Laura Prepon Reveals She Struggled with her Weight on That ’70s Show — and Describes ‘Life-Changing’ Diet — in New Book

10/28/2015 at 04:13 PM ET

Laura Prepon
Ray Kachatorian

Laura Prepon is the first to admit that she used to struggle with her weight.

Despite trying everything from Atkins to appetite suppressants, the Orange Is the New Black star could never seem to find the right food strategy and constantly felt sick to her stomach, which led her to write her new diet and wellness cookbook, The Stash Plan (on stands March 2016).

“When I got to my early twenties, I started having issues with my digestion,” Prepon, 35, tells PEOPLE. “I was gaining weight just when I didn’t need to be, and my energy levels started to plummet. Not to mention I was bloated and puffy most days.”

She continues: “I had just started working on That ’70s Show and was very worried, so I became obsessed with reading diet and health books, looking for answers. I have stacks of them in my house!”

RELATED: Find Out What Food the Cast of OITNB Would Go to Jail For

But her research was just the first step. “I spent thousands of dollars getting my body tested, and nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. This went on for years.”

Fifteen years to be exact. That is, until she met Elizabeth Troy — an integrated nutritionist and co-author of the The Stash Plan — three years ago. “It was one of those kismet things where I knew she was going to heal me and that’s what happened,” says Prepon.

The actress learned that her liver and gallbladder were essentially “stuck,” which meant they could no longer metabolize even nutritious food properly.

Under Troy’s guidance, though, she slowly changed her eating habits. Now Prepon follows the 80/20 rule, sticks to organic, gluten-free food that is non-GMO and swears by bone broth. “As long [the food] hasn’t been altered I’ll eat it,” she says. “I put brown sugar in my tea. There’s nothing wrong with sugar. You have to be able to have fun and live your life.”

Along with this new approach to food, Prepon also adopted Troy’s unique stretching and strengthening technique to improve the function of her organs, specifically her liver and gallbladder. (Similar to acupuncture, it promotes energy flow to the organs.)

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” says Prepon, whose book includes instruction on the targeted stretching that she learned from Troy. “The book is a three-week program to jump start your gallbladder and liver and get them working,”

Laura Prepon
Courtesy The Stash Plan

“Once we had the breakthrough with the stretching in combination with the food, it legitimately changed everything for me,” says Prepon, who gave up high-intensity gym sessions —”I worked out more than anyone I knew!” — for stretching. “Now it’s the only workout I do.”

RELATED: Shailene Woodley Drinks Bone Broth For Breakfast — Get Her Recipe!

And along with hours at the gym, her weight worries have also disappeared.  “It’s freedom,” says Prepon. “I used to be so tortured. Now I can feel good in my body. I used to be so sensitive that if I ate one morsel of something that was [bad for me], I would completely puff up and feel sick to my stomach with piercing pains. I would joke with my sisters that I had baby tummy. I was like, ‘Am I only supposed to be eat baby peas?’ ”

–Michelle Ward Trainor

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Paula Cooke on

Your liver and gallbladder don’t become “stuck” (whatever that means) unless you have an illness of either organ. She obviously has issues with food and eating, and believing this diet works helps resolves those issues and makes her feel better.

Dbabe on

According to Chinese medicine an organ can be stuck( no qi is flowing)

Lili on

I don’t generally like when people come on here and make nasty comments. I hate it even. So, with that in mind I’m going to be a hypocrite…

Eyebrows. What the…..

jm on

I can’t take anyone serious who is a Scientologist.

hate em on

You mean Scientology didn’t fix you, Laura? You’re gonna get in trouble for that. #dummy

Jen on

Actually, there is plenty wrong with consuming sugar. It’s one of the worst things we can put in our bodies. I’m really surprised she doesn’t know that.

digit on

This article just makes me shake my head…so much new age nonsense. If she really thinks this “integrated nutritionist” she’s gone to for diagnosis and treatment are for real….well, I think that’s pretty sad.

More power to her for feeling better and managing her weight, but this whole thing sounds so utterly hokey to me. Use your common sense.

Maria on

So she’s essentially eating clean most of the time and she’s dispensed with high-intensity workouts. She feels better. That’s cool. I don’t know about “stuck” organs OR those eyebrows, but if you’re feeling good, I think that’s great.

Anonymous on

What a load of crock! Brown sugar lol….

Melissa on

Please. If something is wrong with her gall bladder and/or liver she should be seeing a medical doctor because you can’t live without those organs functioning properly. Absurd quackery used to sell a “lifestyle.”

Cori on

Well if you eat crap, you feel like crap. Eating clean, nutrition-dense foods that are GOOD for you… DUH, of course you feel better now!

Nica on

Man, I used to like her a lot but with her scientology nonsense and now this stuck organ insanity… what a hot load of bull. It’s kind of hard to take her seriously.
I also detest her black hair, loved her as a red-head, so maybe I just really liked Donna Pinciotti.

Anonymous on

So she expressing what works for her, what is wrong with that?? Leave her alone. If you don’t agree don’t buy her book. Simple as that.

Tim on

So she is expressing what worked for her, what is wrong with that?? Leave her alone. If you don’t agree then don’t buy her book. Simple as that.

Leslie on

I’m here for the eyebrow remarks and there are almost none. I can’t anyone seriously with eyebrows like that. Im’m dead serious. The perspective is lacking.

mackenziecrone on

I am really grateful Laura shared her story publicly. It is becoming more and more apparent that health, diet and exercise is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that our bodies and health are way more complex then we (and many doctors) appreciate. Also nice to hear this story after the bizarre Nicole Arbour outburst.

Nora on

Laura looked so much better as a redhead. In fact, if you look at the pictures closely, you can see her red roots coming in.

Katie on

Who told her that her liver is stuck? What testing did she have done? I guess I missed the lecture on liver stuckness in medical school.

Juan Mendes on

What? Wait a minute! I thought is was thetans that made you gain weight, LOL😉

Tony Wrathguard on

She is a member of the crazy cult Scientology. I bet they are backing this book somehow too.

Nunya on

But…couldn’t her religion cure her? I thought Scientology fixed everything.

Isabel on

I absolutely loved watching Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti in “That 70’s Show” and she’s just fantastic playing Alex Vause in Orange is the New Black!
BUT (and this is a HUGE but) Laura Prepon is a Scientologist!
You can’t believe, or take anything serious if it comes from a person that’s a Scientologist. Plain and simple!
I can almost guarantee you that purely because of that fact just on it own, she’ll probably loose A TON of customers. I know I won’t even flip through her book if I see it at Barnes & Noble.

In the extremely rare chance that Laura Prepon reads this, please know that you’re a great actress! BUT you should just stick to acting, and leave cooking books and whatever else you’ve got on the go to the experts.

I know a lot of us (myself included) are looking forward to seeing more of Alex Vause in Season 4 of Orange is the New Black! I just hope we don’t have to wait to much longer for new episodes!!

Bob on

Scientology…….anyone who follows that ridiculous cult of stupidity has issues. Their treatment of others who leave, their beliefs….I have a sure cure for stuck organs…..my mom taught me….prune juice…works everytime….It is also a cure for scientology….after purging….you no longer believe in spacemen…because you were full of it…

Deb on

As Thumper said in Walt Disney’s Bambi, ” Momma always said; if you can’t say anything nice.. don’t say nothing at all”.

Smart bunny!

Cindy on

The eyebrows are like that due to her role in OITNB and since she’s a regular on the show, she has to keep them grown in that way. The way she normally shapes the brows is beautiful. Who cares about her affiliation with Scientology; in no way does she ever promote it in the book or the beliefs from it. Any organ can get ‘stuck’ similar to another post about the “chi” If you like her as an actress in any role/series, why would it matter that you don’t like the messaging in her book? One has nothing to do with the other?