Kirstie Alley joins Jenny Craig to lose weight — again

While watching her sitcom, “Kirstie,” Kirstie Alley had a revelation. She needed to shed some weight. 

“I was like, you look OK on the street, but you don't look [OK] on TV, not so much,” Alley told Matt Lauer on TODAY.

Alley famously worked as a Jenny Craig spokesperson from 2004 to 2007 and lost 75 pounds. She maintained that for three or four years, she said, “And then, you know, I went off the rails a bit.”

But to get back on track she made an announcement: She will again be the public face of Jenny Craig as she works to lose weight.

“I have a goal to lose 30 pounds,” Alley told Lauer. “Thirty pounds is a lot.”

Alley said that a combination of “man troubles” and being overindulgent during the holidays (“The Christmas holiday lasts from Halloween to Valentine's Day”) made it all too easy for her to eat too much and regain the weight. 

“Listen, men, stop upsetting your women. You make them fat,” the Emmy-winning actress joked.

Nutritionists say that Alley’s struggles to keep the weight off are common.

“There is that deprivation mindset and that punishment mindset someone [helps you] motor through and lose the weight,” said Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

But once the weight is off, people sometimes think they can eat whatever they want. Then the pounds creep back on. Or, they just don’t understand how to eat because they relied heavily on pre-made meals. Yo-yo dieting, or weight cycling, makes it hard for people to live a consistently healthy lifestyle.

“[People who are] weight cycling have more extreme reductions of calories every time they go through the process again … it is not sustainable,” said Kristin Kirkpatrick, manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic.

While both nutritionists agree that weight loss programs like Jenny Craig can be effective in helping people lose weight, they both believe that additional counseling could help keep the pounds off.

Bonci said she sees patients who ask for advice on how to transition from a diet, where everything is planned for them, to a regular lifestyle. Many have no idea what 350 calories of food looks like without someone making it for them. And Kirkpatrick believes that many people need someone to help them deal with the stress. Alley indicated that emotional strain contributed to her weight gain.

“If we could also get a grasp on the psychological and behavioral management, we could go a long way,” Kirkpatrick said. 

  • Slideshow Photos

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    Alley oop!

    Actress Kirstie Alley has been very public about her life, particularly her struggles with her weight. Here are highlights of her colorful career.

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    Kirstie Alley -

    Kirstie Alley appeared on the TODAY show on April 7, where the actress opened up about her weight battle and revealed she will resume her position as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

    TODAY
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    New series -

    Kirstie Alley and cast in the new sitcom "Kirstie," that centers on Alley as a Broadway star and a new parent. It reunited her with former Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman and Seinfeld star Michael Richards. The series premiered on December 4, 2013.

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    Premiere party -

    Actress Kirstie Alley attends the "Kirstie" premiere party at Harlow on December 3, 2013 in New York.

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    The art of men -

    Kirstie Alley attends a signing for her book 'The Art of Men' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on November 11, 2012 in Los Angeles.

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    'Dancing' queen -

    Kirstie Alley was paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy in season 12 of "Dancing With the Stars." The actress made it to the finals of the reality TV competition in 2011.

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    Avast! -

    Alley arrives at the premiere of "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" on Saturday, May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif.

    Jordan Strauss / Getty Images Contributor
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    'Big' star -

    Actress Kirstie Alley has always been very public about her beliefs and her life, including her struggles with her weight. Here are highlights of her colorful career.

    Starting in March 2010, the A&E reality series Kirstie Alley's Big Life follows the actress as she battles with her weight, launches her own weight-loss company, raises her two children, and looks for love.

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    Opening up to Oprah -

    Kirstie Alley appeared on Oprah in February 2010 to talk about her battle for weight loss. She also talked about her new show, Kirstie Alley's Big Life, and admitted to a crush on Jamie Foxx.

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    Organic approach -

    In January 2010, Kirstie Alley launched Organic Liaison, a USDA-certified organic weight-loss product. A public advocate against obesity, Alley has also appeared in ads for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program.

    organicliaison.com
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    Kirstie and her kids -

    Kirstie Alley was all smiles as she left Katsuya restaurant in Hollywood on Jan. 14, 2010 with her adopted daughter, Lillie Price, and adopted son, William True.

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    Cover girl -

    The headline said it all on the cover of the May 18, 2009 issue of People magazine. "I fell off the horse," the actress admitted in the cover story.

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    Revealing moment -

    On Nov. 6, 2006, Kirstie Alley appeared in a bikini on Oprah. She told the daytime host that she had lost 75 pounds.

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    It's Showtime -

    In January 2005, Kirstie Alley appeared during the Television Critics Winter Press Tour in Universal City, Calif., to promote Fat Actress, a mockumentary-style comedy series on Showtime in which she starred.

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    Shrink rap -

    In May 2003, Kirstie Alley led protesters in a march against the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco. Alley is a member of Scientology, which is hostile to psychiatry.

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    With Mom at 'Monsters' -

    Kirstie Alley and kids attended the world premiere of animated comedy Monsters, Inc. at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Oct. 28, 2001.

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    Bevy of beauty -

    Kirstie Alley (second from left) appeared with (from left) Mindy Sterling, Denise Richards and Sam McMurray in the 1999 comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, a spoof about a small-town beauty pageant.

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    Fairy enough -

    In Toothless, a 1997 fantasy TV-movie, Kirstie Alley played a dentist who died but then was sent back to Earth as a tooth fairy.

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    Out of the Closet -

    Kirstie Alley posed for this publicity still for the 1997-2000 TV sitcom Veronica's Closet. Over the show's run she earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations in the title role.

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    Blonde Alley -

    In the 1996 TV-movie Suddenly, Kirstie Alley tackled a dramatic role as s a waitress crippled in a traffic accident. Jason Beghe costarred.

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    And the Emmy goes to... -

    After two previous nominations, Kirstie Alley won an Emmy in 1991 for her work on Cheers. In her acceptance speech, she famously thanked then-husband Parker Stevenson "for giving me the big one for the last eight years."

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    Alley and hubby -

    Kirstie Alley was married to actor Parker Stevenson from 1983 to 1997. During their marriage, the couple adopted two children.

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    Isn't she Lover-ly -

    Kirstie Alley appeared with a young Patrick Dempsey in the 1989 comedy film Loverboy.

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    Big 'Talking' -

    Kirstie Alley costarred with (from left) John Travolta, Olympia Dukakis and George Segal in the 1989 comedy "Look Who's Talking." The film was a hit and spawned several sequels.

    TriStar Pictures
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    Be of good Cheers -

    Alley's star rose with her 1987-1993 role as Rebecca Howe on the long-running sitcom Cheers. Ted Danson costarred as barkeeper Sam Malone.

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    Northern belle -

    Kirstie Alley played a member of a prominent Pennsylvania family in North and South, an acclaimed 1985 TV miniseries set in the Civil War era. The cast also included (from left) Robert Guillaume and David Ogden Stiers.

    Warner Bros via Everett Collection
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    Funny bunny -

    Kirstie Alley played feminist Gloria Steinem (right) in the 1985 TV-movie A Bunny's Tale, which was based on Steinem's experiences working as a Playboy Bunny.

    David Bookstaver / AP
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    Alley 'Cat' -

    In 1983, Kirstie Alley played Maggie "The Cat" in a stage production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Los Angeles.

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    'Khan' 'do -

    Kirstie Alley played the half-Vulcan officer Saavik in the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Reportedly she was chosen for the role because she resembled Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's image of what a Vulcan should look like.

    Paramount Pictures
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