Karen Gillan Workout And Diet


Born: 1987

Karen Gillan was born in Inverness, Scotland. She always wanted to be an actress, and made her own horror films and wrote to agents since she was 13. Gillan dropped out of school to act in a tv show, and after landing a few more small tv roles, she moved to London at age 18 to study at a theatre arts school. There she was scouted by a model agency. Gillan appeared at the London Fashion Week in 2007 but she refused to give up on her acting dream. In 2009, she landed the role of Amy Pond in Doctor Who. Gillan also played in Outcast and Not Another Happy Ending before moving to Hollywood and scoring a role in 2013’s Oculus and then she was on to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers series. Gillan is also famous for playing in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. She has been nominated for and won many awards for her acting. Gillan’s charity work includes breast cancer awareness and suicide prevention. She married comedian Nick Kocher in 2022. She has millions of followers on social media. Gillan is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 120 lbs.

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Karen Gillan’s Diet

Diet Summary

Gillan says she never thought much about what she was eating until she was cast as an action hero. That all changed when she was picked up by Marvel where she was required to follow the strict superhero diet of protein, protein, and more protein along with a few veggies for fiber. When she’s left to her own devices, her choices are more balanced. She still eats clean, but she enjoys consuming carbs. Besides the requisite protein shakes when she needs to build muscle, she eats chicken breast, steak, salmon and other clean protein sources, she’ll eat ‘anything’ that is leafy and green, and for her carbs, she goes for potatoes, sweet potatoes, and black rice. An oat milk latte is a fave, and she stays on top of hydration with plenty of water.

Estimated Macros

Medium-High Protein

Medium Fat

Low-Medium Carb

Diet Details

Ideal Meal

Gillan’s idea of a perfect breakfast is 3 poached eggs and an oat milk latte with cinnamon.

Smart Snacking

Gillan digs hummus and veggies, and often has them before lunch.

Balanced Meals

When not prepping for an MCU role and having her diet dictated, Gillan eats well-rounded meals containing protein, veg, and healthy carbs such as chicken breast, salad and black rice, or perhaps steak, potatoes, and asparagus, or maybe salmon, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.

Eat for Your Blood Type

Gillan had her blood checked for food sensitivities, and discovered she was eating many things that she was allergic to. When she cut them out, her skin cleared up.

What to Eat

  • Eggs
  • Oat milk
  • Hummus
  • Veggies
  • Chicken breast
  • Steak
  • Salmon
  • Black rice
  • Leafy greens
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Coffee
  • Cinnamon
  • Water

What to Avoid

  • Empty-calorie foods
  • Fast food
  • Junk food
  • Artificial additives
  • Chemical ingredients
  • Dairy (allergy)

Gillan on her diet before being cast as an action hero

I’d never eaten healthily in my life…I can’t believe the way I used to go on.

Gillan on health & the pandemic

I didn’t feel on top of the world as I normally do if I’m regularly working out and eating well. I was foggy and down.

Gillan on anxiety & physical health

The anxiety is worse when I’m in a down state of mind.

Gillian on food allergies

I worked with a nutritionist, and she…took a blood test and figured out that I was allergic to quite a lot of things that I was eating, and so my skin has gotten a lot better since I cut those things out.

Karen Gillan’s Workout Routine

Workout Routine

Hardcore Intro

Gillan first got serious about fitness at age 25 when she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Serious Training

To prep for Guardians of the Galaxy, Gillan trained for an hour every day with an ex-Navy SEAL. For Jumanji, Gillan worked with celebrity trainer, Scott Pearlman.

Live & Learn

The pandemic shutdown taught Gillan the importance of exercise for mental health.

Daily Dose

Gillan finds daily exercise to be essential for physical and mental wellbeing. She always makes time to do some type of workout.

Simple Circuits

For Jumanji, Gillan’s trainer often had her do circuits that don’t require tons of equipment, such as rounds of push-ups, lunges, squats, and jumping rope.

