Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

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

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: January 4, 2023

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 had our dietitian review everything Clinton had shared about his new relationship with food.

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

Quick Summary

  • Former President Bill Clinton had a lot of weight fluctuations during his time in the White House, and a lot of that came from the tempting on-demand supply of food.
  • He underwent two surgeries after he left office due to significant damage to his heart that was down to lifestyle choices.
  • The problems of heart disease then led him to become an advocate of the vegan diet, and he believes that decision has saved his life.

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 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 [1].

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.

Stats

  • Born: August 19, 1946
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Starting Weight: 230 lbs
  • Total Weight Lost: 30 lbs

Did Bill Clinton Go Vegan?

Top view of vegan meals

Yes, Bill Clinton went vegan after a series of heart issues.

There have been a few occasions where he deviated from a plant-based diet to counteract certain heart disease symptoms, so there were specific reasons for that.

What former President Bill Clinton did was occasionally add fish to his vegan pre-workout meal plans.

Based on recommendations from Dean Ornish, Bill ate organic salmon a few times a week to help with reversing heart disease problems, as this could be particularly important for people with a family history of heart issues [2].

These days, it seems like Bill eats very little fish, and he has become an outspoken advocate for the vegan diet and the need for society to consume less meat.

My dietitian also pulled some information about what his typical daily meal plan might look like:

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

What’s His Exercise Routine?

bill clinton's exercise routine for weight loss

Bill Clinton’s exercise routine for fat loss involves being as active as possible on a daily basis and heading to the gym regularly.

He has often spoken about going for a daily walk of about 2-3 miles.

This is a great way to keep muscle and joints moving and adding to your base calorie expenditure.

Clinton is still an avid golfer as well, with a decent handicap of about 12.

And he makes sure he doesn’t use a cart on the golf course but rather walks the course to get in even more physical activity.

But to avoid heart disease, he is fully aware that he needs to do cardio and strength training [3].

That means having at least three trips to the gym each week to go on an elliptical machine and/or rower to get the heart pumping.

And then adding things like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and other basic weight training can make a huge difference in maintaining muscle strength.

This can be particularly important for men in their 60s and 70s, where bone and muscle wasting can become a more serious problem [4].

Related Articles:

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 [5].

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.

My dietitian also 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

He hasn’t published exact details of all his meal plans and supplement stacks, but my dietitian did find some comments he’s made in interviews.

Bill Clinton’s morning routine involves a protein supplement to kickstart his day.

The great thing about protein powder is that you can add it to a healthy smoothie or oatmeal.

The other thing that my dietitian speculated is that Clinton probably takes a natural fat-burning supplement or that he was taking one when he had more weight.

These can help suppress hunger cravings while at the same time boosting metabolic processes to reduce stored body fat.

Start Your Fitness Journey Like President Clinton

Now, you don’t have to jump onto the plant-based diet to achieve what Clinton did.

The main takeaway is that eating healthy low-fat food and adding some healthy protein to your meals can make a big difference.

And to speed up a weight loss journey a bit, I recommend checking out our recommended fat burners:

They won’t make you slim without putting in the effort, but all of our testing data shows that our clients were able to achieve their goals significantly quicker and with more motivation.


References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/feb/12/bill-clinton-coronary-stent-angioplasty-hillary-haiti
  2. https://www.ornish.com/zine/the-daily-mail-i-wanted-to-see-my-grandkids-grow-up/
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/3-kinds-of-exercise-that-boost-heart-health
  4. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/sarcopenia-with-aging
  5. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/president-bill-clinton-credits-dr-caldwell-esselstyn-for-weight-loss-and-heart-health-benefits-104272588.html
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

You May Also Like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *