How She Lost 80 Lbs. With Diet, Workouts

  • Rebel Wilson declared 2020 her “Year of Health” on Instagram and shared her specific weight loss goals.
  • The Pitch Perfect star lost almost 80 pounds, reached her goal weight, and is now focusing on “maintenance.”
  • Rebel works out with trainer Jono Castano—and she recently revealed that motherhood inspired her to keep working towards her fitness goals.

Rebel Wilson’s “Year of Health” paid off in a big way. The star lost almost 80 pounds *and* reached her goal weight. But more importantly, she seems really happy with her lifestyle changes.

If you take a quick skim through her Instagram, you’ll see that she’s celebrating her new movie called Senior Year, which reached number one on Netflix in just three days. She also recently hosted the BAFTAs, and has been doing a lot of traveling.

Lately, Rebel’s been showing off her bod “on Instagram shamelessly,” she told People. The 42-year-old actress has been more than open about her weight loss journey—so, how exactly did she do it? Here’s everything to know:

Her desire to be a mom sparked her weight loss journey.

Rebel has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can affect fertility. “Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly,” according to Mayo Clinic.

During a visit to her fertility doctor in 2019, she was told she would “do much better” if she were healthier and have higher chances of harvesting and freezing her eggs if she lost weight.

“I was taken aback. I thought, ‘Oh God, this guy’s so rude.’ He was right. I was carrying around a lot of excess weight,” Rebel told People. “It’s almost like I didn’t think of my own needs. I thought of a future child’s needs that really inspired me to get healthier.”

And while Rebel’s teased about the fact that she has a new boyfriend, she’s not waiting when it comes to children. “I would love to have a family,” she told People. “I’m just going for it by myself at the moment because of the biological clock. If I meet the right person, great, and then they can fit in with whatever happens.”

She’s thankful for advancements in fertility technology, telling People that she “only started thinking of fertility when I was 39.”

“Any woman who’s gone through it, I really relate to,” she said. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. I don’t know how it’s going to end. But I’m still young enough to try.”

Rebel has denied following the Mayr method.

Rebel recently cleared up rumors she’d been following the Mayr method, a diet based on the “Mayr Cure” created by Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr, an Austrian physician, nearly 100 years ago. Mayr believed that most people are poisoning their digestive systems with the foods they eat and how they eat them. So the goal was to improve health through digestion.

But in an Instagram Story, Rebel clarified that “This was NEVER my diet.” “Also have NEVER endorsed any diet pills or magic weight loss pills,” she added. “Do NOT want anyone to get scammed.”

She isn’t too hard on herself, and enjoys her vacay time.

Rebel recently took to Instagram to post a swimsuit photo with a caption stating she had gained 3 kilograms (a little under 7 pounds) on vacation.

“I’m at an amazing all-inclusive resort…I’ve lost all self control,” she wrote. “But you know what? I can get up tomorrow and go to the gym, and hydrate and eat healthy and love myself. It doesn’t help to be hard on yourself but I know what it’s like to feel guilty and not great after eating too much.”

Then came her big message that really seemed to sum up her whole health journey: “But if you’re like me just know YOU are more than just your weight, your weight doesn’t define you, just try your best to be healthy and don’t be so hard on yourself 💗 Be the best version of you 💗.”

Rebel’s setting a great example of authenticity on Instagram—just call her the Queen of Balance.

She focuses on eating more protein these days.

Rebel explained that she follows a high-protein diet. In an interview with People, the actress shared that she used to eat 3,000 calories every day.

“Before I was probably eating 3,000 calories most days, and because they were normally carbs, I would still be hungry,” she said. “So, I’ve really changed to eating a high-protein diet, which is challenging because I didn’t used to eat a lot of meat. I eat fish, salmon, and chicken breast.”

But she credits the coronavirus pandemic with helping her slow down and turn “bad habits to healthier ones.” It helped her focus more on her overall health and her struggle with emotional eating.

“I definitely think with the slow down, it did help,” she says. “I think I was emotional eating, and overeating at times, because I wasn’t loving myself enough either. And it does come down to that self-worth and self-love.”

But Rebel doesn’t deprive herself. Since she’s just trying to maintain her current weight, she told WH that she enjoys more snacks, and even sometimes yummy treats like ice cream and chocolate. She says this approach feels more “maintainable.”

She also is big on incorporating healthy, nutritious ingredients into some of meals she already loves, like adding shredded carrots and avocados to tacos.

“I’m just trying to go for overall balance, overall healthy balance,” she said. “I have this state of being, which is not my quote, but I go ‘Nothing is forbidden.’ We’ll be like, ‘Should we get In-N-Out burger?’ And I’m like, ‘Nothing is forbidden.’ I can go there, I just might eat half of what I used to eat before. You know? And I’ll have a burger, and a few fries, and then you feel fine.”

People have been treating her differently since she lost weight.

She stopped by The Morning Crew With Hughesy, Ed and Erin to discuss some of the changes she’s noticed. “I think what’s been really interesting to me is how other people treat you,” Rebel said. “Sometimes being bigger, people didn’t necessarily look twice at you. And now that I’m in a good shape, like, people offer to carry my groceries to the car and hold doors open for you. I was like, ‘Is this what other people experienced all the time?’”

One thing that hasn’t changed? Her self-confidence. “I like to think I looked good at all sizes and stuff and I’ve always been quite confident,” she said. “So, it wasn’t like I wasn’t confident and then now I’m, like, super confident.”

Still, since working out with her trainer, she’s been, uh, even more confident than usual. “You can tell that I post, like, a lot of photos of myself on Instagram. I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, loving myself,’” she said. “I know I should calm down a bit on that.”

But Rebel’s not stopping any time soon. And why should she? An Instagram post shows her power posing in a seriously sporty one-piece while on vacation. “Palm Beach-ing 🏝,” she captioned the shot. “I think I wanna move to Florida now.” She looks right home on the sandy shore, totally ready for a hot girl summer.

Even though she’s already reached her goal weight of 165 pounds, she’s still maintaining the healthy eating and exercise habits she formed during her “Year of Health.”

Rebel declared 2020 was her ‘Year of Health’.

Rebel declared 2020 her “year of health,” telling fans she’d be prioritizing exercise and aiming to get down to her goal weight of 165 pounds. To achieve that, she’s been relying on a combination of exercise and a healthy diet.

Rebel first revealed her plans on her Instagram account back in January 2020. She started by simply walking more and making some smart food swaps. “I put on the athleisure and went out for a walk, deliberately hydrating on the couch right now and trying to avoid the sugar and junk food which is going to be hard after the holidays I’ve just had but I’m going to do it!” she explained.

Since then, fans have been cheering her on and Rebel is grateful: “Thanks for all the love so far on my ‘Year of Health’ journey—when I was reaching for the candies last night after dinner I thought to myself ‘hmmmm…better not’ and had a bottle of water instead,” she wrote in an update at the end of August.

Alongside a photo of herself showing off her progress and a gorgeous view on a hike, Rebel shared that she was three kilograms (or about six pounds) away from her goal weight on Instagram. (Btw, her trainer is a big proponent of snapping progress pics, but more on that in a sec.)

“It’s really about enjoying exercise and physical activity, so I will just go on a light walk,” she told WH. “I’m not killing myself at the gym.”

What’s Rebel’s workout routine like?

Rebel has been working out with trainer Jono Castano up to seven days a week. (She’s not kidding about working hard.) The actress shared a new intense move in her routine: flipping tires.

Rebel captioned a video of her flipping fitness sesh: “Starting the week off right! Look out @chrishemsworth & @liamhemsworth 👀 Australia’s latest action hero is turning it up! 💪🏻.”

Her routine also includes stair sprints and bouts with battle ropes. It seems like she’s a fan of high-intensity interval training, and her trainer is a big fan of her. He shouts encourage IRL and on the ‘gram: “🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 You got this @rebelwilson #level1000.”

She’s also been posting regular updates on her workouts to her Instagram account. “Sunday workout: crushed it! 💪🏻,” she captioned the pic.

Even when Rebel’s busy, she makes time for her workouts. In October, she got in early morning hikes and explained on Instagram:

“This week was super busy but I got up super early 3 times (6am 😜) and went on a hike…even did a couple of 100m sprints to get the heart rate even higher (although my ‘sprint’ is probably someone else’s ‘slow jog’ 😝) but I felt proud of myself and now only 3kg’s away from my goal weight! Rebs x”

Her other secret weapon has been a good, old-fashioned walk. “I got all these high-tech tests done on me during my year of health,” she said, per People. “They said that walking was actually the best way for me to lose unnecessary body fat.”

In an Instagram post, she shared a snap from a stroll outdoors.

“Enjoying a morning walk amongst health treatments at the glorious @vivamayraltaussee …finishing my Year of Health off STRONG at the place that gave me that first kick-start 😁,” she captioned a recent Instagram post.

Rebel’s been honest about the fact that weight loss hasn’t been easy.

She wrote in one Instagram caption: “Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it. Try and give a little bit of effort each day…I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress…but good things are coming your way 🤘what are your goals this year?”

But all her hard work is clearly paying off.

And she’s been open with fans about her weight loss goals.

Back in July, she revealed her exact weight loss goals in a now-deleted Instagram post: “I’ll be honest with you guys—with my ‘Year of Health’ mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s and career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year! Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs—but I’m working hard x.” (FYI: 75 kg is roughly 165 lbs.)

