Bill Clinton’s Weight Loss Story (Diet & Workouts Revealed)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 15, 2024
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Former President Bill Clinton is possibly among the political leaders who managed to change their physique and health in the most striking way.

While he was still in office, there was evidence that he was struggling with weight, but his most drastic body transformation came a few years later.

Our team was interested in his process, so we spent a day going through hours of his interviews and having our dietitian review everything Clinton had shared about his new relationship with food.

There were quite a few surprises that can serve as inspiration.

Bill Clinton’s Body Transformation

Bill Clinton started to make changes to his diet while still in the White House.

And it was Hillary Clinton who took the first steps to instruct the White House chefs to stop serving her husband fancy, high-fat French cooking.

But it wasn’t until he had the first signs of heart disease in 2004, along with major surgery, that he started to take more drastic action.

With an arterial blockage cleansed in his coronary arteries, ultimately leading to a heart attack and emergency surgery in 2010 to deal with the calcium deposit, he then got the wake-up call he needed and switched to a plant-based diet.

He even once said that he played Russian roulette with his diet and lifestyle and essentially concluded that he needed to make drastic changes.

And losing a few pounds for his daughter Chelsea's wedding also added to the motivation.

All of his efforts paid off, and now in his 70s, he has never looked as healthy. More importantly, he has been able to maintain his weight and fitness levels.


  • Born: August 19, 1946
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Starting Weight: 218 lbs
  • Total Weight Lost: 185 lbs

Did Bill Clinton Go Vegan?

view of vegan meals

Yes, Bill Clinton went vegan following heart health concerns.

While he primarily follows a plant-based diet, he has occasionally incorporated fish, specifically organic salmon, into his meals.

This adaptation, based on Dean Ornish's recommendations, aids in reversing heart disease, especially for those with a family history of heart issues [1].

Nowadays, Clinton’s diet includes minimal fish, and he strongly advocates for veganism and reducing meat consumption. Influenced by Ornish's research on heart disease prevention and reversal, Clinton's diet is largely vegan, with rare inclusions of fish.

His typical daily vegan meals are:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with nuts, seeds, protein powder, and almond milk.
  • Lunch: A large fresh salad with low-fat dressing.
  • Dinner: Stir-fried vegetables with rice or sweet potato.

Additionally, Clinton's diet often features creative vegan dishes like roasted cauliflower and shredded red beets in vinaigrette. These choices offer practical and appealing meal ideas for those exploring veganism.

What’s His Exercise Routine?

bill clinton's exercise routine for weight loss

Bill Clinton's exercise routine for fat loss includes daily activity and regular gym visits.

He's known for his daily 2–3-mile walks, which boost muscle and joint mobility while increasing calorie burn.

An avid golfer with a decent 12 handicap, Clinton prefers walking the course for added physical activity.

Echoing my approach in performance psychology, Clinton's adherence to Johns Hopkins Medicine's advice on cardio and strength training for heart disease prevention is something I frequently emphasize with clients [2].

His gym routine, at least three times a week, involves using elliptical machines or rowers for cardio, supplemented by strength exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

This approach is vital for muscle strength maintenance, especially crucial for men in their 60s and 70s, as WebMD research highlights the risks of bone and muscle wasting with age [3].

Additionally, Clinton has integrated yoga into his regimen, ensuring a holistic approach that nurtures both physical fitness and mental health.

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Who Helped Bill Clinton Lose Weight?

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn helped Clinton lose weight at a time when his whole metabolism was in trouble, and he had to have two stents implanted.

Clinton lost 33 pounds during his journey, going from 218 to 185 pounds, a testament to the effectiveness of his lifestyle overhaul.

Esselstyn came up with a healthier diet that removed animal products, and he also got him eating foods that contained a lot less fat.

Clinton has mentioned this experience many times and says that Esselstyn’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” was the key to his health success.

Our dietitian mentioned that this is a very well-researched book that she recommends for anyone with cholesterol issues.

“The vegan diet is what I like the best, I have more energy. I never clog. For me, the no dairy thing, because I had an allergy, has really helped a lot. And I feel good.”

- Bill Clinton

His Supplements

bill clinton's weight loss supplements

While Clinton hasn't shared full details of his meal plans and supplements, our dietitian uncovered some interview comments.

Based on these, Bill probably begins his day with a protein supplement, a practice I often advise for its adaptability in shakes or oatmeal.

Our dietitian believes he might have used a natural fat-burner, particularly during his heavier days. Such supplements aid in curbing appetite and enhancing metabolism to cut down on body fat.

In my client work, I've observed notable outcomes from similar supplement use.


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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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