The Wolverine diet

A look into Hugh Jackman's 8,000-calorie-a-day meal plan
Wellness Wire
IN a nutshell
Hello again, friends! I really hope you're all having a better week than Jerry Jouret. The 81-year-old spent 6 days stuck in his car living off croissants, candy, and snow before he was spotted by rescuers.
If that sounds hard to stomach, wait till you hear what Hugh Jackman's been up to. The "X-Men" star is bulking up for his 10th and final role as Wolverine, and today we're taking a closer look at his 8,000-calorie-a-day diet.
We'll also be talking about:
a top-notch plant-based protein powder
one way to keep your sugar cravings in check
Michelle Yeoh's historic Oscar win
new research on the awesome power of exercise
more health stories you need
Stay sharp,
Ginger Wojcik
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Ginger Wojcik
March 15, 2023 • 6 min read
Hugh Jackman is eating 8,000 calories a day. Again.
what's got us buzzing
Hugh Jackman is eating 8,000 calories a day. Again.
For the 10th time in 23 years, Hugh Jackman is getting into mutant shape to play the role of Wolverine. Recently, the 54-year-old actor gave us a nauseating sneak peek into what he's eating to get the body of a superhero. (If you don't want to click through, it's a picture of six hefty meals prepped by Chef Mario.)

According to the photo caption, 1 day of eating for Jackman added up to 8,300 calories, almost 3 times the recommendation for a man his age. The meals consisted of:
  • 2 sirloin steaks with noodles (1,100 calories each)
  • 2 chicken burgers with sweet potatoes (1,000 calories each)
  • black bass with rice (2,000 calories)
  • Patagonian Chinook salmon with potatoes (2,100 calories)
Jackman's high calorie diet is part of bulking, the muscle-building phase in bodybuilding that combines excessive calorie intake with intense weightlifting. While bulking, your goal is to eat more calories than your body needs in order to gain muscle. However, 8,000 is light-years more than the 10%–20% increase in calories recommended by experts. In fact, one study showed bodybuilders ate an average of only 3,800 calories a day while bulking.

If you're curious about bulking, it's important to prioritize nutrient-rich foods and to limit sugary foods, alcohol, and fried foods which can lead to fat gain rather than muscle gain. Some experts recommend following this diet plan for optimal nutrients:
  • 55%–60% carbohydrates
  • 25%–30% protein
  • 15%–20% fat
Of course, diet is just one side of the coin. You'll also need to implement a rigorous strength training routine in order to put all those calories to use and get the bulging muscles of Wolverine.

tl;dr: Hugh Jackman is preparing, yet again, to play Wolverine and he's eating 8,000 calories a day to get there. Jackman is following the bulking method, where you combine excessive calorie intake with intense weightlifting in order to gain muscle. Those interested in bulking should be mindful to eat nutrient-rich foods and adhere to a rigorous strength training routine.
great finds
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You know those great finds you just *have* to tell your friends about? That's how we feel about the products we recommend here. Every pick has been vetted by our editorial team, and we genuinely think it'll make your life better.
Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein Powder
Whether you're being paid millions of dollars to play a superhero onscreen or you just want to stay strong and healthy, you need to get enough protein in your diet. Devout carnivores may not need help in this department, but those of us who eat little or no meat may benefit from padding our diet with extra sources of protein.
A quick and easy remedy for that: This plant-based pea and rice protein powder, which is vegan, contains all nine essential amino acids, and comes in Chocolate and Vanilla Chai flavors.
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say what
Look who's talking
"While I am grateful for this unforgettable moment in my professional life, I want to redirect that global spotlight to an issue that is very personal to me."

Michelle Yeoh
On Sunday, Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for best actress for her role in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Since winning, Yeoh has been using her spotlight to bring attention to the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria that killed more than 47,000 people. In 2015, Yeoh lived through a devastating earthquake in Nepal, an experience she says changed her life.
Craving sugar? Here's one reason why…
Wednesday Kick Start
Craving sugar? Here's one reason why…
I've always had an intense sweet tooth, but it wasn't until recently that I realized my diet could be contributing to my sugar cravings. "You need to fuel your body properly so that it's not seeking out those super-quick forms of energy, like a handful of gummy bears or popsicles," says Healthline Senior Nutrition Editor and registered dietician Lisa Valente.
As a most-of-the-time vegetarian, it's easy for me to eat quick meals heavy in carbs and low in protein. But could my incessant urge to reach for the sweets have to do with skimping on my daily protein? "Protein is an important nutrient for so many reasons, but one of them is that it takes a long time to digest," says Valente. "Instead of a quick spike and crash that can happen after eating lots of sugar, protein helps slow down that digestion and your blood sugar rises and falls more slowly."
In fact, not eating meat is a poor excuse for lacking protein. There are plenty of plant-based foods that are loaded with protein, including soy-based foods (like tofu and tempeh), legumes, lentils, and nuts.
When it comes to managing those pesky sugar cravings, Valente says it's all about moderation. "I don't believe in an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to sugar," she says. "Not only is it delicious, but including it in your diet regularly can keep you from binging on sweet foods." You heard it here first, friends: Eating sugar is A-OK — just make sure you're scoring enough protein in your diet, too.
health stories you need
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💊 These are the states where Walgreens won't sell abortion pills. After being threatened with legal consequences, the pharmacy giant announced it won't sell abortion pills in GOP-controlled states.
🫒 Soon you'll be able to order olive-oil-infused coffee at Starbucks. The new line of drinks has already rolled out in Milan and will come to California, Japan, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom this year.
🔉 What can delusions tell us about our collective traumas and anxieties? In this IMH episode, host Gabe Howard chats with documentarian and historian Victoria Shepherd about the history of delusions.
you're up
I was going to ask you all to tell me about your go-to protein, but I don't want to write about protein anymore, so I have a different idea. Let's talk about the Ides of March.
March 15th gets a bad rap as the anniversary of Julius Caesar's assassination, which was later popularized as the title of Shakespeare's play, "Beware of the Ides of March." But while the day has long conjured vague feelings of betrayal and lurking doom, it wasn't always this way. In fact, in ancient Rome, "ides" simply referred to the middle of each month. But do you know how they calculated the middle?
Riddle us this: How did the ancient Romans calculate the "Ides" of each month? If you answer correctly, we'll give you a shoutout in an upcoming edition. Let us know at (Please note that we may share your name and response in an upcoming newsletter!)
Last week, we asked you to tell us about your favorite forms of exercise. Julietta E. wrote in with this uplifting response:

The three forms of exercise I absolutely love are yoga, indoor cycling, and boxing. I have practiced yoga for over 30 years and it served me mentally & physically when my husband suddenly passed at 65 due to an aortic aneurysm. Like yoga, once the body is warm enough and relaxed on the bike, the pedal strokes seem effortless and the experience is magical. Boxing de-stresses my body. A complete body workout … power, endurance, and buckets of endorphins.
Until next time,
Take care of yourself, and we'll see
you again soon!
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