Understanding Missy Elliott's Weight Loss Journey That Stunned Her Fans

Missy Elliott's weight loss journey showcases her dedication towards exercise and a balanced diet, and a will to fight against her Graves’ disease.

Sanchari Bhattacharya
Written by Sanchari Bhattacharya , Health & Fitness Expert
Updated on Jan 16, 2024 | 01:39 PM IST | 1.7M
missy elliott weight loss
missy elliott weight loss

Missy Elliott is a popular American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress. Hailing from Portsmouth, Virginia, she rose to prominence in the mid-1990s and has since become an iconic figure in the music industry. With her innovative sound, eclectic style, and boundary-pushing music videos, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott has left an indelible mark on hip-hop and popular culture.

Missy Elliott’s weight loss journey has been a topic of discussion and admiration lately. Fans were left speechless by her drastic transformation when she attended the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5th, 2023. They were shocked that the hip-hop sensation had seemed to age backward due to her drastic weight reduction. The Work it! rapper appeared on stage wearing her trademark baggy clothes, but fans could still make out the change in her appearance. Over the years, she has undergone a noticeable transformation in her physical appearance, and her fans have been curious about her approach to achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Missy Elliott Profile

missy elliott weight loss

Real Name: Melissa Arnette Elliott

Birthday: July 1st, 1971

Age in 2023: 53

Occupation: Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress

Weight Before: 196 lbs (89kgs)

Weight After: 130 lbs (59 kgs)

Total Weight Loss: 66 lbs (30kgs)

Why Did Missy Elliott Gain Weight?

missy elliott weight loss

There are many reasons celebrities gain or shed pounds, but the Get Ur Freak On artist had probably gained weight due to her hectic lifestyle. Like many individuals, Missy Elliott’s weight may have been influenced by lifestyle factors, such as dietary choices and physical activity levels. Personal circumstances and the demands of a busy career in the music industry could have impacted her ability to prioritize healthy habits consistently.


Unfortunately, Missy’s dramatic weight loss followed a heartbreaking diagnosis of Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid In 2011 (1). Graves’ disease frequently manifests as symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which can differ among individuals. These symptoms may encompass weight loss despite an increased appetite, irregular or rapid heartbeat, fatigue, trouble sleeping, nervousness, irritability, muscle weakness, trembling hands, sweating, intolerance to heat, frequent bowel movements, and the presence of an enlarged thyroid gland known as a goiter (2). In addition to these hyperthyroidism symptoms, Graves’ disease can also impact the eyes and skin. It’s worth noting that symptoms may not be constant and can fluctuate over time.

How Did Missy Elliott Lose Weight?

missy elliott weight loss

Even though Graves’ disease is incurable, it may be controlled with medicine, a change in diet, and regular exercise, which is precisely what the rapper did (3).

Our contributor Dr. Allen Conrad, Doctor of Chiropractic at Montgomery County Chiropractic Center, says, “Graves’ disease can lead to weight gain. It involves the thyroid gland, and due to its inflammation it affects your metabolism. As a result, people with Graves’ disease will gain weight even without eating in excess. Many people with Graves’ disease can become highly frustrated with weight gain.”


It’s worth noting that weight gain is a complex issue and can have multiple underlying causes. Each individual’s experience with weight fluctuations is unique. However, she has mentioned a few general principles that contributed to her weight loss success:

Missy Elliot Diet

  • Balanced Diet

Missy Elliott has emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. While she hasn’t provided specific details, it’s likely that her approach includes a combination of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. A balanced and healthy diet is a key component of successful weight loss (4). By choosing nutrient-dense foods and controlling portion sizes, you can create a calorie deficit, which is necessary for shedding excess weight. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients while keeping you satisfied and reducing the likelihood of overeating (5). Additionally, a balanced diet supports better metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and improved digestion (6).

  • Portion Control

Controlling portion sizes is a common strategy for weight management. It’s possible that Missy Elliott focused on consuming appropriate portion sizes to help regulate her calorie intake. Diet and portion control play crucial roles in achieving weight loss goals. By making mindful choices about what we eat and monitoring portion sizes, we can create a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss (7). This encourages the body to tap into stored fat for energy, leading to gradual weight loss.

Sharing his take on calorie deficit portions, our contributor Dr. Allen Conrad says, “Calorie deficit can be an effective method for weight reduction, but too much of it can lead to problems. Taking in less than 1500 calories a day may result in hypoglycemia, for example. Eating less calories can lead to weight loss, but doing it too quickly can cause the body to go into starvation mode. If you suffer from conditions like diabetes, liver disease, or circulatory problems, consult your doctor before trying a calorie deficit diet of less than 1500 calories a day.”

  • Four Months Without Bread Or Soda

Missy gave up most foods that were calorie-dense as well as processed carbs for four months in order to lose most of the weight, including her vices like juice, soda, and bread. Processed carbs can contribute to weight gain due to their high glycemic index, which can spike blood sugar levels, leading to increased hunger, overeating, and potential weight gain (8). Additionally, processed carbs are often low in fiber and nutrients, making them less filling and causing individuals to consume more calories overall.


Juice and soda can contribute to weight gain due to their high sugar content and lack of nutritional value. These beverages are often loaded with added sugars, which can lead to excessive calorie intake without providing a feeling of fullness (9). Consuming sugary drinks can also lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, promoting fat storage and increasing the risk of insulin resistance over time. Choosing water, unsweetened tea, or healthier alternatives like infused water or sparkling water can help reduce calorie intake and support weight management goals.

