Al Sharpton first started exercise as a way of weight loss. However, it later became his way of setting himself down for a hectic day.

For the reverend, who is busy with many things, weight loss was a way of him trying to stay around for longer.

He has tried many methods for losing weight over the years, but none have been surgeries.

Al Sharpton's Motivation for Weight Loss

Sharpton has a long history of weight loss.

At his heaviest, the former US Presidential candidate weighed about 305 pounds. The first time he lost a lot of weight was in prison in 2001.

The civil rights activist went on a 43-day hunger strike, due to which he lost 30 pounds.

He regained those pounds quickly during his presidential run and kept the pounds for five more years.

Sharpton's real motivation for shedding weight came in 2006 from his daughter, Ashley Sharpton. That year, she poked him in the stomach and asked why he was so fat.

"That kind of hurt my feelings. I grew up in civil rights and politics, so I'm pretty thick-skinned, but when your daughter says it, I started being conscious," he said of the incident.

Al Sharpton started taking weight loss seriously after his daughter Ashley poked fun at his weight in 2006

Al Sharpton started taking weight loss seriously after his daughter Ashley poked fun at his weight in 2006. (Photo: Al Sharpton/Instagram)

He craved food when he first started doing things to lose weight, like exercise and diet, but he pushed through them. "The key to it is determination," he told People in 2020.

He kept his weight at bay, minding the "normal" BMI from the National Institute of Health.

How Did Al Sharpton Lose Weight?

The secret to Sharpton's weight loss is in his diet and exercise. Ever since his daughter lit a fire underneath him in 2006, he has been very serious about his weight.

Sharpton has actually lost more weight than what he weighed in 2020. The 5-feet 10-inch activist was 129 pounds at the time of the People interview, meaning he lost 176 pounds.

The first thing he changed was his diet. He weaned off meats and starches and stuck with whole wheat toast, green juice, tea, and fruits.

The activist even removed his favorite — fried chicken — from his diet. "I used to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but after about three or four weeks, I didn't have a longing for that either," he said.

He incorporated weights and elliptical into his workout routine around 2017 and has been continuing with that ever since. But he had modest targets.

Sharpton was just trying to tone up, and exercise was a way for him to keep his "blood flowing and to stay active." He had no intentions of going back to his old ways, either.

Working out was, at first, a way to keep weight gain at bay. But it eventually turned into meditation and preparation for the day ahead.

"The more I did it—and I've been doing it every day, seven days a week—the more I found that it was a calming thing," he told GQ in 2019. It became his "morning therapy" and a time to "set [himself] down."

In all of these, Sharpton has never gone under the knife. While bariatric surgery is many people's go-to for quick weight loss, the reverend took the difficult but healthier path to stay in shape.