Chris Pratt weight loss is one of the most searched celebrity questions on Google and has been for a while. The fascination stems from Chris once upon a time being a chubby goofball, bit-part actor, but now he’s trimmed down and sculpted an action hero physique to become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars in just two years.
TRAIN sat down with the 36-year-old to learn how he achieved this epic transformation so that you too can employ his tactics.
Chris Pratt weight loss transformation
Having saved the universe as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed nearly $800 million worldwide, and then managing to have velociraptors at his beck and call while he was riding a motorbike, as dinosaur trainer Owen Grady in Jurassic World, the highest earning movie so far of 2015, it’s fair to say Chris Pratt’s at the top of his game right now as a Hollywood and fitness icon.
But it’s not that long since the 36-year-old seemed typecast to forever play the leading man’s lovable but chubby and bumbling best friend. Remember Andy Dwyer in NBC series Parks and Recreation or podgy Brett in Delivery Man, alongside Vince Vaughn?
Chris Pratt’s old diet and the catalyst for change
So what happened? Well, the simple answer is Chris decided to get ripped, losing 60lb in six months to play Peter Quill/Star-Lord. And since getting his nutrition plan and workout regime on point the caliber of his roles has skyrocketed.
Gazing out from his living room in the Hollywood hills, grabbing some rare downtime in between filming for his upcoming movies, The Magnificent Seven and Passengers, Pratt takes a deep breath and smiles as he talks about his amazing transformation from rolypoly cameo actor into a Hollywood heartthrob
“It became a bit of a game: how fat I could get and how fast,” he recalls of his Andy Dwyer days. “I would eat four burgers at every read. I became really fat and got up to almost 300lb. But I was impotent, fatigued, emotionally depressed. I had real health issues that were affecting me in a major way. It’s bad for your heart, your skin, your system, your spirit… Everything.
“But cleaning up my diet cleaned up my life. Losing all that weight – it really just changed everything for me. I believe I’m now a better husband, father, actor, everything. Health has opened so many new doors for me, professionally, but most important, personally.”
He adds: “I feel so much better, and it’s helped my life on so many levels. Number one: just feeling good about myself. It’s funny because when I was my biggest, deep down I wasn’t the happiest on some levels and I would use food as a respite. That would bring me momentary joy.
Yet, now I get my happiness when I’m not eating, and not so much when I am (laughs). And to be honest, with my career, before I lost weight for Zero Dark Thirty, I played the same kind of guy in every film, the guy who goofs around and gets the laughs.
“It’s been a survival mechanism for me, but now after Zero Dark Thirty and especially Guardians of the Galaxy, I now feel like a proper actor, whatever that means (laughs). And Guardians of the Galaxy, that year prepping for that physically and shooting that, it defined my whole year. I just wanted to become the character, physically transform myself. It was awesome.”
Yes, thanks to going from fat to fit, coupled with his acting abilities, 2015 has definitely been the year of the Pratt, seeing the once-homeless waiter become one of Hollywood’s elite A-listers.
The Chris Pratt workout
Aristotle once wrote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” So when an actor makes a habit out of staying in immaculate shape while continuously giving crowd-pleasing on-screen performances, by that Greek wisdom he achieves excellence. And Chris Pratt certainly ticks all those boxes.
The Virginia native has already scooped a number of industry accolades for his various roles, but his worldwide success owes a lot to the long, hard hours he puts in at the gym.
“I do bodybuilding-type workouts, lifting lots of weights – the heavier the better – hitting every part of my body and every muscle,” he says. “There’s nothing out of the ordinary; I do your usual splits and usual moves – three sets of a very difficult 10.”
His training routine may appear quite unremarkable, but his lean and muscly frame shows it certainly works. And that’s backed up by a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, which found that doing three sets of 10 reps created as much muscle gain as doing three sets of 30-40 reps.
But with Pratt, it’s not all about pumping iron because he likes to mix things up to stay motivated and mentally engaged. He explains: “I also enjoy doing bodyweight moves: pull-ups, push-ups, and factoring in what part of the body I’m doing that day.
“And then that weights regime is mixed with a lot of conditioning. I do mountain biking, running, sprints, swimming, kickboxing and gym cardio because those things help to keep things varied and enjoyable. Every day I do something.”