Rebel has struggled with emotional eating.

In November 2020, she opened up to Drew Barrymore on her talk show The Drew Barrymore Show and talked about what the process has been like for her.

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Rebel went on to say that she had tried “fads and diets” before, but wanted to take a “holistic approach this time.” And that meant focusing on her mental health, too.

“I think what I really suffered from was emotional eating and dealing with the stress of becoming famous internationally. There is a lot of stress that comes with it, and I guess my way of dealing with it was just eating donuts,” she said. “So, I was working on the mental side of things of ‘Why was I not doing that? Why was I not valuing myself and having better self-worth?'”

And, while Rebel did say to Drew that she wants “to lose a few more” pounds, her goal isn’t to get super skinny. “I love my curves and stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever go too skinny, but I feel so much healthier,” she shared.

The physical and mental changes have also translated into her career, where she’s “really coming into my own.”

“I feel more in control,” she continued. “I get to produce movies now—which is amazing—and have more control over the content. Everything seems to be coming together. Maybe I was a late bloomer or something, but I’m slowly getting it together.”

Her trainer says weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.

According to Castano, Rebel has the right idea with her “year of health,” because often, people don’t realize how long it takes to transform the body and make lasting lifestyle changes.

“The first thing is, we need to really understand where they’re at. So, what I mean by that, is we need to find out their weight, body fat, muscle mass,” he told Yahoo! Lifestyle. “Because what tends to happen as well is that a lot of people weigh themselves and they don’t understand why they’re not losing weight, because they’re putting on muscle, and then they’re looking better.” He’s a fan of taking photos every week during the transformation to track progress.

“I think with any type of transformation, you shouldn’t always look at the easiest option, you know, two months is not enough time to be able to change your body,” he said when asked about fad diets and eight-week programs.

“Don’t forget, two months, you’re putting a lot of stress on yourself. When your goal is like that and you don’t achieve it, it can cause a lot of mental problems. So, my advice is to keep your goals realistic, short and then achieve them and progress from there.”

Not to mention, it’s easier to make lasting changes to your lifestyle with the mindset that those changes will be long-term.

“A transformation is never-ending, the journey always continues, so you can never give yourself 10, 12 weeks,” Castano said. “Because it just continues, once you reach your goal then what? Then you’re going to stop? You can’t stop it becomes a lifestyle, you continue and you become the best version of yourself as cliché as it sounds.”

Rebel’s sense of humor is fully intact throughout her health journey.

The Pitch Perfect star showed off her bod in a swimsuit and cover-up while jet skiing in Monaco, where she appears to have been continuing her “Year of Health” journey while social distancing on a yacht. (She also attended the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health and hung out with Prince Albert. Casual.)

Aboard the yacht, Rebel also shared a jokey glimpse into her workout routine while traveling.

“Hey guys, I’d just like to share my new workout routine,” she says in the video. “I call this the Monaco routine.” She goes on to do a set of biceps curls with 4.5 liters of Grey Goose vodka. “I’m really trying to tone the upper arms.” Then she lifts it overhead. “You really want to feel that burn.”

Next, she hoists it over her shoulder and suggests running up and down stairs. “I’m not going to run up and down the stairs right now, but you guys get the picture.” Even though the video is clearly for laughs, Rebel’s form while lifting is pretty on-point.

She even cracked a joke about the “hot girl summer” trend last year.

“Hot girl summer was so successful that I’m off the market,” Wilson joked with Yahoo! Life News. “So I won’t be doing hot girl summer this year. Hopefully I’ll be in a happy, successful relationship.”

She finds creative ways to treat herself.

She hasn’t restricted herself so much that treats are off the menu completely. Rebel shared on Instagram: “Remember though girls, you still gotta treat yourself 😘 🍰 (I just do it with food now only once or twice a week…and substitute bubble baths on alternate nights)”

Kudos to Rebel, or her new nickname “Fit Amy,” and her inspiring “year of health.”

Headshot of Jennifer Nied

Jennifer Nied is the fitness editor at Women’s Health and has more than 10 years of experience in health and wellness journalism. She’s always out exploring—sweat-testing workouts and gear, hiking, snowboarding, running, and more—with her husband, daughter, and dog. 

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Sabrina is an editorial assistant for Women’s Health. When she’s not writing, you can find her running, training in mixed martial arts, or reading.

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Addison Aloian (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Women’s Health. When she’s not writing about all things pop culture, health, beauty, and fashion, she loves hitting leg day at the gym, shopping at Trader Joe’s, and watching whichever hockey game is on TV. Her work has also appeared in Allure, StyleCaster, L’Officiel USA, V Magazine, and Modern Luxury Media. 


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