Jonathan Tucker was grew up in Massachusetts. Beginning in 3rd grade, he played in the Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. He attended the Thacher School in Ojai, California. While still a child, Tucker began appearing in films in the mid-1990s. He landed a role in The Virgin Suicides in 1999and has appeared in many more films including American Gods, as well as on tv shows such as The Black Donnellys and Kingdom. Tucker co-wrote the song ‘Champagne Problems’ with Nick Jonas. He married Tara Ahamed in 2012 and they had a set of twins in 2019. Tucker founded the not-for-profit organization The Pegasus Fund which supports top-performing students in under-served communities. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Tucker is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 170 lbs.
Jonathan Tucker’s Diet
Tucker eats as clean as any real MMA fighter. He dropped 30 lbs. for his role on Kingdom. Since he was already pretty fit, he used a combination of extreme dieting and intensive exercise to achieve this goal, eating only 1,000 calories per day for a while to get into fighting form. He even limited his water intake to be extra-cut on screen. He quickly regained most of the weight, but he still eats low-carb to stay ripped. Nowadays, he has 6-8 small, clean meals, like cottage cheese with a drop of low-sugar jelly or nuts and frozen blueberries.
- Low Carb 10% 10%
- MediumFat 30% 30%
- High Protein 60% 60%
To lose weight fast, Tucker ate only 1,000 calories per day for a couple of weeks. For the last 10 lbs., he cut back on water. This is not a healthy or sustainable way to lose weight.
Bullet Proof Breakfast
Tucker often starts his day with a bulletproof coffee, made with ghee (clarified butter) and MCT oil. It satisfies and gives him energy to last until lunch time.
Low Carb Options
Tucker kept his carbs under 50 g per day for a time. He has a bulletproof coffee in the morning, and eats things like cottage cheese after a workout and before bed. For snacks, he might have a few nuts. For his sweet tooth, he often has blueberries which aren’t too high in carbs but are packed with nutrients.
Tucker misses his pasta, and he has a few go-tos to satisfy the cravings, including spaghetti squash, quinoa pasta, and brown rice pasta.
Tucker put back 20 pounds more or less the day they finished filming the required scenes.
Tucker says he tells himself he’s eating something yummier than what he’s actually eating to not feel deprived.
Tucker drinks matcha green tea because it provides alertness without the jitters. It is also packed with healthful compounds that fight cancer and burn fat.
Dark (& Creamy) Addiction
Tucker says he is powerless to resist the call of the dark chocolate peanut butter cup, and likens it to drug addition.
What to Eat
Brown Rice Pasta
Matcha Green Tea
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (treat)
What to Avoid
Tucker on Why He Engaged in Extreme Dieting
‘There’s just no way to support 5 episodes of weight-cutting storylines without going the distance.’
Tucker on Tricking Yourself With Healthy Food
‘It’s not going to be the same, but [it can be] good enough.’
Tucker on How He Dropped 10 Pounds in 6 Days
‘Manipulating my water intake, and engaging in a number of other physically and mentally-taxing maneuvers.’
Tucker on MCTs
If you eat cake and Ho Hos, and that’s all you eat, that’s what your body uses to regenerate cells, that’s what your body uses to grow. All of your tissue is eventually going to be made out of everything you eat.
Jonathan Tucker’s Fitness Routine
Tucker has been engaged in intensive physical exercise virtually his entire life, starting with ballet at age 5. It took him 2 months to get into shape for Kingdom
Tucker met his personal trainer Ryan Farhoudi after accidentally leaving his credit card at a bar. Farhoudi also works with actors like Dev Patel, Kate Mara and Matt Bomer.
Pass On the MMA
Tucker says despite (or because of) his intensive training for Kingdom, he has zero interest in going into the ring for real due to all the injuries he’s accrued. The show’s cast has worked out with Joe Daddy Stevenson and Greg Jackson, trainer to Jon Jones and Holly Holm.
Tucker says he has found spiritual and mental ways to push through barriers at the gym, and that it has carried over into the rest of his life.
(Christian) Rock On
Tucker likes to listen to Christian rock at the gym. He also listens to Kanye West, and says the eclectic mix gets him in the zone.
Tucker is often up at 6:30 in the morning to get his run in. He hits it hard for an hour and a half every day, but doesn’t love working out because it isn’t social.
Tucker can deadlift 405 lbs., leg press 1,000 lbs., and bench press 100-lb dumbbells.
Along with standard weights, Tucker does things like jump rope, 5-miles runs, and hot yoga, which he credits for his leg strength.
Tucker says he endured a lot of injuries while filming Kingdom, which prompted him to seek out exercises that don’t exacerbate the problem.
A Jonathan Tucker Workout
Run: 5 miles
Lift: 60-90 min
Hot yoga: several times/week
MMA training: 1 hour+/daily
Sample Chest workout:
Use heavy weights
Bench press: 4 sets to failure
Dumbbell bench press: 5 reps x 4 sets
Low cable crossover: 8-12 reps x 4 sets
Dumbbell fly: 6-10 reps x 4 sets
Hammer strength chest press: 6-10 reps x 3 sets
Tucker on Ballet
‘Ballet is one of the more difficult rigors that I’ve ever done. The ballet instructors are some of the most intimidating people I’ve ever met.’
Tucker on Fitness
‘It’s a mental game.’
Tucker on How to Succeed With Your Fitness Goals
‘You can go to the gym 5 days a week…and spend an hour there and not really see any difference…Or…you can be in touch with…what your goals are…and how far you’re willing ot push your body when your mind is saying no.’
Tucker On Injuries
‘There’s just some injuries that don’t go away unless you stop working out…I just need to find the right exercises to be able to continue going without hurting myself.’
Jonathan Tucker’s Supplements
Matcha Green Tea
creatine and BCAAs
Jonathan Tucker’s Lifestyle
Tucker says he often uses the technique of asking himself questions about how the storyline should go before bed, and then waking up in the middle of the night to write down the answers that come to him in his sleep.
Tucker’s father is professor of art at the University of Massachusetts and a leading expert on the artist Claude Monet. His grandfather was an ambassador and his aunt and uncle are co-directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. His wife Tara is daughter of the Pulitzer-Prize winning economic historian, Liaquat Ahamed.
As a kid, Tucker and his grandmother would go see the New York City Ballet when they would perform in upstate New York in the summertime.
Tucker says he’d like to branch out into theatre. He enjoys challenge and isn’t afraid to do things that might not be popular with audiences.
Home Team Advantage
Tucker stays true to his roots and supports the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.
Tucker on Using Dreams For Guidance
‘It’s, like, a very hippie, hipster thing back from Boston.’
Tucker On Life As An Actor
‘I get to be in LA. I get to be at my house. I get to have a family. That’s a gift.’
Tucker On His Favorite Actor, Billy Cruddup
Tucker on Goals
‘Life can be more fun when you focus and when you’re the best version of yourself. You give the most and ask the most…That’s a more exciting way to live.’
Tucker on Taking Changes
‘I just want to continue to take big, risky choices.’