The former “American Idol” judge appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Friday to promote his newest show, Fox’s revival of “Name That Tune,” and spoke to guest host Tiffany Haddish about his weight loss.
“Years ago, when ‘Idol’ first started, I was like 358. I had to get it down, man,” he shared.
“What I did is, I went through, I had gastric bypass. I started Unify Health Labs, my own vitamin line. I had a food divorce is what I usually say. I had to let it all go and start over.”
Jackson, 64, has indeed invoked the divorce metaphor when discussing his figure.
“I just went through a food divorce and I stopped emotional eating,” he recently told “Entertainment Tonight.” “I was just trying to get healthy because I developed Type 2 diabetes and I had to. So I’m happy that I did, and I’m happy that it inspires people.”
Jackson said he initially decided to get in better shape in the early days of “American Idol.”
“I started on this health regimen many years ago while I was on ‘(American) Idol.’ I think (it was the) second season,” he told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY last month. “Lost a ton of weight, started gaining it back, then went on my own journey to try and discover, ‘How do I keep it off? What do I do?'”
He also said getting healthy was something that needed to happen.
“It’s been a long time running, a long time coming,” he added.
Jackson told “ET” that fellow former “Idol” judge Simon Cowell is doing well after he broke his back in a bike accident last summer, prompting him to point out the need to take care of themselves.
“I kid him,” Jackson said. “I say, ‘Look, we’re getting a little bit older, we’re 36 now, internally, but we ain’t 30 no more dawg. We gotta like respect the body, yo!'”