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Jeopardy Champ Reveals How He Lost 200 Pounds

Joshua Swiger is half his previous weight simply by making a few health changes.

Joshua Swiger appeared on Jeopardy in January 2020—right before the pandemic. At the time he became a champion, he weighed over 400 pounds. "I became known for being the aloha shirt guy on 'Jeopardy,'" he told Hawaii News Now. However, something happened to inspire the married father of two to kickstart his weight loss journey, which has resulted in a 200-pound weight loss in just two years. What happened and how did he do it? Read on to see the things Joshua Swiger did to lose 200 pounds—and to get beach-ready yourself, don't miss these essential 30 Best-Ever Celebrity Bathing Suit Photos!


The Pandemic Halted His Career


When the pandemic resulted in tourism shutdown in Hawaii, Swiger's life changed. He owned a small tourism company, so work dried up fast. "The summer was going to be really great for me, and the business 100% shut down in a matter of days," he said.


He Realized He Was "Morbidly Obese"


He started searching for other jobs, which forced him to look at himself in a new light. "I was not just overweight, not just obese, but according to the charts morbidly obese," he says. "I didn't feel like I was that big until I looked in a mirror, then I would say, 'Oh, my goodness!'" He was suddenly motivated to get into shape. 


He Changed His Diet


One of the key ways that Swiger slimmed down was focusing on his diet. "Do you want to adopt a healthy diet but aren't sure where to start? As you consider the parade of healthy diets in magazines and cookbooks, make sure to look for one that:

  • Includes a variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits; vegetables; whole grains; low-fat dairy products and lean protein, including beans and other legumes, nuts and seeds; and healthy fats
  • Provides guidelines for how much food to choose from each group
  • Includes foods you can find in your local grocery store — rather than specialty or gourmet store items
  • Fits your tastes, lifestyle and budget," advises the Mayo Clinic.


He Started Exercising


"I try to a hike once or twice a week. I mix it up a lot. I end up doing some sort of activity pretty much every day," he said. He also works out in a local park several days a week doing body weight exercises to blast fat. 


He Attributes His Weight Loss Success to the Pandemic


Swiger believes that if he hadn't embarked on his health journey he would have paid the price. "I'm pretty sure that in another five or six years I would have seen some very serious health problems," he said. "I don't think I would have done this without the pandemic and that's a really weird thing to say. "


He Has a New Career—As a Personal Trainer


Swiger has lost half his body weight, reaching his target goal of less than 200 pounds. Now, he has a new career as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. "My mission from now on is to encourage and inspire as many people as I can so that they can do impossible things too," he said.


Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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