Ruben Studdard Will Compete on 'The Biggest Loser'

At 35, "I don't want to be worried at 40, and if I don't fix things now, I will be," he says

Photo: Shahar Azran/WireImage

Ruben Studdard has already won the title of American Idol. Now he may become The Biggest Loser.

The “Velvet Teddy Bear,” who won season 2 of the Fox singing competition in 2003, will compete on the NBC weight loss show as he attempts to battle his obesity – a task he has attempted previously with limited success.

“I was losing weight, but I was exhausted. It was making me sick,” the 35-year-old told PEOPLE in 2006 after attempting an intense workout regimen on about 1,200 calories a day with trainer Gunnar Peterson. “I’m a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself.”

Studdard quit that weight-loss plan after losing just 12 lbs., but eventually found vegetarianism which – along with exercise – resulted in his losing more than 70 of his 455 lbs. in 2006.

“Every week we would start by writing out a meal plan and calories,” Studdard said about his then-new diet. “The people at the vegetarian store in Birmingham are like, ‘What’s he doing in here?’ ”

In 2008, the “Sorry 2004” singer fell in love and married Surata Zuri McCants and remained healthy throughout his marriage, but began putting weight back on after the couple divorced in 2012.

Now, Studdard will take another shot at weight loss on the 15th installment of The Biggest Loser.

“I’ve never had an issue with my weight,” Studdard has said. “[But] my family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues – things I didn’t have to deal with yet because I’m young. But I don’t want to be worried at 40, and if I don’t fix things now, I will be.”

The Biggest Loser returns to NBC on Tuesdays this fall.

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