Is Randy Jackson sick? Former 'American Idol' judge reveals he is healthier than ever after diabetes diagnosis
Former 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson insisted he is healthier than ever as he keeps off eight stones of weight he lost. In 2003, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which causes unintentional weight loss. People raised questions about his health when he returned to TV looking very thin earlier this year. He came back to the show for an anniversary episode after leaving it in 2014.
Jackson, who is at present the band leader on Fox's game show 'Name That Tune', told PEOPLE, "It's a great jump starter. You lose a bunch of weight really fast, but maintaining's another thing because you get there and your mind tells you, 'Okay, phew. I'm here now. I can start to party and bring out the cheesecakes'." The TV veteran underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003.
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Jackson said he maintained his 114 lb. weight loss by eating healthy, avoiding crash diets and prioritizing his gut health. "I hate the word diet. I don't use that anymore. Anybody that's lost weight, you lose it and then you start eating and drinking more and it all starts coming back. That's what started happening to me," he said. "I was like, No, I'm not going to spend my life going through this." He added, "Eating's all emotional. I needed to really get it together so I could keep it off."
The TV star maps out five meals a day to keep binge eating at bay, including "fish, some sort of veggie and maybe a little handful of rice or potato" for lunch. For snacks, he has bananas, apples, cheese or protein bars and shakes. However, Jackson clarified that he has not given up sweets. "If I really feel like I need to have a piece of candy, I have a small piece so that in my mind, I'm not saying, 'No, no, no,'" he explained. "The more you deny yourself, the more you're going to go on a bender and have 18 candy bars without stopping at some point."
Jackson founded 'Unify Health', a nutrition company that offers science-backed supplements to help others reach their goals. He has now claimed he starts his day with Pilates or spinning, and feels mentally and physically healthier now than in his 20s or 30s. During his time on Idol, he weighed more than 350 lbs. "I think if I had not figured it all out, I would've gained at least half, if not more, of that weight back," Jackson said. "And I'm proud to know that we did something that helps me, that helps everyone else, and takes the guesswork out of it for everybody."
Back in 2008, Jackson wrote in his book 'Body with Soul' that his diagnosis was “both a blessing and a curse”. “It’s a curse to be saddled with a disease that’s life-threatening and that you can’t completely get rid of (though you can certainly manage it). But it’s a blessing to get that huge wake-up call," he said.