Ethan Suplee made a name for himself by starring
in the likes of Mallrats and My Name is Earl,
but his decision to focus on fitness and lose
weight actually cost him dearly in Hollywood.
Now he’s opening up about his dramatic transformation
and future goals.
Improving health, suffering career
There’s no denying that Suplee found fame
Unfortunately, that fame worked against him
when he decided to get his health back on
In a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly,
he explained, for example, how difficult it
was for him to land a role on the Hulu psychological
“Initially, the casting directors didn’t want
me to come in because I’d lost a bunch of
Apparently they had proposed me a bunch of
times, but the casting directors were like,
‘No, he’s too thin now.'”
Getting rejected in Hollywood must hurt, so
Suplee eventually decided to stop prioritizing
his fitness as much as he had been.
As he put it to EW,
“A couple years ago I made the decision: I’m
not going to kill myself to be thin when nobody
knows me as a thin person, and I do think
it is affecting the kind of jobs I’m getting.
And so I just kind of relaxed on my diet.”
Suplee’s dramatic transformation is particularly
commendable considering that he’s struggled
with his weight his entire life.
He’s been talking about it openly a lot lately,
particularly on his podcast, American Glutton,
which he launched in January 2020.
As he explained on the podcast, he’s struggled
with his weight since he was 5 years old,
and he’s also revealed that his grandparents
even restricted his eating.
He then turned to drugs and alcohol to, quote,
“help fill the void inside him.”
“Now when I look at pictures of me as a 5-year-old
kid, I see a totally normal kid.
I don’t even see an overweight kid.
I see, basically, an average 5-year-old kid.”
After finding mainstream success on My Name
Is Earl, Suplee became known for big-bodied
characters, which made it hard for him to
expand into more diverse roles.
When the show ended in 2009, he took on cycling
as a hobby and slimmed down from over 400
pounds to 220 pounds.
Unfortunately, though, his new look cost him
Suplee began 2020 in the spotlight thanks
to his weight loss, which gave him a fantastic
platform to discuss his diet goals and educate
others struggling with the same issues.
As he explained to Men’s Health,
“I made my career as the fat guy.
I don’t want to be fat anymore.
If the podcast is what I have to do to make
a career, that’s fine.
The most important thing I would want anyone
to take away is that for me, the biggest change
was understanding how food works, and the
more I feel that I understand, scientifically,
the more power I have over it.”
With diet and exercise, Suplee is taking a
scientific approach to the world of nutrition.
As he revealed to Men’s Health, he was on
a ketogenic diet until he came across a TED
Talk by Dr. Mike Israetel called “The Scientific
Landscape of Healthy Eating.”
After studying the talk, he switched to a
low-fat diet and gained eight pounds in three
days, but he stayed the course of committing
to the science.
For him, this meant aiming to get to a weight
of about 260 pounds and working towards 10
percent body fat.
“I have to trick my body into thinking it
needs the muscle to survive.”
Rigorous training schedule
While Suplee has taken a scientific approach
to nutrition, he also spends a good chunk
of his time physically training.
He revealed to Extra in February 2020 that
he spends about an hour at the gym every day.
In fact, he’s gotten so streamlined with his
workouts that he gave Men’s Health a glimpse
at what he does at the gym.
He revealed that since he’s lost a lot of
weight, he’s now focusing on retaining as
much muscle as possible as he continues to
drop the pounds.
He also noted that a girl he met was another
important reason for keeping up his regimen.
“Losing weight and getting healthy was the
only way that I could see on making sure I
had the longest time with her.”
Suplee is also focusing on maintaining his
current weight, rather than dropping much
lower on the scale.
As he explained to Extra, he was about 50
pounds lighter in 2011 than he is now, but
his skin hung loose, and he didn’t feel happy.
“I felt like a light breeze would knock me
“So, how do you feel now?”
“I feel fantastic.”
Making food “unenjoyable”
While training is essential to Suplee’s transformation,
he also credits his lean, high-protein diet,
which doesn’t sound like it’s all that appetizing
when he describes it.
He told People Magazine,
“I actually work to make my diet unenjoyable.
I’m trying partially because I’m a little
bit of a masochist, but also because I want
food not to be a crutch emotionally.
I want it to be a source of fuel.”
Suplee shed a bit more insight into the trials
and tribulations of dieting during an interview
“I numb myself with it, I entertain myself
with it, I anesthetize myself with it, and
I have to just stay away from that.”
Suplee follows his eating regimen pretty closely
and consistently, but when he does deviate
from his diet, he makes sure to plan that
For example, there’s a place called Burgers
Never Say Die that he goes to two or three
times a year.
Hopefully there are many great things still
to come for Ethan Suplee for both his fitness
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Ethan Suplee made a name for himself by starring