Ree Drummond is in her 50s. But she feels stronger than ever. Many people call her The Pioneer Woman. In 2021, she lost 55 pounds and inspired many women around the world to do so. How did she do it? Do you want to know more about Ree Drummond’s weight loss journey?
In 2021, she wrote, “After years of writing cookbooks, hosting a cooking show, owning a restaurant and bakery, and having a cooking website, the weight had crept up through the years and my exercise/activity level had all but slowed to a stop”. The TV personality said she’d make excuses like being too busy to exercise and eat healthily.
And then one night while indulging in chips and salsa, Ree hit a rock a bottom and decided to make changes. With her daughter Alex Drummond’s wedding approaching, the TV personality said, “I am going to start tomorrow. I am doing something different”.
Get To Know Ree Drummond
Better known as The Pioneer Woman, she is an American blogger, author, food writer, and television personality. Born Anne Marie Ree Drummond in January 1969 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, she grew up on a ranch near Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
She still lives on the ranch outside of Pawhuska, Oklahoma with her husband. In 2010, she was listed as No.22 on Forbes’s Top 25 Web Celebrities. At the time, her blog The Pioneer Woman was booming with popularity. On her blog, she documented daily life on the ranch as a wife and mother.
She began her career as a blogger, sharing stories and recipes from her life on the ranch. And thanks to her authenticity and genuine personality, her blog quickly gained a large following. Then, she went on to publish several bestselling cookbooks and memoirs.
Fun fact: she studied journalism before switching to gerontology. She wanted to attend law school in Chicago following her graduation. Yet, her plans changed when she met and married Ladd Drummond.
In 2011, she began hosting her cooking show, also called The Pioneer Woman. Besides her blogs and cooking shows, Drummond launched a line of kitchen and home goods like dinnerware, bedding, and cookware.
Over the years, she became a beloved figure in the world of food and lifestyle media. Fans love her warm personality and down-home cooking.
How Did She Begin?
As we said before, Ree had an epiphany one day while eating chips and salsa. So, she began by making small lifestyle changes that led to her big weight loss. There was no personal trainer, Keto diet, paleo diet, or any official diet.
Instead, she focused on small changes like cutting alcohol, lifting weights, and tracking her progress.
A Social Media Star
Nowadays, Ree Drummond is a real social media star. On her social media profile, she documents everything about her life on the ranch, but also shares videos of cooking recipes.
Drummond has more than 4.3 million followers on Instagram. Not bad for a cooking mom living on a ranch, right?
Her bio reads, “Cooking show host. Designer of dishes. Wife, mother, weirdo. Smiling’s my favorite. Okay, bye”.
How She Lost Weight?
Fans always want to know more about Ree Drummond’s weight loss experience. Here are several things the famous TV host learned during her journey. Here is what she did:
- Eating fewer calories
- Consuming smaller portions
- Weighing her food
- Walking and doing the rowing machine
- Building muscle by lifting weights and doing lunges and squats
- Eating more protein and less sugar
- Drinking no alcohol
- Using an app to track daily weight
- Switching to a standing desk
With that in mind, let’s break down her 10 pieces of advice for people who want to lose weight.
The Pioneer Woman’s 10 Tips for Losing Weight
Walking And Rowing
When you live on a ranch, moving is part of your daily activity. But Ree took it a step further. She wanted to add more cardio to her daily activity. So, she introduced a rowing machine into her daily life. She is all about taking walks around the ranch, but the rowing machine allowed her to take exercise to the next level.
Cardio is only one part of the exercise workout plan. Ree also started lifting weights. According to her, it is a key exercise for burning fat and strengthening the entire body.
She says, “I can’t emphasize this enough: Building muscle—not just the smaller muscles in your arms, but the larger muscles in your legs and butt—will turbocharge your weight loss like nothing else and set you up for more success. The months I spent doing squats, lunges, and deadlifts early in my weight loss process really laid the foundation for a summer and fall of more efficient calorie burning”.
Speaking about it, she said it was really nice to feel the muscles that she thought were gone forever.
The Importance Of Portion Control
Ree is the first one to admit, “One of the primary things I learned in the initial months of my weight loss was just how off the rails I’d been for years when it came to portion size”.
During the first five months of her weight loss journey, she weighed her food, counted her calorie intake, and cut out added sugar and alcohol.
So during that process, she broke the spell of eating too much volume and learned to consume smaller portions.
Cutting On Alcohol
Yes, alcohol in moderation is fine. But you will be better off by eliminating alcohol entirely during the initial and intense stage of a weight loss journey.
After a few months, you can have a social drink or two here and there. But remember, avoid anything that’s sugary or really caloric. For example, frozen drinks like margaritas and sweet cocktails with lots of syrups and fruit juice.
Weigh Yourself Daily
This might be triggering for some people, but Ree emphasizes it. Weigh yourself every day. It is not about fixating on every pound and ounce. She discovered that extra weight had crept on her and happened when she didn’t weigh herself.
So, she began stepping on a scale every day for two years. It became part of her routine. And she even downloaded an app called Happy Scale to see trends over time. That way, you can see your more intense period and gradual periods.
There Are No Banned Foods
In the initial phase of her weight loss experience, Ree was strict about alcohol and stayed away from foods that contained sugar. She consumed foods high in protein like egg whites, chicken, fish, lean, beef, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and so on.
But after the initial phase, she eats all the foods she loves, but there are two differences. Portions have to be reasonable, and pay attention to the daily proportions.
Minimize Wasted Calories
What are wasted calories? Well, that includes sugary soft drinks, cookies, cake, potato chips, and similar. Remember, you have a set amount of calories per day. Do you want to throw a huge amount of that on a doughnut?
For example, a doughnut has 300 calories. Instead, you can grab a row of dark chocolate which has fewer calories, and then use the other amount on healthy foods.
Steady Progress Is Better Than An All-in Approach
You can start aggressively with a big motivator, but once you finish the initial phase, it is more about sticking to healthy lifestyle habits. Building muscle slowly, eating more protein, moving more, exercising regularly, logging daily weight, and so on.
Switching To A Standing Desk
A considerable part of her plan to lose weight was to set up a standing desk. Instead of sitting in front of the computer, she dragged an old standing desk and set it in the living room. It reminded her to take breaks and move around throughout the day.
Ree said, “It made a huge difference”.
The Initial Stage Doesn’t Last Forever
No matter when you start your journey, you cannot go all in forever. After the initial stage, you have to relax a bit. Yet, continue with healthy habits. The important part during the initial phase is to build discipline.
Without discipline, you can easily go back to old habits. But discipline will keep you motivated to maintain your healthy lifestyle and healthy weight.
Losing Weight Is Not A Lifestyle Change
While losing weight is a lifestyle change, it doesn’t have to change your life. Many people dismiss the idea of lifestyle change. The better term would be a perspective change. That is what it has been for Ree Drummond. She experienced a shift in her perspective of everything including portion size, calories, daily movement, protein percentage, muscle mass, and so on.