Jurassic Park star Chris Pratt’s career has been on the upswing since he re-invented his physique 2 years ago. Pratt dropped a jaw-dropping 80 pounds to go from pudgy to super lean.
Pratt’s features now appear sculpted and the look is clearly what movie execs are after. He’s got movies lined up for the next few years, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Ironically he was rejected for a role in GI Joe:Rise of the Cobra in 2009 because his body didn’t project the super hero look that the movie makers were after.
What a difference a few years can make.
A Wife’s Helping Hand
Chris recently opened up about what it took to transform his body from lard to lean. The six foot, two inch actor was tipping the scales at 280 pounds at the end of 2013. With a large amount of excess body fat, he was feeling sluggish and unwell. He knew that it was time to make some changes. In an interview with GQ magazine, he commented . . .
“My bones ached, I had cardiovascular issues [when I was fat]. I was unhealthy. I was feeling rotten. I didn’t feel too great about who I was.”
Chris confided in his wife, actress Anna Farris, that he wished his body wasn’t like it was and that he wanted to so something about it. Farris proved a huge pillar of support during Chis’ amazing six month transformation.
Looking back, with a touch of humor, Pratt reflects that his wife may have liked him better when he was the ‘pet fat guy’ . . .
“Probably in many ways she preferred me that way. I was more fun to be around, probably. Now I have less fun. I focus more. She doesn’t get to cook for me the way she used to. I was like a great pet fat guy.”
6 Keys to the Pratt Transformation
There were six keys to the Pratt body make-over:
Have a Goal
The impetus for Chris’ turn-around, apart from his own desire to change his look, was winning the role of Peter Quill in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. When he signed on for the role he was committing himself. He knew he had to turn up for the first day on set with a body that audiences what find believable in the role. That put pressure on him to get serious about making the change. It was the external motivation that he needed. He had a goal and it was tied to a definite date.
Many people have a goal to lose weight, but they don’t tie it to a date. When you do however, suddenly the goal takes on a whole new meaning. This is especially powerful if the date involves some sort of public commitment, as in Chris’ case. It might be competing in a 10 k run or having a photo shoot. Whatever the event is, it will create urgency and allow you to build a program with a definite end date.
Eat More Protein
Chris became an advocate of the Paleo diet, with it’s emphasis on protein. He knew that protein not only builds muscle, but also helps to lose body fat. Because one gram of protein contains just 4 calories, as opposed to 9 calories for a gram of fat, protein is a more concentrated fuel source for the body. In addition, unlike carbs and fat, the body cannot store protein. This means that you will never get fat by eating too much protein.
Protein is also a very satisfying macronutrient. Chris found that he was never hungry after a lean protein meal. This prevented hunger pangs that could have jeopardized his weight loss efforts.
In addition to protein and lean vegetables, Chris took a daily No2 boosting supplement to help power his gym workouts.
Get Professional Advice
Chris knew from the very start that success on his weight loss journey was going to have involve other people. Hs wife Anna was a great support. But he also recruited the services of a personal trainer. He’d learnt from bitter experience that expert advice pays off.
Back in 2012, Chris had attempted to get in shape by himself for his role as a Navy Seal in Zero Dark 30. While he did get in good shape, he lost muscle mass as a result of eating too little and exercising too much. He ended up having to have shoulder surgery.
This time around Pratt was determined to do it right. He took on a personal trainer who was able to construct a sensible training and eating program to get Chris to his goal on time, without injury.
Focus on Natural, Whole Foods
When he made the decision to get serious about his body make-over, Chris went cold turkey on high carb processed foods. With the support of Anna, he went through his house and binned everything that was processed, and full of sugar, msg and other chemicals toxins. Sodas were also on the no go list.
He cut out cereal, refined grains and candy. In their stead he filled his refrigerator with lean meats, fish, nuts, fruits and seeds. By eating naturally, Chris didn’t have to starve himself. In fact, his calorie count didn’t go down. By switching up the quality of the calories he was eating, he was able to eat to satisfaction, knowing that he was burning off body fat with every mouthful.
Know Your Weakness
Chris knew what his nutritional weakness was – beer. He was well aware that all of the hard work in training and changing what he ate could be wasted with just one heavy night on the booze. Beer contains a lot of useless calories that do your body no good at all. By replacing beer with far smarter choices, like water, Chris was able to fast track his weight loss, without risk of derailing the whole enterprise.
The fact that Pratt was aware of his weakness meant that he could put in place definite strategies to enable him to combat that weakness.
Chris recruited the services of personal trainer Duffy Gaver. Gave got the star into a bodybuilding type strength training program. They both knew that weight training was the most effective body shaping tool that there is.
Gaver put Chris on a 3 day body part split that allowed him to focus on different body parts each day. The program had Chris in the gym three days per week, for about 45 minutes per session. He performed 3-4 sets per exercise with a rep range of between 8-15 reps.
After 3 months of building a foundation of strength, Chris switched over to the P90X workout. This involved training six days per week for about an hour each session. Chris and Duffy would train along with Tony Horton to shape and refine the different parts of their body each morning at Chris’ studio gym, located in his basement.
From there, Chis increased the intensity even further, adding in Crossfit and other forms of exercise. He also set his sights on athletic competition . . .
“I did a training for a triathlon in terms of swimming, biking, running. I also did weights and CrossFit high-intensity interval training, jogging and straight body-building: Pull ups, push ups, P90X. I did about four hours a day for maybe five months.”
The New Look Pratt
Chris’ dedication to transforming his physical self has seen him undergo one of the most dramatic transformations of recent memory. The loss of fat has totally transformed Chris’ face, giving him that defined leading man look; a look that is sure to keep him busy in the movie business for many years to come.