While bread itself is not solely responsible for weight gain, certain types of bread and excessive consumption can contribute to it. White bread, for example, is often made from refined flour, which has had most of its fiber and nutrients removed (10). This makes it less filling and can lead to overeating. Additionally, some bread varieties may contain added sugars, unhealthy fats, or other high-calorie ingredients that can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. However, whole grain breads, which retain more fiber and nutrients, are a healthier choice and can be part of a balanced diet.

Missy had shared on Insta that she now only treats herself to two cupcakes a month as a super rare treat, which is a good strategy for sticking to one's diet.

  • Hydration 

Missy makes it a point to drink tons of water. Proper hydration plays a significant role in weight loss efforts (11). When aiming to shed excess pounds, maintaining adequate hydration levels is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, drinking water can help control appetite by creating a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking on calorie-dense foods. Additionally, staying hydrated supports optimal metabolic function, as water is necessary for the body's various biochemical processes, including the breakdown and utilization of stored fat. Moreover, dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, leading individuals to consume unnecessary calories when what they truly need is hydration. By prioritizing adequate water intake, individuals can enhance their weight loss journey by managing appetite, boosting metabolism, and minimizing the risk of confusing thirst with hunger.

Missy also mentions that drinking more water has made her complexion more beautiful and youthful. Drinking an adequate amount of water is beneficial for maintaining youthful skin (12). Proper hydration plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy complexion by moisturizing the skin from within. When the body is well-hydrated, it helps to improve the skin's elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Water also aids in flushing out toxins, contributing to clearer skin and a reduction in blemishes. Additionally, staying hydrated can enhance the skin's natural glow and radiance.

Missy Elliot Workout Routine

  • Cardio, Circuit, And Strength Training

Missy Elliott has mentioned incorporating regular exercise into her lifestyle. She also adhered to the FOCUS T25 exercise program created by well-known celebrity trainer Shaun T. The exercise routine was designed for the convenience of those who don't have a lot of free time yet want to get the most out of their workouts in a short amount of time. These exercises include fundamental ones focused on aerobic work, core stability, and toning. Most of these exercises may be completed quickly and are not repetitious. The program comprises 10 unique 25-minute routines. It includes these exercises:

  • Core Cardio
  • Rip’t Circuit
  • Speed 1.0
  • Dynamic Core
  • Upper Focus
  • Cardio
  • Total Body Circuit
  • Speed 2.0
  • Ab Intervals
  • Lower Focus

Incorporating both cardio and strength training into a fitness routine can have transformative effects on the body. Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, elevate the heart rate and increase oxygen consumption, leading to improved cardiovascular health and endurance (13). Regular cardio workouts can help burn calories, reduce body fat, and improve overall body composition (14).


Strength training, on the other hand, focuses on building muscle strength and tone. By engaging in exercises that target specific muscle groups, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, individuals can increase muscle mass, enhance metabolism, and improve overall strength and functionality. Strength training also contributes to a more defined and sculpted appearance (15).

Combining cardio and strength training can yield synergistic effects. Cardiovascular exercises help burn calories during the workout, while strength training boosts the metabolism, allowing for continued calorie burn even after the exercise session (16). Additionally, increased muscle mass from strength training can lead to a higher basal metabolic rate, meaning the body burns more calories at rest.

Overall, incorporating both cardio and strength training exercises into a fitness routine can promote weight loss, increase muscle tone, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance overall body composition, resulting in a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing physique.

  • An Active Lifestyle

missy elliott weight loss

It’s also likely that she engaged in other forms of physical activity, such as dancing, which she is well known for. She has mentioned on Insta that she goes on daily hikes, which is a great addition to any fitness routine. Hiking can indeed contribute to weight loss due to its combination of cardiovascular exercise and calorie burn (17). It involves walking or trekking on various terrains, which elevates the heart rate and engages multiple muscle groups in the body. This sustained physical activity increases energy expenditure, leading to a calorie deficit when coupled with a balanced diet. Hiking also offers the advantage of being a low-impact exercise, making it accessible to individuals of different fitness levels. The duration and intensity of the hike, as well as factors like incline and terrain, can further impact the calorie burn.

Missy Elliott has emphasized the importance of consistency and discipline in her weight loss journey. These qualities are vital for achieving and maintaining weight loss goals. Consistency and discipline are fundamental for successful weight loss. It's not enough to make temporary changes; a long-term commitment is needed. Consistency involves sticking to healthy habits over time, such as following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It's important to develop a routine that incorporates healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity. Discipline plays a crucial role in staying motivated and resisting temptations that could hinder progress.

Missy Elliott's Surgery Rumours

missy elliott weight loss

Many readers conjectured that Missy Elliot may have undergone weight reduction surgery for this significant look change after viewing the singer’s new pics showing a drastic weight decrease.


However, there is no proof Missy Elliott has had any sort of weight loss surgery, nor has she mentioned anything in her socials.

Missy Elliott’s weight loss journey is truly inspirational. She understands the value of getting healthier and losing the extra pounds weighing down her body. She is such a proponent of health that in 2007, Elliott appeared on ABC’s show Extreme Makeover and awarded scholarships for a weight loss program to four underprivileged teenagers.

Missy Elliott’s Weight Loss Before And After Photos


missy elliott weight loss


missy elliott weight loss

Even though Missy Elliott has not publicly shared too many details about her diet or workout routine, she has emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced diet, portion control, regular exercise, consistency, and discipline in her weight loss journey. We shouldn't have to wait for a life-changing diagnosis to start changing our lifestyle or eating better. Let’s take some inspo from this talented queen and start making healthier choices for our bodies and minds.

Contributor: Dr. Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS, and Owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center


ALSO READ: The Inspirational Story of Kirstie Alley’s Weight Loss Journey

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About The Author
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Sanchari Bhattacharya
Health & Fitness Expert

Sanchari, a certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach



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