Karen Valby
May 23, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

As a child, when Gabriel Iglesias complained about his weight, his mother said, ”You’re not fat, you’re just fluffy.”’ It’s a story he’s told to audiences in 23 countries and 400 cities, amassing him 525,000 ticket sales and a quarter billion YouTube views. Needless to say, the nickname stuck. His followers may notice that in The Fluffy Movie (out July 11), Iglesias, 37, looks 100 pounds lighter. ”I’ve tried every diet you could possibly think of!” says the comedian, who traded in his size 6X Hawaiian shirt for a 3X. Here’s how he did it.

What Didn’t Work ”Slim-Fast, NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, Zone bars, Atkins, South Beach. I owned a Gazelle at one point, which is just a twisted version of the elliptical machine. I’d drink diet soda, which just made me want to eat whatever was in front of me. So I’d lose 10 pounds, lose interest, and then gain it back plus five.”

What Really Didn’t Work ”Fen-phen and ephedra. That stuff just makes you want to run around the block five times.”

Wake-Up Call ”I’m diabetic. I was told if I didn’t lose weight I was going to die. That’s very influential! So I cut out the bread and now I’m doing yoga 25 minutes a day. Me!”

No Longer Fluffy, But… When Iglesias dropped from 445 pounds to 330, some folks got nervous. ”People kept coming up to me saying, ‘Hey, Gabriel, what are we going to call you if you keep losing weight?’ And I said, ‘Look, the point of me losing weight is I want to be around. I lift weights now — call me Buffy.”’

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