Transcript for Penn Jillette Opens Up About 100-Pound Weight Loss
ultimate disappearing act from a master illusionist Penn jillette lost 100 pounds and saved his life with a diet centered on raw potatoes. "Presto! How I made over 100 pounds magically disappear" and other magical tales. We'll talk about it after ABC's Rebecca Jarvis takes a look at his turn Ji. I'm Penn. He's teller. Reporter: He's an iconic las Vegas headliner and one-half of the larger than life magic and comedy duo Penn & teller. Offstage there was one thing Penn jillette could not make disappear. His extra weight. The 6'7" father of two tipping the scale at 322 pounds when his doctors discovered a 90% blockage in his heart. Committed to losing the weight fast, Penn attempted the potato diet. Under a doctor's supervision, eating only plain potatoes for two weeks straight. Then phasing in vegetable stews. The 61-year-old dropping 75 pounds in just 83 days following this strict no exercise approach. A plan most experts disagree with. For the body to function optimally it needs a wide variety of foods that provide vitamins and minerals. You need to have fiber, protein, fats and carbs. Eating one food alone can be really detrimental. Now down 100 pounds, Penn continues to keep his meals light and occasionally fast for 16 hours straight, yet another controversial approach. His shocking total body transformation no optical illusion. For "Good morning America," Rebecca Jarvis, ABC news, new York. And Penn jillette joins us right now. Thanks for being here today. We want to give everybody a sense is of how much you lost. I think we have your size 52 pants. That's what I was wearing -- that's just 17 months ago. You can see am I smaller now? There is a huge difference. I got to tell you when I first heard about this I said this is nuts. How are you going to lose 100 pounds when you start off with two weeks of potatoes. The potatoes, first of all they aren't raw and they were -- that's an arbitrary thing. It was really important for me -- I'm not good at moderation. I want to do hard core stuff. I wanted to lose the sense of eating socially and lose the sense of constantly bombarding -- Breaking the habit. Salt, sugar and fat. Just a way to lose a way to lose all the habits I had gotten into so didn't have to be potatoes. They aren't magic. I picked them because it's the funniest word. I could have chosen beans or -- Just almost anything to give you nutrients but not much more. For two weeks you don't need that many nutrients. You don't have to get a lot in. I was eating all the time. I was just eating fat. I was surprised by the idea no exercise. Well, during that time, I mean I had to really stress that. I exercise now. But when you're losing weight you don't want to be bodybuilding and exercise is bodybuilding. It also makes not eating a lot easier. How has it changed your life? Now you're a year in and lost the weight. Are you back to Normal? Well, yeah, I eat very, very differently. You know, the thing is I don't respect moderation so I had to do stuff really intense. What I was most surprised about I used to consider myself a happy guy and I look back on it now an kind of sort of wasn't. I feel so great now. I have two young children. You feel that much different. It's night and day. It's night and day. You know, I went in the vomit comet, zero G. There's this emotional feel you feel when you're at zero G. You're very, very happy. And when they do the other side and you get heavy you feel depressed. Those things are not figures of speech. There's some sort of reality to it. I discuss feel lighter because I'm happier. Your kids are happier. They're thrilled to pieces except they would rather -- my son says once in a while you have to eat like a man. I do. Every two weeks we'll have a pizza but I don't crave it at all. Once you break that habit it's wicked easy. Penn jillette, thanks for coming in today. The book "Presto!" Is out this morning and when we come back,
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