Slimmer, Happier Ruben Studdard Talks Health

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The Velvet Teddy Bear, Ruben Studdard, has always been up front about his weight problems -- and his success in shedding over 100 pounds earlier in 2006 by making extreme changes to his diet and exercise regimen.

In an interview with PETA Vice President Dan Matthews, the American Idol winner talks about the spiritual side of weight loss, what it's like being a vegetarian, how important it is to get regular colonics, and how his lifestyle affects his band.

On Becoming a Vegetarian:

"I actually came home, and there was a little brochure in my hometown paper - I ain't never told nobody this - but it was a thing about cleaning up your temple. I think it was like a Seventh Day Adventist magazine, and they were talking about 'try vegetarian.' I went online that day, and I just started reading little things from different vegetarians, and it was so much easier than I thought it would be, so I decided to try it."

On His Colonic Guru:
"They [medical experts] talk about all the colon problems, blah blah. And I've had a hydro-colonic before, so the lady that does that for us, she eats only raw vegetables - like, she won't anything but raw vegetables. And of course every time we'd go, she'd be like 'try this' and 'stop this,' but of course we weren't paying any attention - but now of course we do!"

On His Favorite Veggie Snacks:
"My favorite dish is from PF Chang's -- the Buddha's Feast. It's hands-down my favorite dish. And the tofu lettuce wraps. McDonald's has a veggie burger now. It's not as good as Burger King. Burger King's veggie burger is off the chain."

How His Diet Has Changed His Bandmates:
"My band, they all complain about my requirements for only veggie stuff backstage, but they're learning too, like I did. There's always a better way to live if you're open to it."

Ruben in '03
Ruben in '06

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.