Matthew Damon is from Massachusetts. He acted in high school, but says that his buddy Ben Affleck always got the better roles. Damon attended Harvard University, but left before graduating to pursue a career in acting. He wrote what would become Good Will Hunting in college for an English class. His acting debut was in 1988 in Mystic Pizza but his breakout didn’t come until 1997 with Good Will Hunting which earned 9 Oscar nominations. He continued to star in films that earned him praise including Saving Private Ryan, The Talent Mr. Ripley and the Bourne series. He is one of the top-grossing actors of all time and has received many awards including an Oscar and 2 Golden Globes, along with multiple BAFTA and Emmy nominations. In 2007, he was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Damon owns 2 productions companies with his best friend Affleck. He cofounded water.org and also supports other charities including H2O Africa and Feeding America. He married to Luciana Barroso in 2005 and they have 4 children. He generally avoids social media. Damon is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 190 lbs.
Matt Damon’s Diet
Damon followed a careful diet to prepare for his role of Jason Bourne. Despite grueling workouts, calories were capped at 2,000 per day. He would eat 6 meals a day consisting of lean animal protein, veggies, whole grains, nuts and protein shakes. He drank plenty of water while training, but when filming came along, he cut back like a fighter to be as lean and chiseled as possible.
- Low-Medium Fat 25% 25%
- Medium Carb 30% 30%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Damon fueled up for his first Bourne workout with 3 hard boiled eggs and a glass of milk. After his session, he’d have his first of 2 daily protein shakes.
Lunch for Damon while prepping for Bourne was typically chicken breast or perhaps a lean cut of beef along with salad and healthy fats from avocados and coconut oil. He might also have something a little more fun like a cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Fish and veggies made up a typical dinner fro Damon, and salmon was a fave. Dinner tended to be smaller than lunch because he would not be burning as many calories at night.
Most Challenging Diet
Damon, who normally weighs about 190 lbs., went all the way down to 139 lbs. for his role in Courage Under Fire by eating nothing but chicken breast and running 13 miles a day. His adrenal glands suffered and doctors told him he could have done permanent damage to his heart and even died.
Damon didn’t have a single cheat for 3 months leading up to filming The Bourne Identity. When they finally finished filming, he went straight for his fave: pizza.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Damon on his Jason Bourne Diet & Exercise Plan
‘Painful, but very, very effective.’
Damon on His Courage Under Fire Diet
‘All I ate was chicken breast. It’s not like I had a chef or anything. I just made it up and did what I thought I had to do.’
Damon on Choices
‘All you have in the end is to look back and like the choices you’ve made.’
Matt Damon’s Fitness Routine
Go With What You Know
Damon worked with celebrity trainer Jason Walsh for a year and a half as part of his prep for Jason Bourne. He also worked with Walsh for The Martian and The Great Wall.
Damon worked out for hours every single day for 3 months prior to filming The Bourne Identity.
Not only could Damon benchpress 250 lbs. by the time he started filming Bourne, he could also put his BFF Affleck in a headlock whenever he wanted.
Bodyweight Exercise Rules
Damon would do hundreds of push-ups, squats, crunches and box jumps as part of his Bourne routine.
Damon’s trainer believes in developing a strong core with basic push-ups and crunches before moving on to more specific moves.
Damon used the total body machine VersaClimber to torch calories and chisel his physique for shirtless scenes. He would also do HIIT sequences and sprints.
A Matt Damon Routine
VersaClimber: fastest time for 100 ft. or 1 min fast/1 min slow 10-15 times, or Tabata 30 sec on/30 sec rest x 8 rounds.
Do the following for 20 minutes without rest:
Dumbbell swings: Holding 1 dumbbell in 1 hand with feet shoulder-width, squat and switch the DB to the other hand. Do 12 reps.
Reverse lunge step-up: Holding dumbbells in both hands, stand in front of box. Step back into a reverse lunge, then step up onto box, lifting 2nd leg as high as possible. Do 12 reps.
Dumbbell push-ups: Holding dumbbells just outside shoulder level, lie on floor then push up into plank position. At the top, lift dumbbell toward ribs. Do 6 reps/side.
Knee step up & press: Kneel with dumbbell on right shoulder. Straighten right knee, lifting dumbbell overhead as you rise. Reverse & repeat. Do 12 reps.
Damon on Real Strength
‘I’m becoming far more interested in just functionality and making sure my body is as strong as it can be so I can swing my kids around and not worry about aches and pains.’
Damon on Hard Work
‘If you work hard at something, you get better at it.’
Damon on Trying Hard
‘Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.’
Matt Damon’s Supplements
Protein shakes were a daily staple for Damon while preparing for many of his roles. Protein is essential for building muscle, it helps reduce muscle wasting and also shortens recovery time. Getting sufficient protein in your diet makes you feel full, reduces craving, and can also help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Damon would add creatine to his daily protein shake. Creatine helps increase muscle mass and improve performance during grueling workouts.
Another staple of Damon’s protein smoothies was honey. Honey contains much more nutrition than refined sugar. It is high in antioxidants, which can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
Damon would often add flaxseed to his protein shake. Flaxseed is high in omega-3s which reduces inflammation in the body, reduce the risk of cancer and lower blood pressure.
Matt Damon’s Lifestyle
Damon was notorious for skipping classes to attend auditions. He finally dropped out of Harvard to star in Geronimo: An American Legend, thinking it would jumpstart his career. Instead it fizzled.
Saving Matt Damon
Damon often plays the kind of guy who needs to be saved. Some estimate that about $1 trillion has been spent on rescue efforts for his various characters.
Damon used clinical hypnosis to help him quit smoking. He said he did it in order to improve his sperm health before having kids.
Damon has an on-going friendly feud with Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel pretended Damon had been bumped for a particularly bad lineup of guests on his show. Damon retaliated by pretending to kidnap Kimmel and took over hosting for the night.
Damon is the co-founder of water.org that helps give people around the world access to clean water.
Damon on Himself
‘If anybody wanted to photograph my life, the’d get bored in a day.’
Damon on Quitting Smoking
‘Once you realize the consequences, it’s no longer an option for you to smoke. I think that applies to any addiction.’
Damon on Working
‘It’s still hard for me to turn down work if it’s really good because for so many years I was so desperate to get a job and couldn’t, and so it’s kind of an anathema for me to turn down work.’
Damon on Paparazzi
‘I feel I have an unspoken deal with the paparazzi: “I won’t do anything publicly interesting if you agree not to follow me.”’
Damon on His Parenting Style
‘Now that I have kids, I’m probably more overprotective than I’ve ever been. My wife’s nickname for me is Red Alert…But I try not to be a helicopter parent.’
Damon on the Importance of Clean Water
‘You will never solve poverty without solving water and sanitation.’