Fans of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit love Mariska Hargitay. She is one of the biggest stars of the show, and arguably one of the most beautiful ones. During the course of the television series, Mariska’s body has changed significantly. For example, at one point, she was pregnant with her baby. But what happened during Mariska Hargitay’s weight loss transformation?
How she managed to lose weight after her pregnancy? Her passionate role in the crime drama series has made her a big star in Hollywood. Fun fact: Mariska is part of the show since the pilot episode in 1999.
Today, we will talk more about her body transformation. Let’s go!
Get To Know Mariska
Many fans recognize American actress Mariska Hargitay for her role as Olivia Benson in the long-running television series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. But she has done more than that. Born in January 1964 in Santa Monica, California, she was destined to be part of Hollywood.
Her mother Jayne Mansfield was a famous actress, while her father Mickey Hargitay was a former Mr. Universe. She grew up in Beverly Hills, California, where she attended Marymount High School before pursuing a degree in theater at UCLA.
Her path to Hollywood was already paved long before she knew what she wanted to become. When she was only three years old, her mother passed away. Her father and stepmother Ellen Siano raised her.
Growing up in Hollywood heightened her chances of becoming an actress. Her first big role came as Jesse Smith in Downtown. And then, in 1985, the American actress had another big role as Donna in the movie Ghoulies.
In 1999, she was cast as Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Mariska has been part of the show since the pilot episode. She has since become one of the most beloved and recognizable television actresses.
Her other roles include Jocks, The Perfect Weapon, Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, Come the Morning, Hard Time Romance, Welcome to 18, and many more.
Throughout her acting career, she has won multiple awards, including the coveted Emmy Award. But acting is not the only part of her life.
She is also a rape crisis counselor, a title she earned because of her willingness to help victims of domestic violence. Hargitay is the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization helping survivors heal. It provides support to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
We can safely say that the talented actress has made an impact both on and off-screen.
Slammed By Fans For Her Weight Loss
We have to say, while in most cases, people are encouraged and supported during their weight loss experience, that was not the case with Mariska. She was slammed by her fans.
But let’s explain the story step by step. Already in her 40s, she was “old” when she tied the knot with her husband Peter Hermann. It was a welcome surprise when she found out she was pregnant.
Speaking about it, she said, “Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me. From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just excited”.
But pregnancy was not a smooth ride. Because of her stress at work, working for 15 hours at times, and dealing with changes to her body, she began to seek comfort in food. Speaking about the experience, the Law and Order star said she felt overwhelmed by her lack of energy. By the time she was in her third trimester, she gained 54 pounds and began suffering from gestational diabetes.
Mariska wanted her baby to have enough of every food group. In her attempt to achieve that, she got into eating too much. And as a result, her baby was a large weight at birth. She had to go to the emergency room for a Caesarian section. In June 2016, she and her husband welcomed their baby boy August.
During breastfeeding, Mariska changed her diet, helping her to lose some weight. But for her, it was never about how she looked.
The actress said, “After my C-section, I had a pouch on my belly for a long time which has started to go away, but all I can say is that it was a badge of honor. I am so proud of it. I felt like I joined the coolest club in the world — the mom’s club”.
And while she managed to shed some pounds, fans were not so supportive. Some of her fans accused her of having plastic surgery to enhance her appearance. That is a claim Mariska has vehemently denied.
She advises women to be cautious about going overboard with the procedures as the natural look is the most beautiful one.
How She Lost Weight?
American actress Mariska Hargitay says that a regular workout and a properly balanced diet helped her get the body transformation she wanted.
During the 74th Annual Emmy Award in 2022, Mariska was one of the stars. People on the Internet went crazy about her recent appearance. While the famous actress has been in good shape from the beginning of her career, there was a time when she gained weight. And it was due to pregnancy and working 15 hours a day on a TV show set.
To shed some pounds, she focused on two simple things. The first one was what you consume, and the second was how you treat your body. So, as you can see, Mariska Hargitay’s weight loss experience was all about having a healthy lifestyle.
She adjusted her diet, following a well-balanced diet of lean meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. While breastfeeding, she had to change the diet to make sure her baby would get healthy nutrients. That gave her more stamina and improved her body image.
Then came the second aspect, which was workout and exercise. She joined Peak Performance Gym and hired fitness trainer Jay Wright to help her. Her exercise and workout routine included both cardio and weight-lifting exercises.
How Much Weight Did She Lose?
During her pregnancy, Mariska gained around 54 pounds. And when she finally managed to shed the pregnancy bump, she lost 40 pounds in the process. The famous actress managed to do it just four months after giving birth.
Her legs have changed, and she is joking about having no ass muscles. But you can see her body looks amazing now.
Mariska has openly spoken about the rough time she faced during her acting career. Some have criticized her for having a nose too big, while others thought it was too small.
She spent her 20s with people constantly commenting on her looks. Speaking about it, she said, “I’d go to auditions, and the casting directors would be like You’re not tall enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not blonde enough, your nose is too big, your nose is too small, your skin is too dark, your skin is too light, change your name! There was so much rejection”.
And that impacted her self-esteem. And then, fans criticized her for getting fat during her pregnancy. One fan even said she was hot until she began adding weight.
After welcoming her son August, Mariska finally fully embraced her looks and began urging women to stop labeling themselves on the way they look.
Instead, the American actress has different measurements, “What about your heart, your soul, your compassion, your generosity, your strength, and your power? There are so many other things to focus on besides your waistline”.
Nowadays, the Law and Order star urges people to focus on who they are rather than who they are not. At the same time, Mariska has embraced her body and doesn’t mind showing it off on the red carpet.