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Melissa McCarthy Has a Surprisingly Simple Secret for Shedding Pounds

Hint: It's more of a decision than it is a diet — and it worked!

Always the epitome of confidence and charm, it’s hard to imagine that Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award-winner Melissa McCarthy has suffered from anxiety and insecurity about her weight for most of her life. But after decades of dieting and feeling lesser-than, the 52-year-old Bridesmaids star made a decision that forever transformed her stress over the scale into self-love. Here’s how she did it…and this amazing Melissa McCarthy weight loss secret is so easy, it’s sure to surprise you!

Melissa McCarthy weight loss journey

Despite participating in sports in high school, McCarthy fell victim to the same body-shaming mentality a lot of women struggle with. “I do think I worried about weight too soon, when it was only little-kid weight,” McCarthy told Rolling Stone. “I thought I battled weight throughout high school, but I look back at pictures of me as a cheerleader, doing sprints, lifting weights, doing gymnastics, playing tennis and while I wasn’t reed-thin like some girls…I was a size six the entire time. So what on Earth was I freaking out about?”

It only got worse in her twenties when she moved to L.A. to pursue acting and started to put on a few extra pounds. “I stopped walking and ate [unhealthy] food. I was in good shape, then suddenly I gained 25 pounds,” McCarthy recalls.

Melissa McCarthy weight loss
Melissa McCarthy in 2004, when she was on Gilmore GirlsSBM/Plux/Shutterstock

Willing to try anything to lose weight McCarthy went on all-liquid diet for about four months when she starred on Gilmore Girls in the early 2000s. Although it was approved by her doctor (and resulted in a 70 pound loss), she told People she would never do something that drastic again because it made her feel, “starved and crazy half the time.”

Melissa McCarthy’s weight loss secret

Over the next decade McCarthy’s weight tended to fluctuate, but you’ve probably noticed the actress looking much trimmer again lately. But her weight loss secret has nothing to do with crazy diets, intense calorie restriction, or marathon gym sessions – and she’s still reportedly lost more than 75 pounds. 

While upping her protein and getting more exercise have played a key role in the past, it’s been a simple shift in outlook that has ultimately helped her shed — and keep off — the weight. While speaking with CBS This Morning, McCarthy revealed her surprisingly simple weight loss secret: “I finally said [to myself], ‘Oh for God sakes, stop worrying about it, and it may be the best thing I’ve ever done.” It might sound too easy to be true, but stress can definitely be a factor in weight gain and there’s no denying turning off the weight stress worked for McCarthy. 

McCarthy says she feels amazing now, elaborating, “I truly stopped worrying about [my weight]. I stopped over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-doing anything…I just stopped constantly being worried about it and I think there’s something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked.”

The Little Mermaid star also joked that it would have been nice to figure this out before she reached her mid-40s, but that only makes her even more relatable to the countless women who continue to stress about gaining weight

Melissa McCarthy beautiful inside and out

The world took notice of McCarthy’s inner and outer beauty when she was selected as a cover girl for People‘s 2023 Beautiful Issue. “I thought the younger version of myself or everybody out there who isn’t the youngest or whatever, I kind of felt like it was saying something really lovely to my younger self, to my 20-year-old self,” she said. “And maybe to other people too.”  

McCarthy confident and happy she adds, “I mean I’m 52 and I just like that we’re kind of redefining what we want to kind of think could be beautiful, could be strong, could be anything.  Because I think they’re all wrapped up together now.”  

Melissa shares that feeling good in her own skin and being recognized as “beautiful” despite not meeting a Hollywood standard says a lot, especially to her daughters Vivian, 16, and Georgette, 13, who she shares with husband producer/actor, Ben Falcone.  “It might mean more to my two girls as they get older.” And she hopes she can help others love who they are.  “When someone’s being their authentic self and it hurts no one else in the world…the simplest rule is just be kind.” 

Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy and daughter
Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy and their daughter, Georgette, 2023Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

McCarthy has also acknowledged in an interview with Refinery29 that she fully expects her weight to continue to fluctuate — but that it shouldn’t be the “most interesting” thing about her, or any woman for that matter. “There has to be something more. There are so many more intriguing things about women than their butt or their this or their that.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

For more inspiring stories keep reading:

7 Ways to Re-build Your Confidence Right Now

These Dramatic Celebrity Weight Loss Transformations Are Inspiration-Worthy!

Adele Shares a Beautiful Birthday Photo Revealing Dramatic Weight Loss

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