The Today with Hoda and Jenna hosts bravely weighed in on-camera as they begin intermittent fasting

By Benjamin VanHoose
November 18, 2019 02:27 PM
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Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb stepped on a scale in front of millions of viewers on Monday to launch their experiment with intermittent fasting.

Kotb, 55, introduced the Today with Hoda and Jenna segment by mentioning they’d been “stressing out” over the concept, but the cohosts showed solidarity with one another as they weighed themselves — not before removing their shoes for a more accurate reading.

“Okay, I haven’t done this in a long time,” Bush Hager, 37, said leading up to the moment of truth. “It’ll be fine.”

The pair held hands and told each other not to look down — “It’s like jumping off a cliff,” Bush Hager joked — before finally standing on the scale after some uncertainty and a false start.

They even switched scales to be sure one wasn’t inaccurate. For Kotb, the scale read 158 lbs., and for Bush Hager, 171 lbs.

Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb
TODAY

“This is why I don’t really weigh myself,” Bush Hager said, shocked that her number was some 40 lbs. more than the weight logged on her Fitbit.

She jokingly added: “I think I weigh twice as much as my sister. Like, two Barbaras could fit in me.”

The public weighing was part of the hosts’ venture into starting the intermittent fasting diet, a food plan in which one doesn’t eat solid foods for about 16 hours per day.

“We’re doing it to be healthy,” Bush Hager, who welcomed her son Henry in August, said, to which Kotb added, “And to also improve our brain health and everything else.”

Intermittent fasting is a trendy diet among celebrities, with everyone from Vanessa Hudgens to Jorge Cruise sharing their success with the eating routine.

Jennifer Aniston, 50, follows the diet too, with the actress sticking to liquids like coffee and green juices in the morning. She told U.K. outlet Radio Times that she has “noticed a big difference” since starting intermittent fasting.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, April 2019

According to a November 2018 study, the plan does help people lose weight and improve their health, but it’s no more effective than the average diet.

Curious about whether it works as a long-term diet, scientists followed 150 overweight and obese people for a year to track the effects of intermittent fasting against two weight loss plans. A third of the participants followed a simple diet plan that reduced their calories by 20 percent, another third reduced their calories by 20 percent via intermittent fasting, and the last third did not follow a weight loss plan, but were given guidelines for healthy eating.

Each participant followed their assigned plans for about 14 weeks, then the researchers continued to track them for the next 38 weeks, ultimately determining that there was no significant difference between the two diet plans.

The good news is that both plans were effective in improving health, and losing 5 percent of body fat was found to reduce visceral fat by 20 percent, and decrease liver fat by over a third. The main thing, researchers said, is to pick a weight loss plan and stick with it.