Chris Hemsworth once had to lose a LOT of weight and Thor's PT has now revealed how he did it

When the Thunder God needs more of a Brad Pitt in Fight Club physique, he gets to work fast

Chris Hemsworth workout
(Image credit: Centr/Chris Hemsworth)

Chris Hemsworth is obviously not someone who needs to lose weight for health or aesthetic reasons. The world's most handsome man and full-time Thunder God of Physique has no need of diet shakes. 

However, it's easy to forget that his job is not actually being a hammer-wielding immortal with super strength, who can command lightning. No, Chris is an actor who plays many roles. It's just you may not have heard of or remember some of them. That's because he is so synonymous with Thor, a role that makes best use of his chiselled good looks, genuine charm and very big arms

So you may or may not recall 2015's In The Heart of The Sea. Rotten Tomatoes' 'critical consensus' is that it was 'admirably old-fashioned', with 'thoughtful storytelling to match its visual panache'. The important thing is that because Chris H had to play someone who is shipwrecked, he needed to lose large amounts of weight. 

Do you want to know how? It seems that, perhaps not surprisingly, he used a dieting technique that was cutting-edge at the time, which then became very popular, and now seems to be a bit off trend: intermittent fasting.

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As you can see, as well as having a comedy 'shipwreck beard' and hair, Chris acquired a much more rangy, lean and hungry look for In The Heart of The Sea. It's a little reminiscent of Brad Pitt in Fight Club, only with mad hair. 

At the time, the Australian actor had not long finished filming Age of Ultron in which he has his better known, very muscular and toned look. Shortly after In The Heart of The Sea wrapped, he needed to bulk up again for The Huntsman: Winter's War

According to Chris' personal trainer and friend Luke Zocchi, intermittent fasting is his go-to technique for this kind of rapid weight loss. Describing the results as 'crazy' to Insider, he said that intermittent fasting worked where all else had failed. This included going down to just 500 calories per day, which is definitely not something we recommend for any kind of extended period.

Luke gives a lot of interviews to help promote Centr (opens in new tab), Chris Hemsworth's fitness and wellness programme. On this occasion he told Insider, "Everyone thinks of him in Thor, being big and muscly, but this was the big accomplishment for me. It was a huge challenge for us." 

You can read our Centr review here, by the way. 

It seems the type of fasting Chris used was a variation on the 16:8 diet. This essentially means you eat only during an 8-hour window each day. 

The reference to '500 calories per day' means it's possible he also used the other most popular intermittent fasting variant, the 5:2 diet. This involves eating fairly normally for 5 days of the week but very little for the remaining 2 days – as little as 500 calories is sometimes suggested for that.

Chris Hemsworth workout

Chris in more characteristic guise

(Image credit: Centr/Chris Hemsworth)

Zocchi says intermittent fasting can help everyday dieters as well as Gods of Thunder who need to play someone who is starving. As you can see from the pic in Chris' Tweet, he was also still working out a lot, which helped to burn calories and must have contributed something to the weight loss.

With a reduced calorie intake due to fasting, "nutrition was a big deal," Zocchi says. "He was so tired from all the training we couldn't add any more workouts." We know the feeling, Chris! We can so identify with that.   

As to whether you should try intermittent fasting, please bear in mind that Chris Hemsworth is a) the God of Thunder, and b) has advanced, professional dietary guidance and health care on tap. He also needed to lose weight fast for an acting job, which you probably don't. 

To reiterate: we do not recommend crash dieting or starving yourself. This can be unpleasant at best and highly dangerous at worst. Depending on your body type and personal circumstances, it may not even be effective. 

All we can tell you is that for Chris on this occasion, according to his PT and pal Zocchi, "We implemented intermittent fasting, along with lower calories, and it was crazy how much that worked" He adds, "It's a really good system to help lose weight. I always go back to that."

Zocchi most recently worked with Hemsworth for this year's Thor: Love And Thunder. I think we can rest assured that Chris is probably back to a healthy-looking, literally God-like physique for that one. 

• Via Insider (opens in new tab)

Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years, during which time he has attended every event going, apart from Apple ones, as he mysteriously doesn't get invited to them. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. 

Duncan's current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. Duncan also edits T3's golf section because fuck it, someone has to. Dave Usher does all the real work on that bit, though. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."