributed to her sleep apnea. These health conditions served as a wake-up call, motivating her decision to lose weight and improve her physical health.

Decision to Lose Weight

Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Result

In 2017, Gabourey Sidibe had laparoscopic bariatric surgery after learning that she had type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and a fatty liver. She was alarmed to know that her life was at risk, and it was then that she decided to lose weight. Sidibe said that her health issues were a “wake-up call” that motivated her to make lifestyle changes.

Her initial goals were to improve her health, get her diabetes under control, lower her cholesterol, and reduce her risk of further complications. Beyond the numbers on the scale, Sidibe wanted to feel better physically and have more energy. She was determined to take control of her health and not let her weight hold her back anymore. Though losing weight was difficult, Sidibe felt empowered and hopeful about her future.

Her Weight Loss Plan

In May 2010, Sidibe underwent laparoscopic bariatric surgery in order to improve her health and help with her type 2 diabetes. According to the article, the surgery reduced the size of her stomach so she would eat and drink less.

After the surgery, Sidibe began significantly changing her diet and lifestyle. She cut out fried foods, carbohydrates like pasta and breads, and sugary drinks. Instead she focused on eating lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like chicken and fish, and healthy fats. She also started cooking at home more rather than eating out.

In addition to improving her diet, Sidibe added regular exercise into her routine. She began doing cardio workouts several times a week like walking, swimming or using the elliptical machine. She also started strength training by lifting weights 2-3 times per week to build muscle and boost her metabolism.

Sidibe took a holistic approach, focusing on diet, exercise and her emotional health. She worked with trainers and nutritionists to develop plans tailored specifically for her body and needs. Through determination and hard work over several years, she successfully lost over 100 pounds.

Progress Over the Years

Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss

Gabourey Sidibe’s weight loss journey began around 2010, shortly after her breakout role in the movie Precious. At her heaviest, Sidibe weighed around 300 pounds.

Over the next several years, she lost a significant amount of weight through diet and exercise. In May 2017, Sidibe shared a photo of herself looking noticeably slimmer while posing with her boyfriend at the time. She revealed she had lost over 100 pounds at that point.

In 2018, Sidibe appeared even more slim and fit during public appearances. She likely lost another 50 pounds or more compared to her previous size. Fans were inspired by her dramatic transformation over the years.

Sidibe has not publicly shared her current weight. However, it’s estimated she has lost 150 pounds or more since her Precious days. Her ongoing commitment to losing weight and keeping it off has produced impressive results over the past decade.

Impact on Health

Gabourey Sidibe’s weight loss had a profoundly positive impact on her health. Sidibe underwent bariatric surgery in 2016 after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea, conditions that were exacerbated by her obesity.

After losing over 100 pounds, Sidibe reported that her diabetes went into remission and she no longer needed to take insulin or other medications. Additionally, her sleep apnea cleared up completely. She described having much more energy and an overall improved quality of life.

Sidibe also talked about the mental health benefits of her transformation, explaining that she used to be depressed and had low self-esteem related to her weight. After losing weight, she gained confidence and began to truly love herself. She was able to be more active and do things she avoided before due to embarrassment or physical limitations.

Overall, Sidibe’s dramatic weight loss led to remarkable improvements in both her physical and mental health. By committing to bariatric surgery and changing her lifestyle, she effectively treated multiple obesity-related conditions and enhanced her wellbeing in numerous ways.

Impact on Career

Gabourey Sidibe’s dramatic weight loss transformation has opened up new opportunities for her acting career. Prior to losing weight, she was often typecast into roles focusing on her size, such as her breakthrough role in the movie Precious. However, after losing over 100 pounds through bariatric surgery and diet changes, Sidibe has gotten more opportunities to take on diverse roles that are not defined by her body size.

For example, Sidibe starred as Becky Williams in the TV show Empire from 2015-2020, playing an ambitious and talented singer and wife to one of the main characters. This complex, nuanced character allowed Sidibe to showcase her talents beyond her previous stereotyped roles. She has said becoming slimmer made people see her as more than just a “fat black woman” and take her seriously as an actress. Sidibe was also able to perform musical numbers as part of the show, something she likely wouldn’t have been considered for earlier in her career.

Overall, Sidibe’s weight loss has opened new doors in acting and changed the kinds of roles she is able to take on. It has given her career more versatility and range at a time when representation of different body types in media is becoming increasingly important. Sidibe serves as an inspiration for curvy performers everywhere.

Advice for Others

Tips for Weight Loss

Sidibe has shared advice for others who may be struggling with their weight, hoping to inspire and motivate them on their own journey. She emphasizes the importance of self-love and accepting yourself as you are. Sidibe recommends focusing on overall wellness rather than just the number on the scale. She advises finding physical activities you enjoy rather than traditional exercise you may dread.

Her main tip is not being too hard on yourself – take it one day and one healthy choice at a time. Sidibe stresses that the journey is ongoing, and there may be ups and downs, but to keep going. She wants to spread the message that people deserve to take up space in this world no matter their size.


Gabourey Sidibe’s journey with weight loss and improving her health has been inspiring to many. After struggling with being overweight for years and developing concerning health issues like diabetes, she made the courageous decision to transform her lifestyle.

Sidibe systematically changed her eating habits, became more active, and worked with professionals like nutritionists and personal trainers to lose over 100 pounds. This dramatic weight loss took consistent effort over several years. While she continues to work on maintaining her health, her perseverance has already had immense benefits.

Most importantly, Sidibe’s health has significantly improved. Her diabetes and high blood pressure are now under control and she has much more energy. She also feels more confident and comfortable in her own skin. Beyond personal impacts, her weight loss has enabled her to continue to succeed in her acting career and take on roles she was previously excluded from.

Sidibe sends the message that transformative health goals can be achieved with time and determination. She encourages others struggling with their weight and health issues to believe in themselves enough to take the first steps. While the journey will have ups and downs, each effort moves you forward. Gabourey Sidibe stands as an inspiration that, with dedication and the right support, substantial weight loss is within reach.

Stephanie Klein
Stephanie Klein

Hi, I'm Stephanie Klein, a devoted author, weight loss expert, and proud creator of the popular weight loss resource website, "Weight Loss Achievements". I was born in 1987 in New York, where I also fostered my enduring passion for health and fitness.

Real-Life Success Stories: Weight Loss Journeys that Inspire
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