"I Have No Limitations!"

Biggest Loser alum Ruben Studdard has lost 120 lbs and embraced a lifestyle that’s put the brakes on type 2 diabetes—and him in the driver’s seat!

Deborah Pike Olsen
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Ruben Studdard, Weight Loss, Diabetes, Biggest Loser

There were plenty of cheers for Ruben Studdard when he returned to The Biggest Loser ranch to find out if he had earned a second chance to compete on the NBC show. All of the eliminated contestants returned to the show early this year, and the player with the highest percentage of weight loss since the competition first began was eligible to compete for the grand prize of $250,000.

Ruben, 35, weighed in at 377 pounds—85 pounds lighter than when he first appeared on the show. The American Idol winner clapped when he saw the number. “That’s a blessing,” he told viewers. “I’m really, really happy with the progress I’ve made.”

Ruben had accomplished that while recording his sixth album, Unconditional Love, which was released last February. “I’ve made exercise part of my schedule so it’s like a no-brainer,” he said. “I get up in the morning, put the work in and go to the studio.”

While Ruben didn’t lose enough weight to earn a spot back on the show or win the $100,000 at-home prize, he stayed committed to his healthy new routine while touring in New York, San Francisco, Detroit and other cities across the country.    

After all, since finding out he has type 2 diabetes—he was diagnosed during the show last July—losing weight is more than just a game for Ruben: “I got the diagnosis on camera,” he recalls. “I was happy I knew so I could do something about it. God gave me the opportunity to fix the problem.”

Ruben, who worked with his doctor on his treatment plan, was put on a low-calorie diet (1,900 per day) and started exercising daily. The payoff? Since last June, he has lost a whopping 120 pounds! “I feel amazing,” he says. “I never really felt bad before the ranch, but my life was limited. Now I have no limitations.”

Going head-to-head with type 2 diabetes has also make him mindful: “I’m more aware of what I put in my body,” he says. “I was a sugar addict, so I’ve become super conscientious about the amount of sweets I eat.” He’s also cut back on carbs like bread and pasta. “I was shocked when I saw my sugar levels go down after simply changing my diet,” he says.

Although Ruben is excited about his weight loss, he admits he has “much more to go.” His next goal? “I would love to be at my physical best before my next birthday, on September 12,” he says. With Ruben’s determination and positive attitude, it’s certainly possible. “You can only manage diabetes through hard work and dedication,” he says.

April 2014