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John Goodman Shows Off His 200-lb Weight Loss

Photo Credit:  Stephane Cardinale / Corbis / Corbis / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale / Corbis / Corbis / Getty Images

John Goodman is a Hollywood legend. Known for his massive size and burly voice, he is instantly recognizable to people everywhere. So when he walked the red carpet at the Monte Carlo TV Festival in June 2023, people were understandably shocked to see his physical transformation. For the last 15 years, Goodman has been working on living a better lifestyle, leading to him shedding a whopping 200 pounds. He was proud to showcase the ‘new him’ in the slim-fitted suit he wore on the red carpet.

Goodman needed to move from LA

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the sitcom 'Roseanne'
John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in a scene from the ‘Roseanne’ sitcom’s episode “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” which aired on February 18, 1992. (Photo Credit: ABC Photo Archives / Disney General Entertainment Content / Getty Images)

Goodman had been in the acting industry for about six years when he decided that the atmosphere in Hollywood was not for him. Despite his increasing popularity in the 1990s, he decided in the late 1980s that “he’d kind of had it with showbusiness and the publicity.”

“I wanted to get away from Los Angeles. The options were St. Louis or New Orleans,” he said, so in 1989, his family, including his wife Anna Beth and daughter Molly, packed up their things and moved to Old Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.

Although Goodman struggled with his weight for years following the move, being out of the Hollywood scene provided a slower pace of living – one that could foster the kind of weight loss journey he would eventually embark on.

He struggled with portion control and alcoholism

John Goodman standing with his hands in his pockets on a red carpet.
John Goodman during CBS Primetime 2004-2005 UpFront – Party at Tavern on the Green in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo Credit: Lawrence Lucier / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

Goodman has always been a big man, measuring 6’2″ tall. In an interview with David Letterman in 2011, he admitted that at his heaviest, he was pushing almost 400 pounds. He said he was eating anything and everything, explaining that he’d long grappled with portion control.

Additionally, Goodman struggled with alcoholism. “I was drinking at work — my speech would be slurred,” he said. “I thought I was fooling people…but my cheeks would turn bright red when I was liquored up. I just looked like a stop sign.” Goodman tried his hand at losing weight, but said after a few months of healthy living and weight loss he’d return back to his bad habits. Eventually, he realized that enough was enough.

“I know it sounds sappy, but it was a waste,” Goodman said. “It takes a lot of creative energy to sit on your [bum] and figure out what you’re going to eat next.” Plus, he explained, “I just got tired, sick and tired of looking at myself. You’re shaving in the mirror and you don’t want to look at yourself. It gets dangerous.”

A healthy regime helped him drop the first 100 pounds

Headshot of John Goodman.
John Goodman showed off his weight loss journey at the 62nd Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 19, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale / Corbis / Corbis / Getty Images)

Goodman began his weight loss journey in 2007, when he checked in to rehab for his alcoholism. He also hired personal trainer Mackie Shilstone, who helped him make some serious changes in his lifestyle that helped him lose a significant amount of weight.

At this point, Goodman had quit drinking, reduced his sugar intake, was monitoring his portion sizes, added regular workouts to his daily routine amounting to six workouts a week, and made sure he was hitting the 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day mark. Shilstone also introduced him to a Mediterranean-style diet, which consists mostly of lean proteins like fish and chicken, as well as nuts, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables.

Goodman explained that “this time I wanted to do it slowly, move, exercise. I’m getting to the age where I can’t afford to sit still anymore. And it gives me the energy to work, ’cause work is very draining.” He credits maintaining consistency in his new lifestyle to his incredible weight loss. After about two years, Goodman revealed he had lost 100 pounds in 2015.

Goodman likes to keep active

John Goodman standing in front of a bush wall, body facing left but head facing the camera.
John Goodman attends the “John Goodman” photocall during the 62nd Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 19, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images)

With his new lifestyle, the weight continued to fall off. However, it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing to keep up with the physical activity. “I was boxing up until then and I haven’t been able to do that since Covid because I’m lazy,” he explained. He says he stays active in other ways though, like “getting out and walking the dogs,” despite his hectic schedule.

One of the important parts of his weight loss journey was setting a good example by not only losing the weight, but keeping it off this time around. “I don’t want to be an example to anybody when the weight comes thundering back on — when I start eating Crisco out of the can with a spoon and a side of confectioner’s sugar,” he joked.

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When comes to advice for taking on such big changes in life, like quitting binge eating and drinking, Goodman said, “I think you’re trying to fill a hole that can’t be filled unless it’s filled with goodness, some kind of spirituality, not saying religion…but just a belief in something higher than yourself, a purpose.” Rather than trying to pack that void with unhealthy habits, he said “you just acknowledge that it’s there. You can’t fill it. And you go on and live with it.”

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!