Matthew McConaughey Workout and Diet

Actor
Born: 1969

Matthew McConaughey is originally from Texas. He graduated college with a degree in media and had plans to become a lawyer, but decided against law school in favor of acting. He landed a few small roles before his breakout in 1996 with A Time to Kill. He went on to star in a lot of romantic comedies, but he has also taken on more serious roles. McConaughey has been nominated for and won praise for his acting, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe for playing an AIDS victim in Dallas Buyers Club. He was voted Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine in 2005. McConaughey got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014. He has been married to Camila Alves since 2012 and they have 3 children together. McConaughey co-founded a charity called ‘just keep livin’ for at-risk teens. He has millions of followers on social media. McConaughey is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs.

Known For:

Matthew McConaughey’s Diet

Summary

For Magic Mike, McConaughey lost 30 lbs. by focusing on eating low glycemic index (GI) foods, which means foods that do not cause a spike in blood sugar. Things like veggies, meat, fish, avocados and certain fruits such as plums are all low-GI foods. He worked with nutritionist Dr. Chris Lockwood to be sure he was getting all the nutrition he needed. McConaughey also worked with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson and he has his own approach to dieting which is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ In short, Peterson recommends purging your kitchen of junk food so you don’t feel tempted. Protein shakes were also a staple of McConaughey’s Magic Mike diet and he would have one first thing every day, and also between meals. Another thing McConaughey worked into his diet was wine, but just 1 glass per day.

Estimated Macros

  • Low-Medium Carb 25% 25%
  • Medium Fat 25% 25%
  • Medium-High Protein 80% 80%

Diet Details

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The Glycemic Index Diet

The glycemic index rates carbohydrate-containing foods (meaning not things like meat) based on how they effect blood sugar. ‘Low’ is rated at 55 or less while ‘high’ is 70 or more. High GI foods cause blood sugar to shoot up then fall rapidly, making you feel hungry and irritable. A low-Gi diet helped McConaughey drop 30 lbs.

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Timed Eating

In addition to following a low-GI diet for Magic Mike, McConaughey would also eat less as the day went on. A couple of days before shooting shirtless scenes, McConaughey would also reduce his water and sodium intake to really make his muscles pop.

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Shake It Up

McConaughey would have several protein shakes a day to help keep him fueled, and retain muscle tone while burning fat.

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Extreme Diet

To look like a dying man for Dallas Buyer’s Club, McConaughey lost 50 lbs. by following a liquid diet. This kind of crash dieting can be hazardous for your health.

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Bottoms Up

To look like a dying man for Dallas Buyer’s Club, McConaughey lost 50 lbs. by following a liquid diet. This kind of crash dieting can be hazardous for your health.

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Homestyle Cooking

McConaughey does a lot of cooking for his family. He is reportedly very adventurous and enjoys trying out new recipes from ethic cuisines including Greek, Mexican and Italian.

What to Eat

R

Low GI foods

R

Broccoli

R

Spinach

R

Salads

R

Cucumbers

R

Peppers

R

Eggs

R

Salmon

R

Chicken

R

High-fiber Grains

R

Beans

R

Plums

R

Water

R

Tea

R

Red Wine (1 glass/day)

What to Avoid

Q

High GI Foods

Q

Sugar

Q

Sodium

Q

Rice

Q

Pasta

Q

Soft Drinks

Q

Junk Food

Q

Processed Foods

Q

Excess Alcohol

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McConaughey on the Importance of Diet

‘As I’ve gotten older, I realize that being fit and in shape is 90% diet.’

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McConaughey on Losing 50 lbs.

‘I dared myself. I haven’t been this thin since 9th grade.’

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McConaughey on Dropping so Much Weight

‘It’s a bit of a spiritual cleanse, mental cleanse.’

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McConaughey on Exercise vs Diet

‘It doesn’t matter how much you run; it’s how little or much you eat.’

Matthew McConaughey’s Fitness Routine

Weekly Routine

Keep It Up

McConaughey believes in maintaining a certain level of fitness at all times, which makes getting in shape for a film role a whole lot quicker and easier.

Compound Movements

McConaughey has worked with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson for several films. Peterson has his clients do compound moves such as dumbbell squats to maximize gains in minimal time.

Great Outdoors

McConaughey loves to run outside, which is why there are a lot of pictures taken by the paparazzi of him sweating it up on the trail.

Daily Dose

McConaughey worked out twice a day, 7 days a week to get ripped for Magic Mike. Since he was already fit, it only took 2 weeks to get those 6-pack abs.

Circuit Training

McConaughey does circuits to hit multiple muscle groups at once and rev up his heart rate at the same time. 

Go Easy On the Crunches

While McConaughey did need to focus a lot on his abs for Magic Mike, he’d do things like planks and leg lifts rather than a million crunches.

