Carnie Wilson Shares Diet That Led to 40-Pound Weight Loss

  • Carnie Wilson recently shared that she lost 40 pounds.
  • The 55-year-old eliminated butter, gluten, and sugar from her diet.
  • Wilson says she plans to exercise more to lose additional weight.

Carnie Wilson is getting candid about her recent weight loss journey. The Wilson Phillips singer revealed on Instagram that she dropped 40 pounds by avoiding certain foods.

“Another before and ‘during’ … my health journey!” she wrote in the caption of side-by-side photos of herself. “This is 40 pounds down.”

The 55-year-old said that she feels “really different” right now. “I need to start exercising more to make the scale start to move again, but I’m so proud and pumped,” she said. Wilson also noted that she lost the weight “purely through diet,” avoiding gluten, sugar, butter, and “keeping fats down, too.”

Wilson told People that she was in “gastrointestinal hell,” which led to the dietary changes. “It was hard at first, but now I love it,” she said of her new diet.

“Lately I have indulged in cheese and nuts which have more fat,” Wilson continued in her Instagram post. “If I chose not to eat corn tortillas, nuts, and cheese, there’s no way I could keep this up.”

Wilson also shared that she’s “totally adjusted my eating habits to satisfy my cravings, but in a realistic way. And it’s a miracle.”

Wilson has been open in the past about her weight loss journey, publicly revealing that she underwent gastric bypass surgery in 1999, as well as a Lap-Band procedure in 2012.

But while Wilson’s eating plan works for her, nutritionists say it’s not for everyone.

Is an elimination diet safe?

Wilson’s diet is “very individualized to her,” says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety. Meaning, this isn’t something that everyone should try.

But Cording also says that elimination diets can be “tricky,” especially if you’re not doing them under the guidance of a professional. “Sometimes people eliminate foods and they start to feel better, but if they eliminated a lot of foods at once, they might not necessarily know what was causing the symptoms,” Cording says. As a result, people may end up limiting more foods than necessary, making it difficult to stick with the eating plan they set up for themselves.

Scott Keatley, R.D., co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, agrees. “Swearing off things like gluten, sugar, and butter without cause is not very sustainable,” he says.

While avoiding gluten may be trendy, Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, says there’s “no reason” to stop consuming foods with these things unless you have an actual gluten intolerance or have Celiac disease. “There is also a big difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar,” she says.

Limiting added sugar, which may cause inflammation in the body, “can be smart,” Gans says. “But swearing off naturally occurring sugar found in fruit would be a health mistake,” she says. While butter has a lot of saturated fat, “small amounts can fit into a healthy diet,” Gans says.

Cording says it’s important to be mindful about limiting fat, too. Fat can be helpful with feeling satisfied and full after eating, she points out, but focusing on healthy fats and portion sizes matters. Cording lists olives, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds as good healthy fats to consider.

On the mental health side, Cording points out that restricting foods can be a “slippery slope” with disordered eating. “Every person is different in terms of how placing limits around food affects them mentally,” she says. “Unless someone has a life-threatening allergy, I tend to be cautious around encouraging people to say, ‘I will never eat that, ever’ or ‘I’m not allowed to eat that.’” When someone is rigid about their food intake, “it can create some food anxiety and stress around food,” Cording says.

Overall, Keatley says that Wilson’s diet isn’t unsafe for most people—it’s just not for everyone. “Realistically, there is no reason to avoid these ingredients unless you have a known intolerance,” he says.

Can food sensitivities cause weight loss?

Food sensitivities can be tough to figure out, but they’ll generally lead to symptoms like gastrointestinal issues, skin problems, or even brain fog, Cording says.

Nutritionists say there are a few reasons why someone might lose weight when they’re managing food sensitivities. “Many times, when a person removes foods they are sensitive to, they either don’t replace the calories or replace the food with calories that are less,” Gans says. Some foods may also cause bloating, which mimics weight gain—and once the bloating is gone, several pounds can follow, she says.

The foods you’re sensitive to matter as well, Cording says. “Cutting out foods that are very calorie-dense and highly processed, and replacing those with more nutrient-dense foods that are less processed can support healthy weight-loss goals,” she says. Food sensitivities can also cause bodily inflammation, which can impact metabolism, Cording says.

But eliminating food sensitivities isn’t necessarily a slam dunk for weight loss, Keatley says. “Food sensitivities would generally not cause weight gain,” he says. “In fact, they may cause weight loss since people with them tend not to eat as much for fear of having a bad reaction.”

The bottom line

If you’re interested in losing weight and you suspect that you have food sensitivities, speak with your healthcare provider and connect with a nutritionist. Cording recommends keeping a journal and writing down any symptoms you experience around food. “Write down what you ate, what you drank, and any supplements you took,” she says. “Keeping a journal can help you to notice patterns.”

But if weight loss is your goal and you don’t have any food sensitivities, Gans doesn’t recommend going the restrictive diet route. “Focus more on what you should be adding to your diet versus removing,” she says. “A healthy diet isn’t about restriction, but rather addition.” She suggests adding more plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, 100% whole grains, nuts, and seeds, “leaving less room in your diet for foods that are lacking in health benefits.”

Keatey also recommends against totally removing foods from your diet, unless you have an actual allergy or intolerance. It’s all about moderation.

If you believe you are struggling with an eating disorder and need support, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at (800) 931-2237. You can text HOME to 741741 to message a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free.

Headshot of Korin Miller

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.


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