When pictures of a newly svelte Chaka Khan hit the web, folks went crazy. Although she was a certified brickhouse back in the ‘70s, Chaka had packed on the pounds over the years. But when she stepped out in her catsuit looking like she hadn’t aged (or gained a pound) since 1976, people wanted to know how she did it.

Recently, Khan sat down with Huffington Post Black Voices to talk about her new album and her dramatic weight loss, and despite rumors that she’d had surgery, the singer said she dropped the extra pounds by changing her diet and fasting.

The soul diva explains:

They can say whatever they want. Only I know what’s really going on. My weight loss had to occur, because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure. And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year. And I ended up going, “Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.” And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here. … [She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.

Hearing that Khan went on a “strict unconditional fast” for a few months gave me pause. While I’m also in the process of eating healthier, I can’t imagine giving up food all together….for months.

While Chaka’s fast may have been related to her medical condition, other celebs have often used fasting and “cleanses” to drop significant amounts of weight in a short amount of time.

Back in 2006, Beyonce admitted to using the Master Cleanse—basically drinking spicy water–to drop 20 pounds in two weeks for the film Dreamgirls. And while many others are Master Cleanse devotees, most nutritional experts will tell you that prolonged fasting (not under the care of a doctor) can do more harm than good.

While you may lose a lot of weight, most of it will be water and/or muscle mass, not fat. And what’s worse? Fasting slows your metabolic rate, so as soon as that fast is over, you can almost guarantee the pounds you lost will return with some friends.

So why do people continue to do “cleanses” and fasts in the hopes that it will help them fit into their super cute Little Black Dress?

Perhaps it’s the lure of quick weight loss or finally slaying the fat dragon. Whatever the case may be, there is no quick fix or ridiculously easy way to lose weight. You’ve got to do it the old fashioned way: good eating habits, getting some exercise, and a whole lot of patience.

Have you ever tried to fast to lose weight? How did it work out for you?

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  • Ravi

    Fasting may have some health benefits, but it is usually counterproductive when it comes to weight loss. Extended amounts of time without food will cause your body to process food much more slowly. It’s a natural response to your body not having access to fuel. Once you start eating again, your body will process that food more slowly causing you to store away more than you would have otherwise.

    Eating more often would be much more effective if trying to lose weight. Eating smaller more frequent meals will cause the opposite effect that I described above. I try to eat as soon as I wake up to minimize the amount of time my body goes without food and make sure I eat something at least every 2 hours. I also capped my calories at about 2000 a day. Doing this, I managed to lose about 25 pounds in a couple months without even working out regularly. It’s all about the way you eat for weight loss.

    • Sorry Ravi, but I lost 85 lbs fasting, and have kept the weight off for almost 2 years now.I did a 170 day juice and raw veg fast, and to only lose 85 lbs in that amount of time is not super quick, but I did it. I don’t think you really understand fasting. Sure it’s not for everyone, but the thing is, DIETING Fails 2/3 of people who diet, and try to eat right end up frustrated, and start saying silly things like “I like my body, I don’t mind bein fat, I’m sexy” blah blah blah. Fasting is a great way to detox, the body, and reboot it. If the person does not take stock in what they’ve been eating while on a fast, then yes,the could put it all back on.
      But if the person understands fasting,when they are done, they no longer crave the garbage they used to put in their body.
      I respectfully disagree with you on this.
      I don’t DO a diet, I have one. Cheers

  • I applaud anyone who takes there health & wellness seriously and turns it around….I have lost 60 pounds in 4 months and feel fantastic. I do not diet, I eat whole foods and take excellent nutritional products. What good is a diet if you eat less (or nothing?) and are not feeding your body the nutrients it needs to thrive & shed the toxins & support your metabolism? I would love if you would “like” my fb page…it is a journey to health, wellness & inspiration it is @ http://www.facebook.com/livingit4real …also you can see my friend’s transformation @ http://www.inspirebeauty.info ….best of health to everyone ~