A couple of years ago, Ne-Yo decided to change his diet and go vegan — and he’s never looked back.
“I am loving it. I genuinely am. It’s been about two years,” the World of Dance judge tells Us of eating a plant-based diet. Among the benefits he’s experienced from eliminating all animal products from his daily menu: weight loss and better skin. “More energy, my face clears up, weight falls off,” he says. “I lost, like, 30 pounds!”
Last February, Ne-Yo — who’s once again judging contestants on Season 3 of the dance competition show with Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough — wowed fans when he showed off a set of chiseled six-pack abs in an Instagram Story mirror selfie, crediting “vegan life” for his slimmed-down body.
The singer-songwriter, 39, shares that he decided to make the dietary change after watching the investigative movie What the Health. “Initially, I watched the documentary What The Health, and to put it frankly, it pissed me off. It really did,” says Ne-Yo. “I was like, let me get this straight: The person giving you the disease and the person fighting the disease are in bed together? To hell with y’all.” The 2017 documentary explores the relationship between government agencies, big business in the food industry and national health problems including chronic diseases. “Out of spite, I went vegan because I was like, Y’all don’t care,” the father of four, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, further explains.
Now, the R&B star considers adopting the diet trend — followed by many Hollywood stars, including long-time devotee Natalie Portman and vegan dabblers Beyonce and Jay-Z — to be one of the best things he’s ever done. “A friend told me a plant-based diet could reverse the effects of heart disease, cancer,” he says. “I had tendinitis in both my knees — two weeks, brand new knees, like it never happened. I kid you not! I love it.”
There’s just one downside to cutting all dairy out of your diet, he jokes: “They just haven’t figured out the cheese thing yet. Not yet.”
With reporting by Taylor Ferber