Actor Jesse Plemons Lost Weight by Intermittent Fasting — Here’s What It Is and How You Can Start

Jesse Plemons has a bone to pick with Ozempic. “It’s unfortunate that I decided to get healthy when everyone decided to take it,” Plemons told the Los Angeles Times in a Jun. 13, 2024 interview.

Plemons’ physique transformation and newfound commitment to healthy habits didn’t come in a pill — Ozempic, a diabetes medication, is making waves as the next big thing in fat loss — it came from intermittent fasting.

Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

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And, no, he’s not talking about any sort of religious practice. We’re going to dive into what Plemons had to say about intermittent fasting (IF), then explain the ins and outs so you can get started for yourself.

About the Expert

This article was written by BarBend Senior Writer Jake Dickson. Dickson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, personal training accreditation from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and has practiced intermittent fasting personally for over a decade.

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Plemons had some choice words for the impact of intermittent fasting on his weight loss: “Several people talked to me about it … I gave it a shot and was surprised by how quickly it was effective,” the Civil War star told the Times.

Intermittent Fasting, or IF, is a type of diet centered around time-restricted feeding. Here’s the rundown:

IF is designed around constricting your food intake to a specific period over the course of a 24-hour day.

Most IF protocols consist of an eight-hour feeding window and a 16-hour fast, which includes the time you spend asleep.

Benefits of IF are purported to include enhanced fat loss (1), regulation of blood sugar and other health markers (2), and increased growth hormone secretion (3), among others.

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From the Expert: “A 16/8 fasting split is standard, but there’s flexibility to it,” Dickson says. “You can get away with a seven or nine-hour feeding window if need be, but don’t overcomplicate things.”

Plemons discussed his frustrations with the Ozempic trend and how his recent commitment to healthy habits, including weight loss, may be misconstrued by fans. “What [motivated me] was getting older,” he noted.

Ozempic’s active ingredient semaglutide has been shown in scientific studies to create, “substantial, sustained weight loss,” according to a 2022 paper. (4)

How To Start Intermittent Fasting

Like most specialty diets, IF talks a big game and has some scientific basis backing it up as well. If you want to try intermittent fasting for yourself, you’re in luck — it’s extremely simple. There’s really only one step:

Determine your feeding window: Most people will break their fast around lunchtime or early afternoon and feed until the evening. You can try eating between the hours of noon and 8:00 p.m.

That’s all there is to it. However, consider the impact that time-restricted eating can have on your lifestyle and workouts:

Expect to eat fewer, larger meals during your feeding window. If you have a scant appetite, this is where calorie-dense options high in carbs and healthy fats come in clutch.

If you typically eat breakfast right when you wake, you can begin your feeding window in the morning and eat until early afternoon. Otherwise, consider drinking plenty of water or coffee, which has been shown to have appetite-suppressing effects. (5)

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From the Expert: “It took me a few weeks to adjust to not eating breakfast right when I wake up,” Dickson notes. “Now, I hardly ever get hungry in the mornings. You just need to push through until your body adjusts.”

You can do your workouts in a fasted state if you wish. Studies show doing cardio workouts fasted isn’t harmful (6), and the same goes for strength training (7) — but it would be wise to consume some protein within an hour or two after hitting the weights to ensure you don’t lose muscle.

Fasting and Fitness

Jaw-dropping body transformations are familiar territory for character actors like Plemons who morph themselves into gripping supportive roles on the silver screen. Plemons is set to appear in director Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness, which hits theaters on Jun. 21, only half a year after his previous offering, Poor Things, vacuumed up awards throughout the spring.

However, the health benefits of weight loss go far beyond landing roles in prestige projects — “modest” fat loss has been shown to improve many cardiovascular health markers, while a strength training routine can delay or halt age-related muscle loss; (8)(9) something you can’t get out of a pill or capsule.

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Tinsley, G. M., Forsse, J. S., Butler, N. K., Paoli, A., Bane, A. A., La Bounty, P. M., Morgan, G. B., & Grandjean, P. W. (2017). Time-restricted feeding in young men performing resistance training: A randomized controlled trial. European journal of sport science17(2), 200–207.

Halberg, N., Henriksen, M., Söderhamn, N., Stallknecht, B., Ploug, T., Schjerling, P., & Dela, F. (2005). Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)99(6), 2128–2136.

Ho KY, Veldhuis JD, Johnson ML, Furlanetto R, Evans WS, Alberti KG, Thorner MO. Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. J Clin Invest. 1988 Apr;81(4):968-75. doi: 10.1172/JCI113450. PMID: 3127426; PMCID: PMC329619.

Garvey, W.T., Batterham, R.L., Bhatta, M. et al. Two-year effects of semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity: the STEP 5 trial. Nat Med 28, 2083–2091 (2022).

Correa M, SanMiguel N, López-Cruz L, Carratalá-Ros C, Olivares-García R, Salamone JD. Caffeine Modulates Food Intake Depending on the Context That Gives Access to Food: Comparison With Dopamine Depletion. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Sep 6;9:411. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00411. PMID: 30237771; PMCID: PMC6135917.

Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA, Wilborn CD, Krieger JW, Sonmez GT. Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Nov 18;11(1):54. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0054-7. PMID: 25429252; PMCID: PMC4242477.

Keenan S, Cooke MB, Belski R. The Effects of Intermittent Fasting Combined with Resistance Training on Lean Body Mass: A Systematic Review of Human Studies. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 6;12(8):2349. doi: 10.3390/nu12082349. PMID: 32781538; PMCID: PMC7468742.

Wing RR, Lang W, Wadden TA, Safford M, Knowler WC, Bertoni AG, Hill JO, Brancati FL, Peters A, Wagenknecht L; Look AHEAD Research Group. Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jul;34(7):1481-6. doi: 10.2337/dc10-2415. Epub 2011 May 18. PMID: 21593294; PMCID: PMC3120182.

Law TD, Clark LA, Clark BC. Resistance Exercise to Prevent and Manage Sarcopenia and Dynapenia. Annu Rev Gerontol Geriatr. 2016;36(1):205-228. doi: 10.1891/0198-8794.36.205. PMID: 27134329; PMCID: PMC4849483.

Featured Image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

The post Actor Jesse Plemons Lost Weight by Intermittent Fasting — Here’s What It Is and How You Can Start appeared first on BarBend.


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