In an industry known for its transformations, Zac Efron has emerged as a Hollywood leading man that exists in a perpetually jacked physique. He may have broken out onto the big screen in High School Musical, but in the years since, Efron has proved himself as a go-to action star, sporting the kind of gym-honed physique that has seen him hailed as an aspirational figure for gym-goers and fitness fiends alike.
While Efron has always had a passion for fitness and health, perhaps it was Baywatch that cemented his discipline when it comes to diet and training for all to see. But as he recently admitted, the pressures of bulking up for such a role left him feeling mentally and physically drained. Now, he’s also opening up about the vegan diet that he was forced to give up.
Speaking to Men’s Health US for the cover story of their October issue, Efron shared that despite initially loving the benefits of a vegan diet, his body began to recognise its limitations. “I started intermittent fasting just after I stopped being vegan. My body wasn’t processing the vegetables in the right way. So, I decided too top it and try something new. Intermittent fasting has been really helpful with that,” explained Efron.
Since ditching the vegan lifestyle, Efron now eats two meals daily and both see the Baywatch star consume a fair share of meat. Efron’s daily routine begins with a cardio workout in the morning to get the blood flowing. He then eats his first meal around 11am at which point he consumes bone broth soup and veggies along with clean proteins like elk and chicken. Later in the evening, he packs the carbs on with another meal consisting of meat and “a healthy carbohydrate like sweet potatoes or quinoa.”
As Efron expressed, his body may have suffered somewhat under a vegan diet, but he also found himself missing out on one of his favourite delicacies – organ meats. “This is kind of weird, but I really like organ meats. I love liver and onions,” he said.
Debate over diets has long continued in the health and wellness industry, and while it’s certainly recognised that going plant-based has a considerable benefit for the environment, the fact remains that to do so requires being organised so as to ensure your body isn’t missing out or lacking any nutrients or proteins derived from other sources.
One can imagine that Efron’s gruelling training routines and arduous transformations required for certain Hollywood roles would have seen his body go through quite the tumultuous challenge. While training for Baywatch, Efron ate nothing but lean fish, meats, and sweet potatoes, while for other roles he’s admitted to eating nothing. Thankfully, his latest Apple TV+ series The Greatest Beer Run Ever saw him taste the country’s culinary delights.
Though Efron admits that his body feels better since ditching his vegan diet, he acknowledges the importance of plant-based living as he says, “morally, of course, I still wish I was vegan.”
Zac Efron diet
After filming Baywatch, Efron committed to an all-organic whole-food diet full of protein, wholegrains, healthy fats, and high-fibre fruits like apples, pears, berries and all manner of vegetables. He had maintained a strict diet for the film, even going so far as to say he steered clear of carbs, but after production wrapped he re-introduced them to his diet.
As he explained to Men’s Fitness, “After a while your body stops craving junk food and you look forward to these meals. There’s this trigger that happens after two or three weeks of dieting and eating healthy food, where your body switches its primary energy source from burning mainly carbohydrates to burning fat. And when it switches over, all your cravings change.”
Zac Efron Workout routine
Known to be a lover of all kinds of sports and outdoor activities, Efron keeps active with a disciplined workout routine. He even created his own YouTube channel, Gym Time, which saw him workout alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
For Baywatch, he worked out every day with a focus on back and biceps one day, legs another, shoulders, chest and arms the next, and abs every day. The workouts also had a focus on supersetting, which required not taking a rest between each exercise to ensure the body burned more calories.