Lauren Manzo is getting candid about her weight loss journey. The daughter of Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Caroline Manzo is down 80 pounds — and credits the weight loss drug Mounjaro for helping her shed the last 30.
“I went gluten [and] dairy free over a year ago. I had the Lap-Band, I got it removed again. I got up to 208 pounds,” Lauren, 35, explained at Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast taping The Loft in New York City on Thursday, May 18.
Caroline chimed in to note that her daughter was “working out like an animal [and] eating right” but “she just could not lose weight.”
“So I went and I saw a functional medicine doctor. They told me you need to be gluten, dairy, soy free. I couldn’t have cucumbers, eggs, potatoes, anything like that for months. And I’ve been gluten and dairy free for over a year now. I lost 50 pounds. I couldn’t lose any more,” Lauren continued. “And my pharmacist was like, ‘Well, I heard Mounjaro works,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ll do anything.’ … Since February I lost 30 pounds from Mounjaro. And I get it — people don’t like it, people don’t applaud it, people aren’t whatever, but it’s a shot in your stomach once a week, it’s the same as Ozempic. And honestly, I really do believe that obesity and things like that — they are a major issue with people — it is causing mental health issues for me. You guys have seen the struggle with this since I’m 20 years old, and it’s been really hard for me.”
Bravo viewers followed the Manzo family on the first five seasons of RHONJ, which premiered in 2009. Caroline, husband Albert Manzo, Lauren and the couple’s sons, Albie and Chris, starred on spinoff series Manzo’d with Children from 2014 to 2016.
“I understand that people that are prediabetic or that are diabetic do need this, but I also do believe that [the Ozempic trend has] helped people [with food issues too],” Lauren said on Thursday. “I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I feel like there have been times that I’ve been on the brink of an eating disorder or had issues myself. And this is the one thing — even above weight loss surgery — that has helped me a lot and cured me and mentally made me so much better. And I’m really grateful for it.”
Lauren added that it’s “sad” for people who are “already skinny” to be turning to the drug for weight loss, adding that she had been hospitalized for anxiety and depression in the past and suffers from high blood pressure.
“She had the Lap-Band — we had to have an emergency surgery because her stomach was all twisted,” Caroline recalled. “Then she goes and gets the sleeve, which I was so against because she’s got half a stomach now. And I’m like, ‘Don’t do the surgery.’ … Begged her not to do surgery. [Said], ‘There’s something hormonal going on. Something’s wrong with your body.’ … I have never seen anybody work so hard to try and be healthy than this kid.”
While several Jersey Housewives have spoken about Ozempic — Dolores Catania is also on Mounjaro and Margaret Josephs dropped 22 pounds on weekly injections of a GLP-1 agonist — Caroline credited “walking” for how she achieved her thinner frame.
“There’s lot of lids for a lot of jars. Just go and be you,” she noted on her YouTube series, Food, Love and Chaos With Caroline Manzo, last month. “I am afraid of [injectables like Botox]. For one moment I don’t believe that any of that is good for you. When you’re injecting it in your face, it’s just craziness.”