Jump Rope

When pressed for time, Gillan’s trainer says you can’t beat jumping rope. It is very effective and can be incorporated into any circuit routine.

Cardio Queen

Other options for Gillan’s cardio training are boxing, and HIIT classes. If she’s not prepping for a role, Gillan likes to take barre and spin classes.

Specialized Training

Gillan had to learn how to fight for many of her action roles, making specialized training a must-have for many months in advance of filming.

Exercise Style

A Karen Gillan Routine

Exercise daily for physical and mental wellbeing. No exceptions.
Specialized fight training

Gillan on being cast in a physical role

QuoteThat sort of changed my life because I’d never worked out before.

Gillan on her start in fighting fitness

I just looked like spaghetti.

Gillan on the effect of the pandemic on her fitness routine

I didn’t move a muscle. I just couldn’t bring myself to work out. I felt like a slug.

Gillan on the mind-body connection

I didn’t realize how much better I felt mentally until I stopped.

Gillan on the importance of daily exercise


Karen Gillan’s Supplements

Other than protein, Gillan doesn’t have much to say on the topic of supplements, so below are options that may benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.



Playing a Marvel character, Gillan had to follow a strict diet, including daily protein shakes which she would often have first thing in the morning. Besides building muscle, protein also curbs appetite and cravings for junk food.

Omega 3s


As Gillan is someone who struggles with anxiety, adding in brain-boosting omega-3s would be a smart move.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for many body processes, and low levels of vitamin D have been associated with depression and seasonal affect disorder, as well as soft bones and even cancer.



The amino acid l-theanine has also been linked to improved mood and lower anxiety.



Likewise, the mineral magnesium may help fend off depression and anxiety.

Karen Gillan’s Lifestyle

Imposter Syndrome

Gillan says her anxiety issues only got worse the more famous she became, despite it being a lifelong dream to become an actress.

Self-Care for Superheroes

Gillan says she learned the importance of confronting her stress. Rather than suppress it, she examines her fears so that she can let go of them. This is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT.

Done With Downplaying

Gillan says she even surprises herself at how much she would downplay her acting dreams, fearing criticism. Talking honestly has helped her improve her mental health.

Not a Glamor Gal

Gillan says LA isn’t for her for many reasons: she can’t drive, her pale skin can’t take the sun, and she doesn’t care if she has to shave her head. (Side note: Marvel gifted her a wig made from her hair, and she still has it.)

Fairytale Wedding

Gillan secretly married Nick Kocher at a castle in Scotland in 2022, and only revealed it to the public long afterward.

Sleep Better Tonight

Gillan says that suppressing her fears during the day kept her up at night. In order to sleep, she has to acknowledge how she is feeling. When she does, she gets nine solid hours of sleep.

Posture Check

Gillan regularly checks in with herself to sit up straight and take up more space to build confidence.

Restless Wanderer

Gillan says that she only feels at home in Scotland. She doesn’t feel settled anywhere else, which is a problem because she lives in LA.

Puppy Love

Gillan calls er pit terrier-poodle mix pup Turtle the ‘love of her life.’ Presumably she cares at least as much about her husband, comedian Nick Kocher.

Gillan on not dealing with anxiety

It’s been easier to ignore my body than it has been to confront the situation.

Gillan on dealing with anxiety

I invite all of the anxiety in. It may sound weird, but I’ve been researching the psychology of it.

Gillan on using good posture

That [Good posture] is one physical affirmation I try to do with myself: just get into a more confident body position. I roll my shoulders back, sit up tall, and stop fidgeting.

Gillan on saying how you feel

If you don’t communicate, you’ll harbor resentment…It’s vital in terms of self-care.

Gillan on living in LA

I never feel settled here. It’s a real issue of mine.

Gillan on modeling

It was an okay way to earn money…but it’s not something I ever aspired to do in life.

Gillan on playing in Doctor Who

I miss it so much.

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