Billy Joel Weight Loss Story (Diet & Exercise Revealed)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 8, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

Billy Joel made his first appearance in Madison Square Garden recently after a two-year hiatus, and he shocked the fans with his weight loss transformation.

The “Piano Man” was almost unrecognizable.

As a fitness trainer, I was curious about how Billy Joel lost weight, given that he’s had a history of back problems.

So, I spent quite a few hours going through his interviews and evaluating celebrity gossip to find out how exactly Billy achieved his weight loss.

Here’s what I uncovered.

How Did Billy Joel Lose Weight?

Billy Joel lost weight due to continual appetite loss, which may have been a side effect of his surgery.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Billy Joel (@billyjoel)

However, he seems to have maintained his weight loss well.

In my experience with training older clients with fat loss, this is usually a sign that he’s maintaining a healthy diet and doing some form of exercise to keep the fat off.

Based on his interviews, Billy Joel stated that he didn’t intend to lose weight after his surgery.

He added that the pain from his back surgery was so bad that it heavily impacted his appetite.

“I had back surgery early this year and the pain afterwards was so bad I lost my appetite. I embraced that. I said, ‘Okay, I won’t eat as much,’ and I ate less and less and less and less, and then there was just life aggravation and that tends to, you know, impact your appetite too.”

- Billy “The Piano Man” Joel

So, as a result of eating less every day, he burned more calories than he ate, which led to a 50-pound weight loss.

While this was unintended, Billy mentioned that he was still happy with the results, meaning that he feels healthy with his new weight.

Billy Joel’s Stats

  • Date of Birth: May 9, 1949
  • Age: 74 years old
  • Height: 5’5” (166 cm)
  • Weight: 146 pounds (66 kg)

Did Billy Joel Go On a Diet to Maintain His Current Weight?

No, Billy Joel did not go on a diet to maintain his current weight. He was never on a controlled diet, to begin with.

He’s never publicly shared anything about his previous or current diet. As far as we know, he eats normally to maintain his weight loss.

Weight loss transformations are often achieved through healthy eating, regular physical activity, and lifestyle changes.

While specific details about Billy Joel's weight loss journey remain undisclosed, it is likely that he adopted a balanced approach to achieving and sustaining his desired weight.

I recommend incorporating nutritious food choices, portion control, and regular exercise for successful weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight long-term.

Did He Have an Exercise Routine?

Performing to the audience

No, he did not seem to have an exercise routine as far as we know.

However, our educated guess is that he probably gets some form of exercise every day, at least a higher step count, to maintain the weight he lost after his surgery.

However, this is most probably just about health for the music icon.

He has mentioned on several occasions, including in an interview with Rolling Stone, that he doesn’t care that much about his looks.

The Grammy winner added that he doesn’t intend to conform to the trends among celebrities, desperately trying to stay looking young forever.

“This is a Peter Pan kinda job. You start out, and you're young, and you're rockin' and rollin'. You become a little myopic about how old you actually are. I was never a matinee idol to begin with. I've always been a schlubby-looking guy, and I ain't about to change. Plastic surgery, wigs, I don't know. It has nothing to do with music.”

- Billy Joel

Why Did His Back Surgery Affect His Appetite?

His back surgery may have affected his appetite because big procedures can lead to stomach reservoir reduction, and they can prevent the formation of ghrelin, a hunger hormone.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), appetite loss can be a side effect of major surgery [1].

There’s also an NIH study that revealed that 6% of patients lost weight following lumbar surgery [2].

However, the findings of the study also revealed that the fat loss took place over the course of 34 months.

Healthy Ways To Keep the Weight Off

A man having a healthy lifestyle in his room

While Billy Joel’s 50-pound fat loss was unintended, we don’t recommend losing weight by jeopardizing your appetite.

It’s healthier to take a more balanced approach to lose weight. Here are some of the healthiest ways to lose weight quickly,  effectively and safely.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Most fitness experts agree that eating a well-balanced diet is the first step towards losing weight.

Eat a diet high in protein and fats and low in carbs for the most effective fat loss.

You’ll also need to avoid empty calories like overly processed junk foods. They'll only add more pounds with little to no nutritional value.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying amply hydrated throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to lose weight.

According to NIH, water can help you lose fat in two ways:

  • It helps increase your overall metabolism, helping you burn calories faster.
  • It helps you stay satiated and keeps unwelcome cravings away [3].

Cardio and Weight Training

A man holding dumbbells in gym

You don’t have to do an insane amount of exercise to lose weight.

Research from the National Library of Medicine shows that 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week is enough to help you lose weight safely [4].

To give you an extra push, we also recommend adding weight training to your fitness routine to help you build lean muscle, burn extra calories, and lose weight quickly.

Natural Fat Burners

Natural fat burners are one the best ways to supplement your fat loss. They help you safely burn fat using only natural ingredients.

They also enhance your workouts, boost energy levels, and burn stubborn fat.


What Caused Billy Joel’s Weight Loss?

Billy Joel's weight loss was primarily due to a loss of appetite following back surgery, which led to severe pain and reduced his desire to eat, resulting in an unintentional weight loss of approximately 50 pounds.

How Did Billy Joel’s Weight Loss Affect His Performances?

Billy Joel's 50-pound weight loss significantly enhanced his stage performances, infusing them with more energy and endurance, notably during songs like "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "Uptown Girl," showcasing a more dynamic presence at his concerts.

What Is Billy Joel’s View on Dieting?

Billy Joel's view on dieting is somewhat dismissive; he prefers a natural approach to eating. He has expressed skepticism about dieting, emphasizing the importance of enjoying food without overly restrictive habits or calorie counting.


Was this article helpful?

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

You May Also Like

A weight loss comparison image of Dan Fogler
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
Dan Fogler’s Weight Loss Journey (Diet & Exercise Revealed)
A journey picture of Chaz Bono's weight loss
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
Chaz Bono’s Weight Loss Story (Diet and Exercise Revealed)
Christina Haack images of weight loss
By Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT 4 months ago
Christina Haack Weight Loss Story (Workout & Diet Revealed)
Christine Brown image of weight loss journey
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 4 months ago
Christine Brown's Weight Loss Story (Secrets Revealed)
Side by side image journey of kevin belton's weight loss
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 2 months ago
Kevin Belton Weight Loss Journey (Workout & Diet Revealed)

Write a Reply or Comment

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

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.