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Vicki Gunvalson Dropped 22 Pounds by Eating Only 500 Calories a Day: Lunch Was ‘Hot Lemon Water’

Breakup diet? Vicki Gunvalson has lost 22 pounds since ending her drama-filled romance with ex-boyfriend Brooks Ayers. The Real Housewives of Orange County star revealed she lost the weight by following an extreme diet that restricted her to 500 calories a day.

Related: PHOTOS: Better After Breakup!

“It was over a three-month period,” Gunvalson told Entertainment Tonight. “I cut out all alcohol. … [I was down to] 500 calories a day. No carbs, so I just did lettuce and grapefruit in the morning … celery, carrots, whatever it could be. Just very raw, and then nothing really for lunch. I would just do water, lemon water. Hot lemon water. And then at night, I would just have salad and protein.”

The Bravo star, who credits her breakup for kick-starting her weight loss, debuted her slimmed-down frame, new haircut and even new kitchen during the season 11 premiere on Monday, June 20. 

Related: PHOTOS: Before They Were Real Housewives!

Vicki Gunvalson
Vicki Gunvalson attends AOL Build Speaker Series “The Real Housewives of Orange County Uncensored” on June 20, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

The OG Housewife told ET that her drama-filled breakup from Ayers (ahem, Cancergate!) helped ease her appetite.

“You know what, I was at such a depressed state,” she explained. “I’m 54 now, and your metabolism changes. I put on, like, 10 pounds from my forties to my fifties, and I never felt strong. I don’t want to be a bodybuilder. I don’t want to do all that stuff. But I wanted to feel like, OK, I’m gonna be single now, I gotta look my best, right?”

As previously reported by Us, Gunvalson has since moved on from her ex-boyfriend and is now dating politician Steve Lodge — but she’s taking it slow.

Related: PHOTOS: Diet Secrets of the Stars

“I’m protecting my heart, ’cause my heart really got stomped on and it got damaged,” she told ET. “The new man has never watched The Real Housewives of Orange County. How crazy is that? So, he likes me for me! And not some thought of being on TV or such, which is very, very clean to me. It’s very organic. … He’s courting me. So I’ll take it, right?”

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