Hugh Jackman is no stranger to strict dieting and rigorous workouts after playing Wolverine for the past 14 years.
Hugh, who followed a high-protein, 6,000-calorie-a-day diet for The Wolverine, credits 16:8 intermittent fasting for his rippling physique (see video).
But in addition to sculpting his body, Jackman says intermittent fasting gives him more energy and improves his sleep. “I feel a lot better on that regime,” said Hugh. “My energy is better and I sleep better.”
Hugh’s 16/8 intermittent fast regimen involves doing all his eating for the day during an eight-hour window and then not eating at all (except for water) for 16 hours. Jackman typically consumes all his calories between 10 am and 6 pm.
“There is a lot of science behind intermittent fasting or having a period of each day when you are not eating,” said Hugh. “So you eat for an eight-hour window and then don’t eat for 16 hours.”
Jackman added: “There’s a lot of research saying that it’s better for your heart, cancer and many, many things to give your body a break. But during those eight hours I eat 6,000 calories and that is kind of brutal.”
Intermittent fasting has been touted for its ability to produce rapid weight loss and burn fat more quickly than conventional dieting. It has also been called a powerful anti-aging diet because it reduces the oxidative and metabolic stresses that damage cells. The health benefits of IF was detailed extensively in the bestselling health books, The Fast Diet and The Every Other Day Diet.
Jackman said intermittent fasting was helpful when he had to quickly lose 15 pounds and then regain 30 while shooting “Les Misérables” in 2012.
Despite his superhero physique, the 6-foot-2 Hugh is not a workout fanatic. For Wolverine, Jackman lifted weights three hours a day. “I am not a gym junkie and I am not going to be like that forever,” he said.
Jackman, who is the longest-running movie superhero, admits maintaining his ripped “Wolverine” body gets harder every year.
“Does getting in shape for the role get harder each time, as you’re always a little bit older? Oh, yes,” he said. “First of all, the diets become stricter, the [workout] regimes become harder. I need longer to get there and I get punished for any sins, so I really have to stay more on it than ever before.”
Still, Jackman loves playing Wolverine, and will do it until 2017. “What gave me so many opportunities in this business was playing this part in X-Men, and that it is still going is just amazing for me,” Hugh said. “It is such a rare thing and I am enjoying it more than ever.”