Lily James Workout and DIET 

Born: 1989

Lily James is the stage name of Lily Thomson. She is English. James’ mother was an actress, as was her grandmother. James attended the Tring Park School for Performing Arts and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2010. TV appearances include Just William in 2010 and Secret Diary of a Call Girl in 2011 before being cast as a main character in Downton Abbey for the 4th and 5th seasons. Her breakthrough came in 2015 with the lead in Cinderella. In 2022, she earned an Emmy nomination for playing Pamela Anderson Lee in Pam & Tommy. From 2014-2019, James was in a relationship with fellow actor Matt Smith whom she met working on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. She is a brand ambassador for Burberry Beauty. James has millions of fans on social media. She is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 120 lbs.

Known For:

Lily James’ Diet


James’ diet changes based on the role she is playing. She has taken on some very physical ones such as for Pam & Tommy and Fast Girls, and her diet has consequently undergone a complete transformation. For Cinderella, she was down to a liquid diet during filming because the corset was so tight. For Fast Girls, her diet was extremely strict with lots of protein and no treats. For Pam & Tommy, she found that exercise first thing in the day made her want to eat healthier and drink less wine, which in turn made her day better all around. She ate 3 meals a day, a couple of snacks, and had wine only on the weekends. During the lockdown, James did a lot of cooking and experimenting, but also got into a habit of ordering in. She says it’s a balancing act and she isn’t too restrictive on her cravings so long as they stay within reason. She carries a ‘huge’ reusable water bottle with her everywhere she goes, and she drank about a gallon a day while filming Pam & Tommy.

Estimated Macros

  • Variable Fat 30% 30%
  • Variable Carb 30% 30%
  • Variable Protein 40% 40%

Diet Details


Strict Discipline

For Fast Girls, James really had to get serious about healthy eating. Her trainer kept her on the straight and narrow eating lots of fish, chicken, greens, and not much else. There were no treats or cheats on that diet.


Naturally Healthy

James notes that when she started working out first thing in the morning, she naturally craved healthier foods. She also drank less in the evenings, making it easier to get up the next day for training.


Silver Linings

During the pandemic when she couldn’t get out, James got into cooking at home using veggies growing in her garden, and she enjoyed discovering new recipes.


Not Very Princess-Like

When James played Cinderella, she discovered she could not digest solid food while in costume because the corset was so tight, making her burp constantly. The only thing she could manage was soup.


Everything In Moderation

When she’s not prepping for any particular role, James follows her interests, whether that means cooking or ordering out. She mainly cares about feeling satisfied.

What to Eat


Everything in Moderation


Homemade Food








Protein Shakes


Whole Grains




Wine (weekends only)

What to Avoid






Fast Food


Junk Food


Excessive Sugar


Excessive Alcohol


Artificial Ingredients


James on the Effect of Exercise on her Attitude

Naturally, I start eating better and stop drinking so much wine.


James on the Lockdown

Toward the beginning of the lockdown, I was cooking all the time. I learned new recipes using fresh vegetables from my garden.


James on Training for Fast Girls

It was very intense…5-6 meals a day that were really high in protein, so that meant lots of protein shakes, fish, chicken, and no cheating.


James on Treats

It’s okay to indulge sometimes. I don’t try to deprive myself of stuff…I’m striving for a constant balance between the two.

Lily James‘ Workout Routine

Weekly Routine

Get Moving

Before accepting the role of Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, James wasn’t much of a fitness junkie. But she committed fully and created an amazing transformation.

Lockdown Is No Excuse

James was preparing for Pam & Tommy during the covid lockdown and did all of her workouts at home.

Get Help

James worked with professional trainer Matt Bevan for Pam & Tommy. He created innovative workouts including lots of core exercise.

Take the Bike

James has taken to cycling since returning to London. She loves the freedom of riding, as well as the mental benefits it offers.

Daily Dose

While not a gym rat normally, James was extremely disciplined while prepping for Pam & Tommy. Although sessions with her trainer were virtual, she did them like a pro. They trained for an hour, 4-5 times a week for 4 months prior to filming with only basic equipment such as light dumbbells, resistance bands, sliding discs and towels. Day 6 she would do low-intensity cardio. Day 7 she got to take off.

