Joe Giudice Lost 'More Than 50 Pounds' During Prison Stint

Teresa and Joe Giudice
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Mount Airy Casino Resort

The 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' star is nearly unrecognizable after his weight loss.

Joe Giudice, is that you? Though his legal situation remains in limbo, there is no doubt that Teresa Giudice's husband is fitter than ever! 

A source tells ET that during his time in prison, Joe underwent a big physical transformation. 

"Teresa is so proud of Joe for losing the weight and getting in such great shape. He'd talked about getting in shape in the past but while he was incarcerated he finally had the time," the source says. "Joe worked out twice a day every day to lose the weight and in the end he lost more than 50 pounds."

New photos have surfaced of Joe, who was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody on Friday and flown to Italy, looking almost unrecognizable after significantly slimming down. As it turns out, this new look isn't just because of his fitness routine. 

"Joe didn't just lose the weight because of his disciplined workouts,  it was also his shift in diet," the source adds. "Joe was used to eating huge home cooked Italian meals. Teresa's an amazing chef and made for him delicious food when he lived at home but, when he was in jail, the food was dreadful and he cut back a lot."

Joe was released from prison in March after serving three years behind bars upon pleading guilty to multiple charges of fraud in 2014. He was immediately transferred to ICE custody, where he then filed an appeal in federal court, but that appeal was denied in April. Last month, a judge denied Joe's bond when he asked to leave the ICE facilities and go home to his family while a decision in his deportation appeal was being made. A judge later agreed to let Joe return to Italy, he was born in Saronno, while it's being decided whether he'll be able to return to the U.S.

"While Joe is devastated to be leaving the country and his family, he feels great physically and he's ready to take this next step," the source says. "The older girls are going to visit their father very soon. They’ve already made plans. Teresa will be staying back with the younger girls and she hasn't made plans to visit yet."

Over the weekend, Gia Giudice, Joe and Teresa's eldest daughter, posted several photos of herself FaceTiming her dad and shared a photo of him with his brother, Pete, in Italy. 

"So happy you're together right now.. enjoy see you in a few weeks daddy," she captioned the shot. 

Fans have started comparing Joe to Jersey Shore star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino following the reality star's own prison stint. 

"The comeback is always greater than the Setback," Sorrentino said of the comparisons. "Sending Positive vibes." 

ET recently spoke with Teresa about how her family is doing during this difficult time. "My daughters are doing well. We're hanging in there," she said. "They are doing good, thank God. They are pretty amazing, strong, young women. I guess they get it from their mommy." 

Here's more with the Giudice family: