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Adrienne Houghton Says This Diet Change Helped Her Win Her Battle With Excessive Weight Gain

Hint: it was less about a number on a scale and more about a commitment to self-love.

Celebrity News


In the past, Adrienne Houghton has been candid about her battle with Hashimoto's Disease and subsequent weight fluctuation, but according to her, a change in her diet was the key to effectively her autoimmune illness and snatching her power (and her waist) back.

Earlier this year, the talk show host revealed that she and her husband were making an attempt to transition fully into a vegan lifestyle and although Israel may still be a carnivore at heart, Adrienne says that her plant-based diet has both improved her quality of life and level of self-confidence. On a recent episode of The Real, Adrienne explained:

"I know I said last season that I went vegan, I stuck with it all summer. Staying with a plant-based diet, it has made a world of a difference. A lot of you guys know I suffer from Hashimoto's, which is an autoimmune disease, so it has been really helpful for that. I just feel great and I'm happy to be back."

In February, both Adrienne and her co-host, Tamera Mowry-Housley, shut down pregnancy rumors and made it very clear that the food baby struggle is real. Hashimoto's, which causes an inflammation of the thyroid, often causes skin and hair dryness, depression, constipation, and weight gain, some of which Adrienne says she has experienced firsthand.

Source: Disney Resorts via Getty Images; Presley Ann/Getty Images / Getty

"This is not a baby, this is sweet potato pie. We have a health condition! I'm not pregnant! I have Hashimoto's! It's hypothyroidism. Yes, I have a fat neck! There is a reason!"

She explained that although she had not seen her fluctuating weight as an issue in the past, over time, a combination of internet trolls and self-pity began to make her feel more and more self-conscious.

"If I'm honest, my weight gain in the last few years has been like a struggle for me where I'm like, I never looked at myself as being overweight. And it was weird to hear so many comments at one point that I was fat, and 'Oh my God, she let herself go!' I was like, 'Whoa.' So that was a little bit weird."

While Adrienne credits her new vegan meal plan for allowing her to manage her illness and snatching her waist to the Gods, ultimately, it was a mindset shift that helped Adrienne become the best version of herself.

"I just did what I had to do to be comfortable in my own skin. And I think that's the most important thing. It wasn't necessarily to please other people. I actually, genuinely, didn't like the way I looked. And every day it's a work in progress. You know, girl get up and do some cardio."

Adrienne says going vegan was less about a number on a scale and more about her commitment to self-love. While Adrienne's transition wasn't immediate, considering herself an "almost vegan" in the beginning stages, she stayed consistent and it paid off. Along with eating healthier and drinking a bottle of her favorite rose water every day, Adrienne also says making time to work out helps her keep her physique and her perspective on track:

"More than looking good, it's actually healthy for you to eat healthy and actually get a little workout in. So as I get older, I get that it's going to be harder and harder, but I'm up for the challenge."

Featured image by Instagram/@adriennebailon.

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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