Oprah's Trending After Revealing She's on Weight-Loss Meds—Here's What Else She Does To Lose and Maintain Her Weight

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has been flaunting a massive slimdown on her press tour for The Color Purple musical—and she finally confirmed fans' suspicions on how she lost weight: Medication.

While Winfrey, 69, has kept her specific prescription under wraps, she has no qualms about singing the praises of weight loss medications overall. She admitted it took her a while to get to that point because of the shame she associated not with just her weight, but with the frequent perception that weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro are an "easy way out," a perception she initially shared herself in a September 2023 panel appearance.

"The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for," she told PEOPLE. "I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."

Winfrey—who looks stunning at any size—explained that when she first underwent knee surgery in 2021, she was determined to lose weight with willpower and hard work, but realized in September 2023 that there was no shame in getting some help along the way.

Related: The Unexpected Health Benefit of Weight Loss Drugs Like Ozempic, According to Obesity

"Obesity is a disease. It's not about willpower," she said. "It's about the brain."

Still, she credits much more than Ozempic and its ilk for her weight loss.

"It's everything. I know everybody thought I was on it, but I worked so damn hard," she said. "I know that if I'm not also working out and vigilant about all the other things, it doesn't work for me."

Find out exactly how Winfrey shed pounds and maintains her weight, but before you try any of her tips and tricks, please talk to your own physician. Not everything works or is safe for everyone, and not everyone can afford expensive prescriptions. And though it should go without saying, we'll say it anyway: Your worth is never, ever determined by a number on a scale, what size jeans you wear or how you think the world thinks you look in a bikini.

Related: The Best Phrases for Weight Loss, According to Obesity Doctors

How Oprah Winfrey Lost Weight

Weight loss drugs

Winfrey told PEOPLE that she uses weight loss medication to maintain and manage her weight after initially using it to shed pounds.

"I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing," she explained. One of the times she used medication, she said, was before Thanksgiving, leading her to gain what she said was half a pound instead of seven.

That said, experts don't necessarily think that's a great way to use weight loss drugs.

"Ozempic and Wegovy are not meant for short-term use," Dr. Jamy Ard, MD, a professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine and an obesity specialist, previously told Parade. "They are meant for chronic, long-term use. The same way someone with cancer wouldn't stop taking their cancer medications, someone with obesity wouldn't stop taking their obesity medication." Dr. Ard noted that if you stop taking your weight loss medication, you'll gain any weight you lost on them right back, even if you maintain lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Of course, weight loss drugs like Ozempic also come with some sometimes serious side effects, including nausea and impacted bowels, so be sure to take it only as prescribed by your doctor—and to let them know immediately if you're feeling unwell.

Related: What Happens When You Stop Taking Ozempic


Winfrey said that after her 2021 knee surgery, she took up hiking and eventually was able to go long distances once she fully recovered.

"I could eventually hike three to five miles every day and a 10-mile straight-up hike on weekends," she said. "I felt stronger, fitter and more alive than I'd felt in years."

Related: The #1 Workout Mistake That May Be Hindering Your Weight Loss Goals


Winfrey, who owns a 10% stake in WW International (formerly WeightWatchers), says she still counts her WeightWatchers points to maintain her diet. It's likely not a coincidence that after Winfrey announced her use of weight loss drugs, WeightWatchers launched a special membership for weight loss medication users.

Related: How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

Staying hydrated

Winfrey says she drinks a gallon of water daily. This is a solid tip, as Kim Shapira, registered dietitian and nutritionist and author of This Is What You’re Really Hungry For, advises to drink at least eight cups of water every day.

Related: How Much Water Do You Need to Drink to Lose Weight?

Timing her meals

The Beloved star says she eats her final meal each day at 4 p.m. Depending on what time she wakes up and has breakfast, this may be considered a mode of intermittent fasting.

Next, Body Positivity Influencers Share Their Favorite Feel-Good Mantras