Oprah said she gained 7 pounds every Christmas until last year, when she started using a weight loss drug

Oprah said she gained 7 pounds every Christmas until last year, when she started using a weight loss drug
  • Oprah Winfrey said she didn't gain Christmas weight for the first time last year thanks to a weight loss drug.

  • She had always previously gained seven to eight pounds over the festive period, she said.

  • Winfrey said she wants to remove the shame around weight and medication.

Oprah Winfrey said Christmas 2023 was the first year in her life that she didn't gain weight, because she was taking a weight loss drug.

In December 2023, Winfrey revealed she was using a type of GLP-1 medication, which suppresses the appetite, but didn't disclose which one.

On Wednesday, Winfrey told CNN's Gayle King and Charles Barkley: "Up until this Christmas, every Christmas of my life I gained seven to eight pounds."

She told People last December that she took the medication before Thanksgiving "because I knew I was going to have two solid weeks of eating," adding: "instead of gaining eight pounds like I did last year, I gained half a pound … It quiets the food noise."

Research suggests that the average person gains one pound over the holiday season, but those who are already overweight are likely to gain more.

Winfrey, 70, has long been open about her struggles with weight management and hopes to help others by speaking out, she said.

Last month, she announced she was leaving the board of Weight Watchers after nearly 10 years, which sent the company's stocks tumbling by 25% and was seen as a watershed moment for the company and shifting attitudes toward weight loss.

This week, she fronted a one-off TV program, "An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution," diving into her own weight journey and how GLP-1 drugs are changing the wider narrative.

Winfrey likened obesity to alcoholism

Speaking to CNN, Winfrey also likened struggling with food addiction to alcoholism — everyone knows it's not as simple as telling an alcoholic to put down the bottle, she said, yet overweight people are often told just to eat less and move more.

Some people can enjoy alcohol and not have any issues, and Winfrey believes it's the same with food.

"Stop blaming yourself for something that's in your brain," she said.

Winfrey has said multiple times that she wants to remove shame both surrounding struggling to lose weight and taking medication.

She always thought she just didn't have the willpower required to be slim, but the GLP-1 has shown her she can lose weight, she said

The drugs, including tirzepatide and semaglutide, marketed as Zepbound and Wegovy for weight loss but colloquially known as Ozempic, work for many by turning off the "food noise" in their heads.

People who have taken the medication have previously told BI that they no longer feel hungry or have cravings, and are satisfied after just a few bites of a meal.

However, the medication can lead to unpleasant side effects including nausea and constipation.

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