The Secret to Success

While not a gym rat normally, James was extremely disciplined while prepping for Pam & Tommy. Although sessions with her trainer were virtual, she did them like a pro. They trained for an hour, 4-5 times a week for 4 months prior to filming with only basic equipment such as light dumbbells, resistance bands, sliding discs and towels. Day 6 she would do low-intensity cardio. Day 7 she got to take off.

The Secret to Success

James says that exercising first thing was her secret to not skipping out on her workouts. Exercise first thing also made her feel good throughout the day.

Home Routine

James’ go-tos to create her Pam Anderson bod included weight training, circuits, and lots of core exercises. Other staples when she’s not training for a role are yoga, Pilates, and dance.

Multiple Benefits

James says she noticed the difference immediately once she started working out every day for Pam & Tommy. Her mind was clearer, she had more energy, and she naturally gravitated toward healthier food.

Make It Fun

James says the number one thing when it comes to exercise is making it enjoyable.

Exercise Style


A Lily James Routine

Core exercises
Weight training
Low-intensity cardio
1 Rest day/week
Do anything that gets you excited. Work out early in the day so you don’t skip it.


James on Working Out

It’s really not that bad once you start.


James on Creating a Fitness Routine

I have found that starting my day with exercise is key.


James on the Pluses of Exercise

When I work out regularly, I immediately feel the benefits.


James on More Reasons to Exercise

It’s exciting to be empowered by [exercise], and it turns into a domino effect.


James’ Top Fitness Tip

Drag yourself, even if you have to roll yourself out of your bed and into a sit-up.


James on Body Image

I think it’s so important to be healthy and confident and natural and not put too much stress on trying to be thin.

Lily James‘ Supplements

Other than tons of protein, James isn’t talking about any other supplements she may take. So, below are options that can benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.

Protein Powder


James is a big advocate of protein.
See Best Picks



Being imprisoned in a corset didn’t help James’ digestion, but a probiotic does.
See Best Picks

green supplement

greens supplement

Eating lots of protein grows muscle, but veggies are important too. If you don’t get enough, consider adding a greens supplement.
See Best Picks

Green Tea

Green tea

To burn fat while retaining muscle, try a natural fat burner like green tea which also offers cancer-fighting benefits.
Get it here

Lily James’s Lifestyle

Virtuous Circle

James so enjoyed her workouts for Pam & Tommy that she changed her whole routine, drinking less in the evening and going to bed earlier so she could be up at 5:30 for her workout sessions.

It Runs in the Family

James’ mother was an actress, and her father’s mother was American actress Helen Horton.

Multitalented Miss

James sings ‘A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes’ during the end credits for Cinderella.

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize

James says that no matter how late it is, she always washes her face before bed. She also uses cold water which she says is better for dry skin.

Loving Reminder

James picked her stage name in honor of her father who passed away in 2008 from cancer.

Happy Memories

James says every birthday, she would go to see a musical with her entire family. They saw ‘Mamma Mia’ at least 5 times.

Comfortable Enough for a Princess

James says her go-to travel togs is a tracksuit made from cashmere. It’s as comfy as it is stylish.

Makeup Mishaps

James says she regrets overplucking her eyebrows when she was young. Fortunately, they grew back. She also used to use concealer on her lips, making them disappear. She says she doesn’t know what she was thinking there.


James on Acting as a Career

I really want to play interesting roles, but you also want to work, so it’s a balancing game.


James on her First Acting Gig

I treated myself to a £700 [about $1000] Chloe bag after one of my first acting jobs. Then my friends pointed out that, for the same money, I could buy a flight to India. So I took it back.


James on her Eyebrows

I used to overpluck my eyebrows…This director told me…to grow them out. My whole face just changed.


James on Cashmere Joggers

It feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud and also looks cool, so I wear that to the airport.


James on Celebrity

I don’t like seeing celebs looking too skinny. I love it when they look healthy and comfortable in their bodies and embrace their curves.


James on Pants

I hate wearing trousers.


James on Meryl Streep

I wanted to soak up all of her brilliance.

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