Research at Penn State University found that Pratt’s do-something-every-day attitude is a massive factor in maintaining a healthy bodyweight. “If you aren’t in the habit of being physically active, you can run out of energy trying to force yourself to do it every day,” said study author, David Conroy. “But if you can make physical activity habitual, being active becomes a lot easier.”
Remember, it’s the little things in life that count, even if that’s only 15 minutes of walking a day.
Stretch your limits…and your muscles
Pratt’s big-screen role for 2015 was his turn as velociraptor trainer Owen Grady in Jurassic World, which he enjoyed immensely, relishing the opportunity to play a burly, all-action guy.
He recalls: “On Jurassic World there was a lot of running, jumping, leaping, diving, sliding, rolling and punching – a lot of action-hero moments, which I loved. Strangely enough, even when I was at my heaviest on Parks and Recreation, I was diving over counters, crashing into cars, falling down stairs on roller skates or something.
“But warming up was key on Jurassic World, and I did a lot of dynamic stretching because I was running around so much.”
And whether you’re a movie star or just a regular gym-goer, this is arguably one of the smartest things you can do for your exercise longevity. Athletes saw a 28% reduction in their injury rates if they did a dynamic warm-up before their sport, found a study by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
Dynamic stretching activates muscles you’ll use during your workout. For example: a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs and cores. So whether you’re doing weighted lunges in the gym, or lunging for a ball, the muscles involved have already been engaged. The researchers also found that warming up for 20 minutes achieved best results.
Chris Pratt weight loss diet
It’s a well known philosophy in the fitness industry that getting your nutrition on point is key to crafting your dream physique. You could be busting your ass in the gym every day but if you’re chugging beers and eating hot dogs at the same time your body isn’t getting the right amount of protein to encourage muscle growth.
Make your nutrition strategy more effective by consuming protein before bed because research in The Journal of Nutrition found it will help bolster your muscle-building efforts and strength gains during your training. Also, try to eat proteins that come from good clean organic sources, that haven’t been processed, to make gains fast.
And that’s a strategy Pratt employed to fuel his dramatic weight loss and muscle gain.
“When I lost all the weight, firstly it was about being a lot leaner, and that was really about my diet, if I’m honest,” he says. “Secondly, it was about building up muscle. I switched up my diet completely. I now eat lots of leafy green salads and protein, wholesome foods like fruits, veggies and nuts.
“I cut out all alcohol when I was cutting, because at the time I just felt like I wanted to drink a case of beer and not just two beers – two beers don’t do it for me (laughs). The workouts weren’t so tough, but the diet was the hardest thing. It was generally pretty boring. I ate a lot of protein and complex carbs and I drank a ton of water. I was pissing nonstop.
“That said, my diet is now a bit more relaxed because I’m really maintaining and not cutting, so I can mix it up a bit, although it’s still mostly natural, wholesome foods. It’s really a low-carb, high-protein diet with balance. Fuel your body with good food, and don’t starve yourself.”
The 36-year-old has his diet locked down, which is maybe the toughest element for any person looking to follow in his footsteps and sculpt a dream physique. But the hard work and dedication doesn’t stop there, because once you achieve your goals, that’s just the start of a new fitness journey as you continually look to improve. After all, fitness is a lifestyle and not a hobby.
“I love the discipline that’s inherent with healthiness and the workouts are a great stress relief,” says Pratt. “I love kicking ass and being in control of my body and mind. I love zoning out when I work out; it’s so therapeutic and I feel so much more energized now. I would so easily feel fatigued before.
“And honestly, there’s no trick or secret to it. It’s about getting after it and being patient and consistent. And it’s not about starving yourself, because you want to give your body proper nutrition. And think about who you want to be in six months or eight months or two years’ time, whatever it is. Start now. Eat right and be active. Time moves along at the same speed if you’re working hard or not.
“If you cut the crap out of your diet and spend an hour a day doing something physical, you’ll feel better mentally, physically and spiritually, because it’s all tied together.”
Follow Pratt’s words of wisdom and you’ll soon have the physique to save the universe, or even take on the odd dinosaur or two.
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