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For Chris Pratt to get in the shape necessary to thwart intergalactic threats as Guardians of the Galaxy's leading man Star-Lord he had to adopt a diet that sacrificed the fun of eating. On the bright side, he no longer walked around feeling like crap after meals like he did while filming Parks & Rec. For Men’s Health’s Eat Like video series, Pratt explains how his breakout performance as an affable clown (and Mouse Rat frontman) Andy Dwyer was fueled by a diet that was doing more harm than good.
“I can’t believe I would eat five cheeseburgers for lunch. I lived in a constant state of ‘Oh, god. I’m freaking sick. I’ve eaten so much.’ And that was happiness at that time,” Pratt reveals. “Now, it’s the exact opposite. Now, eating is boring. But, the times between eating, I feel great. Before, eating was fun, but in the times in between, I felt like crap.”
Sure, Dwyer made our weeknights funnier by solving a pie assault case as a fake FBI agent and being uncontrollably happy at holding $1,000 in $1 bills. But, it came at the expense of the health of a man who weighed nearly 300 pounds while feeling terrible during the hours when he wasn't eating. So now he's a lean, mean, Thanos-fighting machine who's helmed two multi-billion-dollar franchises (Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic Park) and is preparing to make Dwyer's crime-fighting dreams come true as a Navy SEAL in Amazon's upcoming series The Terminal List.
To get into shape worthy of a Navy SEAL, Pratt sacrificed even more of the fun of eating than he usually does. The star committed to intermittent fasting, where he only had a six-hour window between noon and 6 P.M. to eat. During those hours, he'd eat a lot of chicken breast and lean proteins, vegetables, corn tortillas with eggs, avocados, and healthy fats, with a steaming cup of black coffee like the cowboys on Yellowstone drink. The days of greasy elation from his Parks & Rec past are far behind him.
His seminal Parks & Rec character isn't solely the product of Pratt unhealthily eating his way to happiness. The character was also made to ensure the world didn't sully Pratt's inherent joyfulness. In his cover story for Men's Health's July/August issue, Pratt opens up about growing up as a sensitive child while his late father, Daniel Clifton Pratt, acted as if he disliked his son to toughen him up. Pratt reasons his dad viewed his sensitivity as a liability because he"probably grew up in a world where a guy like that could get eaten alive." Instead of hardening his heart, he pushed back at the world's cruelties, and an iconic TV character was born.
"Early on, I developed humour as a self-defence mechanism—I developed Andy, really. Andy on Parks and Rec was my clown that I had honed my entire life, a guy who is affable, who’s an intelligent person playing a dumb person.”
It's not always easy leaving a routine that once made you happy, but Pratt did what was best for his body and unequivocally feels the best he's ever felt in his life. And we got a bunch of awesome action movies as a result.
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