Ree Drummond has never shied away from talking about her weight loss journey, which she first embarked on in January 2021. Nearly three years later, she’s sharing the diet and lifestyle changes that she continues to adhere to in order to look good and, more importantly, feel good.
There’s no secret to her success, she says, noting that it was a combination of moderate diet and exercise changes that made all the difference. “I tackled it from different directions,” Drummond, who has lost 50 pounds, tells TODAY.com in an exclusive interview.
“The biggest takeaway, which I don’t always adhere to, is trying not to waste calories. I could eat a plate of delicious food with different elements and colors and flavor, or I could eat a donut,” Drummond explains. She asks herself what would serve her body better — a balanced meal rich in protein and nutrients or something that may be delicious but a little less nourishing?
“Sometimes, it’s the donut,” she jokes. “But it’s just a good thing to have in mind.”
Drummond’s realistic approach to weight loss is exactly what makes her success so relatable. She didn’t buy into weight loss programs, try intermittent fasting, go on an extreme crash diet or stock her refrigerator with fat-free, sugar-free versions of her favorite ingredients. She simply exercised regularly, added more protein and vegetables into her diet, cut out alcohol and kept an eye on how many sweets she was consuming.
While daily walks with her dogs help her stay active, she credits a rowing machine for building her tone and muscle. “I’m an impatient home exerciser, so the rowing machine was probably my favorite,” says Drummond in a cheeky nod to her new cookbook, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks―Dinner’s Ready!: 112 Fast and Fabulous Recipes for Slightly Impatient Home Cooks,” out Oct. 24.
Drummond admits that, like many people, she falls off the exercise wagon from time to time. “Right now, the rowing machine is a clothes rack,” she quips.
With the holiday season right around the corner, Drummond also shares how she enjoys sweets and seasonals cocktails while keeping her health goals top of mind.
“I think what I’ve done over the past two years is knowing that I don’t want to push things away or say no to foods. I upped my movement a bit. I take a couple extra walks with the dogs each week. I make sure to get on the rowing machine at least once a day, especially through November and December,” she says.
Drummond is no stranger to a household filled with delicious food. So how does she maintain her weight without completely depriving herself of treats? “One slice of pecan pie is every bite as delicious as three slices of pecan pie,” she muses.
At the end of the day, Drummond doesn’t put too much pressure on herself to maintain a calorie deficit or spend extra time on her rowing machine during the holidays — and she encourages others to approach the season in a similar way.
“I’d say just move a little more and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be that good. The holidays are about eating and having fun,” she emphasizes.