When Keeping Up with the Kardashians debuted on E! in 2007, Rob Kardashian had the world at his feet. The handsome, healthy teenager was dating actress Adrienne Bailon at the time, and their relationship became the focus of some of the reality show’s earliest episodes, but they went their separate ways in 2009 after Bailon reportedly cheated on him. Kardashian refused to allow his heartbreak to send him into a downward spiral, but the same cannot be said of his next break-up.
Kardashian went on to date pop sensation Rita Ora, though he later claimed she was unfaithful with "more than 20 dudes." When the two split in 2012, his weight started to become a major issue. He turned to junk food to help him cope, and as his weight ballooned, his self-esteem went in the other direction. The reality star became a recluse, reportedly afraid to step out in public out of fear of being photographed.
In 2018, Kardashian finally managed to shed some pounds and get back within reach of his ideal weight, but how did he do it? From his dangerous binge-eating and struggles with depression to his dramatic turnaround, let’s take a closer look at Rob Kardashian’s weight loss transformation.
Rob Kardashian’s weight gain all started with milkshakes
According to Rob Kardashian, his weight gain began when he started enjoying his sweet treats a little too much. By 2015, the reality star’s appearance was making headlines for all the wrong reasons, forcing him to take action and start working out. In a now-deleted Instagram post (via Entertainment Tonight), he revealed that his problem worsened when he started consuming milkshakes at an alarming rate. His weight gain was so dramatic that he wound up trending on Twitter because of it.
"So I found out I was trending for being fat," Kardashian tweeted (via People). "Thank you all it really made my day." This was just one of a series of tweets that the former model sent out before deleting the whole rant. "No one will ever understand how much it hurts," he later added. "I’m aware that I’m fat that def ain’t a surprise to me lol and my only therapy will be in the gym, anyways had to say something."
Rob Kardashian felt too fat for Kimye’s wedding photos
Rob Kardashian’s Twitter outburst came just days before his sister, Kim Kardashian, was due to marry rapper Kanye West in Italy. She, of course, invited her brother to the ceremony, but despite making the trip to Europe, he decided to pull out because he didn’t want to be pictured looking so overweight. According to TMZ sources, Rob had "become so insecure and depressed about his appearance [that] he refused to be in the family wedding pics, despite his family’s encouragement."
"I was doing suit fittings in Paris right before the wedding and I just wasn’t comfortable," Rob later told People (via the Mirror). "I’m 6’1" and at my most I probably weighed 300 pounds." The presence of the paparazzi didn’t help matters. "There were cameras at the airport on our trip there and I was very unhappy with the person I saw in all the pictures."
Rob Kardashian’s sisters used ‘tough love’ to encourage his weight transformation
When newlywed Kim Kardashian returned to the States, she appeared on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and told host Andy Cohen that Rob Kardashian had sent her "a long email" on the morning of her wedding explaining his reasons for bailing. Kim wasn’t feeling sympathetic: "I’m definitely a tough love kind of person," she said (via Page Six). "If I don’t like something that’s going on in my life, I change it. I don’t sit and complain about it for a year. I try to encourage him and once you just don’t make that change for so long and it’s not happening, I get frustrated. My patience runs out."
Kim wasn’t the only Kardashian to have lost patience with Rob: in 2015, sister Khloé Kardashian (who lived with Rob at the time) told People that she was at her wits end with him, saying, "I’ve been really trying, but I have my moments and I do snap. I’ve offered to get a chef, I’m like, ‘What’s your excuse?’ But it’s not just that. I can’t win life for Rob. I have to wait until [he’s] ready to do it for himself."
Rob Kardashian refused to go to rehab
Rob Kardashian apparently flat-out refused Khloé Kardashian’s offer to bring in a personal chef for him, and this wasn’t the only time he turned down help from the family. There were rumors that the sock designer had been offered a place at a weight loss camp, but he was quick to shoot down that story on Twitter. "To the blogs saying I went to fat camp or rehab — LOL," he wrote in 2014 (via E! News). "Then why am I still fat you fools? Y’all must have run out of real news."
As a last resort, the Kardashians reportedly decided that they needed to set up a family intervention, just like they did on a 2012 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but as soon as Rob caught wind of what was happening he split, according to Radar Online. "He’s refusing rehab, he doesn’t want any fat farms, no more therapists, no more interventions, diets, and meddling sisters," an insider said in 2017.
Kris Jenner thought Rob Kardashian was ‘going to die’
Rob Kardashian is said to have suffered from depression after the death of his father (whom he was named after) in 2003, and has apparently been sinking deeper and deeper into it ever since, with his weight issues only making matters worse. In a 2015 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, his mother, Kris Jenner, says she fears the worst is yet to come.
"As a mom, it breaks my heart to see Rob going through what he’s going through," Jenner says on the show (via the Mirror). "He’s kind of stuck in a really bad place and I just want to help him get out of it. If I don’t help him do something drastic, he’s going to die. I’m just waiting for this horrible thing to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it." Kris reveals that Rob had gained more than 100 pounds since his depression worsened.
Rob Kardashian’s weight became a serious health issue
By the end of 2015, Rob Kardashian’s weight was beginning to have life-threatening implications. In December of that year, he was rushed to a hospital after falling ill at home. According to TMZ sources, he supposedly had no idea he was diabetic and was shocked when tests revealed he had developed the disease. The TMZ insider added that the reality TV star was determined to shed the extra weight and get healthy in the new year, but according to one whistleblower, his lifestyle only got worse.
Speaking to Radar Online, an insider close to the Kardashian camp claimed his biggest weakness was ice cream. "He thinks nothing of having two or three tubs in the afternoon," the source told the gossip rag. "It’s wreaking havoc on his diabetes — not to mention the added stress the weight is putting on his heart."
Rob Kardashian became a total recluse
Rob Kardashian reportedly became so disheartened about his appearance that he chose to withdraw from society altogether, holing up inside his mom’s house and becoming a total recluse. Speaking to WonderWall in March 2015, his "number one supporter" — sister Khloé Kardashian — revealed that he was suffering from mental illnesses as well as physical ones. "Over the last year, Rob has become very introverted and has a kind of social anxiety," she said. "I know he can get to that happy place and he will."
When his sister, Kim Kardashian, sat down for an interview with the Today show a few weeks later, she also addressed Rob’s decision to retreat from the public eye, particularly reality television. "I think he’s just going through a phase where he’s not comfortable in his own skin," she explained (via People). "He is working really hard to get back to where he really wants to be."
While his sisters were showing some faith in him, Rob’s friends weren’t so sure he could do it. "His weight affects his mood and then his mood affects his motivation to eat well and work out — it’s a vicious cycle," one confidant told Hollywood Life around that time (via HeatWorld).
Was Rob Kardashian motivated to lose weight by his former dance partner?
While those closest to Rob Kardashian were warning him about the consequences of his weight gain and encouraging him to change his ways before it was too late, there was at least one person who thought he was fine just the way he was. During her 2016 interview on the Allegedly podcast (via People), Kardashian’s former Dancing with the Stars partner, Cheryl Burke, had this to say: "I’m surprised that he’s making it a bigger deal than it is. I think that it’s fine, why does he have to go into hiding or why isn’t he coming out? I think it’s not a big deal."
Burke went on to call Kardashian a "normal" and "sweet" guy with nothing to be insecure about: "I say: ‘Just own it Rob, get out there.’ … It just happens, it’s not like he’s so obese he can’t walk. He’s good. He’s chill."
Rob Kardashian owes much of his weight transformation to Blac Chyna
To his credit, Rob Kardashian finally managed to change his lifestyle enough to get his diabetes under control. Contrary to previous reports, the reclusive reality star claimed he was aware that he was diabetic but had stopped taking his insulin because it was inconvenient. "I didn’t enjoy the routine," he told People in 2016 (via CNN). Treating his diabetes was the first big victory in his battle with obesity, but he didn’t do it alone.
Kardashian revealed that his romance with model Blac Chyna turned out to be the catalyst he needed in order to make positive changes in his life. "She’s surrounded me with a lot of positivity," he told People at the time. "From the moment we met, I knew I wanted to be more than friends." According to TMZ (via the Daily Mail), his new flame encouraged him to cut carbs and red meats out of his diet and hit the gym five days a week, with absolutely no cheat days. With her help, he was able to shed an impressive 40 pounds.
But Rob Kardashian piled it back on after they split
Blac Chyna gave birth to Rob’s daughter, Dream Kardashian, in November 2016, but less than a year later, the two had separated under very nasty circumstances. The breakup took its toll on Rob, who started to pack on the pounds again. "He’s the biggest he’s ever been," a friend told Radar Online in 2017. "He’s well over 300 pounds now — we don’t know as the scales don’t go up past that — and he’s a heart attack waiting to happen."
The media outlet’s source claimed that Rob had been "comfort eating big time" since his explosive split. "His fridge has become his best friend," the insider said. "He’s got major anger and addiction issues, brought on by a chronic lack of self-esteem over his looks and his position in the family. He’s lost the will to live and if it wasn’t for his little girl he’d probably not have made it."
According to The Belfast Telegraph (via the Inquisitr), sis Kim Kardashian allegedly urged momager Kris Jenner to stop "enabling" Rob’s unhealthy lifestyle with financial support.
Kylie Jenner helped Rob Kardashian slim down again
While Kim Kardashian once again urged the family to exercise tough love on Rob Kardashian, younger sister Kylie Jenner reportedly took a different approach. According to Hollywood Life, Rob started joining Kylie for workouts every other day as she aimed to shed her baby weight (she gave birth to daughter Stormi in February 2018), and before long, he was looking slimmer than he had in years. "Seeing the weight fall off has been huge in helping Rob get his confidence back," a source revealed. "Kylie challenged and pushed Rob to be better for Dream, and that’s all the motivation he needed."
The insider claimed Rob finally agreed to adhere to a catered diet, though having young kids in the house has also been a huge help. "Rob is staying disciplined and sticking with a strict nutritional program that he’s been put on to get his weight down as well, and it makes it easier for him since Dream keeps him pretty active already." The source added, "He’s having a blast chasing her around and seeing her grow up so fast."
The extent of Rob’s weight loss became clear in a picture Kim posted to Instagram on his 31st birthday in March 2018.
Did Rob Kardashian secretly get weight loss surgery?
Did Rob Kardashian really lose all that weight through exercise and healthy eating like he claims? According to court documents obtained by the Daily Mail in October 2017, Blac Chyna alleged Rob underwent a series of cosmetic procedures at costs totaling $100,000. Chyna reportedly made those claims while defending herself against allegations that she had deceived sponsors by going under the knife.
The statement from Chyna’s lawyers claims, "The manner in which Rob Kardashian revealed Ms White’s personal medical information jeopardized Ms White’s endorsement deals with several weight loss, fitness and diet companies that all pay Ms White to promote their products on social media."
As of this writing, Kardashian has never publicly acknowledged undergoing any cosmetic procedures for weight loss. Not to mention, we know that claims made during contentious divorce proceedings are possibly not the most reliable, so go ahead and take Chyna’s allegations with a big grain of salt.
Rob Kardashian reemerged, but where was the dramatic weight loss?
Rob Kardashian finally came out of hiding in the biggest way possible in March 2019 — with a rare cameo on the family’s titular reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Fans were likely thrilled to get a glimpse of his reported body transformation, which, according to sources speaking with Entertainment Tonight in October 2018, was back in the range of 30 to 50 pounds less than his heaviest point.
Rob appeared for just a few moments in the episode (shown above) during a visit with sister Khloé Kardashian, her daughter True, and his daughter Dream. Still clad head to toe in a heavy black sweatsuit that largely obscured his body, Rob didn’t mention his weight at all. The normally outspoken Khloé didn’t mention it either. Instead, she focused on Rob’s embrace of his relatively new role as a father. (Dream turned two years old in November 2018.) "Rob is honestly the best dad," Khloé said during her confessional. "He reminds me so much of my dad; how attentive and fun and loving he is with her."
While it’s unclear what Rob’s weight loss goals were at this point, it was clear that he still may not have been completely comfortable stepping back into the public eye. Outside of the cameo, he remained a ghost on social media and somehow continued to elude the paparazzi. Here’s hoping he was taking the time to just enjoy being a father, and learning some realistic, sustainable ways to maintain his physical and mental health.
A slimmer Rob Kardashian reappeared on Halloween 2019
Rob Kardashian posted a picture from his first day back in the gym in June 2019, and so began another period of weight loss for the fluctuating reality star. The youngest Kardashian sibling started to take some tentative steps back into the spotlight around Halloween time. Fans first noticed that he was back on the scene on October 22, when sister Kim Kardashian shared a video from her birthday meal: her little brother was at the table, but only appeared in the clip very briefly, so it was hard to tell just how much weight he had actually managed to shed since hitting the gym. About a week later, we got our answer.
While Rob often uses Instagram to promote his clothing brand, Halfway Dead, he rarely shares personal photos with his followers nowadays. That’s why people were so shocked when he posted a picture of himself with KarJenner momager, Kris Jenner, the day after Halloween. Rob (who is dressed as Papa Troll in the cute mother-and-son snap) was looking rather trim, a result of cutting out the fast food and drastically altering his diet. "He is very focused on making changes and sticking with it," a source told E! News. "He also stopped drinking, which is really helping him. He is feeling a lot better and seeing results."
Rob spent Halloween night partying with his half-sisters, who reportedly took him to Drake’s nearby bash after Kendall Jenner’s own party fizzled out.
Is Rob Kardashian going to weight loss camp?
It seems as though all the hard work that Rob Kardashian put in during 2019 may have been undone toward the end of the year. (Perhaps he overindulged throughout the festive season? Hashtag relatable.) In January 2020, an insider told People that he was considering going to an intensive weight loss camp. "He thinks a live-in fitness and health program might be the best option for him," the source claimed. "If he starts losing more weight by exercising and changing his diet during a camp, he believes he will be able to stick with it at home as well."
The insider went on to reveal that Kardashian wanted to start being more like his famous sisters. Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian always seem to be in immaculate shape, and their baby bro is reportedly sick of being the odd one out. "Everyone else in the family is working out and thinking about what they eat," the source added. "He wants this year to be the year when he takes care of himself. He wants to be healthier for Dream."
There’s been no concrete update on Rob’s weight since, though a tweet he sent out in March 2020 might have offered a clue: the former KUWTK star seemed to imply that he was filming an episode. Rob previously admitted that he stopped appearing on the show when he became self-conscious about his size. Could this mean he’s lost enough weight to be comfortable on camera again?