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Chris Pratt went from wine and weed diet to low carb 60-pound weight loss

Chris Pratt lost 60 pounds for his role in "Guardians."
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

It's hard to believe looking at the studly actor now. But Chris Pratt says that he used to smoke weed and drink booze regularly before becoming healthy with weight loss and exercise, reported the New York Daily News on August 17.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" hero admitted that he lived in a van and had dropped out of college. He was working at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Hawaii.

Pratt summed up his pre-Hollywood life. He "just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food and fishing supplies. You know, it was a charming time."

But his financial situation wasn't so charmed. Pratt admitted that prior to finding fame and fortune, he struggled to make enough to survive, reported E News on August 16.

And before he could become a success story, he had to change his body. A key part of his transformation: His six-pack abs that he recently flaunted in both "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

"I worked out really hard and I cut out everything bad for me for a long time and I just focused on trying to become a believable Navy SEAL," said Pratt about his "Zero Dark Thirty" role. But that wasn't his only phase of fitness and diet.

To transform for his role in "Guardians," Pratt lost 60 pounds in six months. He followed a low carb diet and devoted three to four hours a day to "just consistent, a**-kicking hard work," he revealed to Men's Fitness.

A nutritionist and personal trainer tag-teamed Pratt. He immersed himself in swimming, boxing, running and Tony Horton's P90X routines.

"I actually lost weight by eating more food, but eating the right food, eating healthy foods, and so when I was done with the movie my body hadn't been in starvation mode," Pratt explained to People magazine.

How is it possible to eat more food and lose weight? A study funded by the National Institutes of Health revealed that dieters on a low carb diet burned 300 calories more daily than those on a low-fat diet.

"That's the amount you'd burn off in an hour of moderate intensity physical activity without lifting a finger," said the study's senior author David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital. Combined with exercise, a low carb diet can make a dramatic difference in weight loss, as Pratt proved.

"We think the low-carb and low-glycemic index diets, by not causing the surge and crash in blood sugar, don't trigger the starvation response. When the body thinks it's starving, it turns down metabolism to conserve energy," Ludwig said in an interview with USA Today.