Mark Wahlberg totally transformed his body for his role in the upcoming movie, "Father Stu" but not in the way you'd expect! The 50-year-old actor put on a pants-popping 30 extra pounds in just six weeks to play the boxer-turned-priest, Stuart Long.
Wahlberg ate a 7,000 calorie a day diet consisting of at least a dozen eggs, big bowls of rice and protein shakes to prep for the role.
“I had six weeks to put on about 30 pounds," Wahlberg told ET Canada. "I started with 7,000 calories for the first two weeks and then 11,000 calories for the final four weeks. None of it was fun, except for the first meal was amazing, because I hadn’t eaten anything up until that point. But after that, when you’re already full and you have to eat again, and at my age it’s just not a healthy thing to do, to try to put on that kind of weight in that amount of time.”
Wahlberg wasn't chowing down on junk food to make gainz. Instead, he ate smaller, carefully curated meals with the goal of putting on weight.
“I wasn’t eating anything that you would think, ‘Oh my God, I get to sit on the couch and eat ice cream and pizzas,'” he said. “… I tried to do it in a healthy way. It was a dozen eggs and a dozen pieces of bacon, two baked potatoes, a Porterhouse steak, two bowls of white rice, and a glass of olive oil. The first two weeks were high proteins. The second two weeks were a lot of carbs. The last two weeks starches, and then sodium, just to kind of get as bloated as possible. So not a lot of fun.”
Wahlberg's chef, Lawrence Duran previously told E! News about what he was feeding the star to get "in shape" for the film. "We do good carbohydrates, dark green vegetables, and then, just switch up the protein throughout the day and, at least, a dozen eggs a day."
The actor consumed ground meats and leafy vegetables at precise intervals and adding mass weight gainer to protein shakes.
"Mark’s chef was using a weight gainer powder that’s dense in protein and complex carbohydrates," nutritionist Christina Meyer-Jax, RDN told TODAY Food. "Adding this powder to regular calorie foods will pump up overall intake. However, Mark was also eating high fat meats such as bacon, big servings of proteins, and large amounts of grains such as white rice." Meyer-Jax noted that abdominal weight gain, also known as visceral fat, in the long run is not a healthy weight gain for those looking to increase weight and that even normal-weight people with excess visceral fat have a notably higher risk of health problems.
And if a glass of olive oil doesn't sound like an appetizing aperitif, Wahlberg said the worst part was actually having to eat when he was still full from his last meal. The actor continued with his normal workout routine while expanding his waistline.
“I had to get up the appetite, so I would go in there and try to lift as heavy as possible just to get hungry,” Wahlberg told ET. “And then I’d have the weight gainer shakes as well and all that stuff. But none of it was fun. There’s nothing worse than when you’re full from the last meal and you have to eat again.”
Meyer-Jax said that when it comes to your health, you must always consider the quality of the calories you’re consuming. She said the best way to approach healthy weight gain is to follow a program that includes healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies, and loads of lean protein sources. "Loading up on processed and fast foods will lead to weight gain, but also lead to systemic inflammation putting a person at risk for chronic disease," she said.
Just in time for the movie's April 13 release date, Wahlberg is already back in fighting shape at his normal, lower weight but Meyer-Jax said that this is not something you should try at home.
"Mark Wahlberg was doing this drastic metabolic move for a professional role and was medically monitored throughout by doctors and nutritionists," she said. "This is not a healthy approach to weight gain — or weight loss — for most people. Each person can react differently to this drastic shift and it's hardly ever sustainable for long term health."