Exercise Style

Z

A Matthew McConaughey Routine

Circuit 1: Legs
Do 3 circuits total. Do each exercise for 30 sec (about 10-12 reps), then take 15 sec rest after every other exercise.
Dumbbell squat & press
Dumbbell forward lunge
Dumbbell side lunge
Stability ball leg curl

Circuit 2: Core
Do 3 circuits total. Do each exercise for 30 sec (about 10-12 reps), then take 15 sec rest after every other exercise.
Forearm plank w. leg lift
Twisting planks
Crunches
Reverse crunches
Walking planks
Leg lifts
Abdominal twists
Mountain climbers

Circuit 3: Cardio
Repeat 9 times
Cardio machine: 5 min
Jump rope: 1 min

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McConaughey on Exercise

‘When I work out, I like to run. If I see a tree, I’ll stop and do pull ups. Randomly, I’ll do push ups too. This is how I get the body I want.’

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McConaughey on Motivation

‘Vanity is a great motivation.’

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McConaughey on Why he Stays in Shape

‘Curls for the girls!’

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McConaughey on his Fitness Goals

‘I’m working on having my debut in the UFC at 45. Nah, not really, but I am just trying to stay limber.’

Matthew McConaughey’s Supplements

Protein Powder

Protein

For Magic Mike, McConaughey supplemented his diet with 3 whey protein shakes a day to build lean muscle, burn fat and reduce recovery time.

Get it here

Up Your Mass Weight Gainer

Mass Gainer

McConaughey’s nutritionist had him take a mass gainer on filming days where a lot of skin would be showing to improve the appearance of his muscles. Some people struggle to gain weight, and taking a mass gainer makes it easier to get enough calories to build muscle.

Get it here

Multivitamin

Multivitamin

McConaughey takes a multivitamin as part of his health regimen, whether or not he’s filming.

Get it here

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme-Q10

McConaughey also regularly supplements with coenzyme-Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 contains antioxidants that protect your heart, brain and skin, and may also help stabilize blood sugar and improve exercise performance.

Get it here

Green tea extract

Green Tea Extract

Green tea is another of McConaughey’s staples. Green tea is chock-full of antioxidants that boost your brain power burn fat, and even lower the risk of cancer.

Get it here

Pre Workout

Pre Workout

McConaughey would use a pre workout containing creatine, taurine, beta-alanine and caffeine to help fuel his intense workouts.

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BCAA

BCAAs

During workouts, McConaughey would sip a drink containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which provide energy, grow muscle, and reduce post-exercise soreness.

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Glutamine

Glutamine

Glutamine was another ingredient in McConaughey’s workout cocktail. Glutamine promotes muscle growth, improves gym performance, and decreases recovery time and muscle wasting. It also burns fat and helps stabilize blood sugar.

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electrolytes

Electrolytes

McConaughey was hitting the gym pretty hard, making electrolytes a necessity to stay hydrated and avoid cramps.

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Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

McConaughey’s workout drink also contained vitamin B6, which is essential for the production of hemoglobin, which is what carries oxygen in the blood. B6 is also key for proper function of the brain and nervous system.

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Fenugreek Seed Extract

Fenugreek Seed Extract

To lose fat, McConaughey used fenugreek seed extract. Fenugreek also contains lots of antioxidants.

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Forskolin

Forskolin

McConaughey used forskolin to burn fat and support testosterone production.

Get it here

7-Keto DHEA

7-Keto DHEA

McConaughey’s nutritionist had him take 7-Keto DHEA to boost metabolism and burn fat.

Get it here

D-Aspartic Acid

D-Aspartic Acid

McConaughey also took D-Aspartic acid twice a day to increase his testosterone levels.

Get it here

Matthew McConaughey’s Lifestyle

Wonder-ful Way to Fall to Sleep

McConaughey narrates a Sleep Story for adults on an app called Calm. You can drift off listening to the soothing voice of Mr. Smooth.

Not Exactly Love at First Sight

McConaughey may be a heartthrob to millions, but his wife Camila Alvez did not find him attractive at first, and had to be told who he was.

Skip the Stick

McConaughey hasn’t used deodorant in decades. He says if his smell becomes a bother to others, he’ll take a shower.

Family Trivia

McConaughey’s dad was drafted into the NFL but was released before ever playing a game. His older brother Mike is a self-made millionaire and has appeared on tv himself in the documentary series West Texas Investors Club. His parents have been married 3 times — to each other.

The McConnaissance

McConaughey wanted to break out of his image of being a sex symbol. It took guts and some time, but he managed to reinvent himself.

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McConaughey on Selfishness

‘I’m a fan of the word selfish. Self. Ish. When I say I have gotten a lot more self-ish, I mean I am less concerned with what people think of me.’

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McConaughey on Himself

‘I want to evolve. As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover.’

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McConaughey on Gratitude

‘It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.’

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McConaughey on Motivation

‘There are 3 things…that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.’

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McConaughey on Advice

‘The best advice comes from people who don’t give advice.’

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McConaughey on Life

‘The older you get, the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man.’

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McConaughey on Life, Take II

‘Life is a series of commas, not periods.’

Recommended Products

Calm app

Calm app

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Jump rope
Dolce & Gabbana for Men

Dolce & Gabbana for Men

Stetson cologne
Stetson cologne
Wild Turkey bourbon
Wild Turkey bourbon
Magic Mike
Magic Mike
Dallas Buyers Club
Stetson cologne
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
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