Hugh Jackman’s 16:8 Diet to Sculpt the Wolverine Physique

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine diet

Fasting helps Hugh Jackman shed body fat for the silver screen.

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine in Marvel marked one of the initial instances of intermittent fasting being embraced by celebrities. The Australian actor, driven by his desire to achieve a ripped and muscular physique for the role, employed a combination of dieting (16:8 intermittent fasting), bulking, and weightlifting. Hugh Jackman’s success is evident on the silver screen as the Wolverine for all to behold!

Jackman went back into training last year to reprise his iconic role as Wolverine in Deadpool 3, which is set to premiere this November. Addressing steroid rumors, he proudly claimed to have achieved his physique the traditional way. In this post, we’ll delve into Hugh Jackman’s 16:8 diet and explore how it aided him in maintaining his fitness and building lean muscle.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine 16:8 Diet


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The 16:8 diet is a variation of the intermittent fasting diet that limits your eating period to eight hours. This means you’ll fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. However, you can still have coffee, water, tea, or zero-calorie drinks during this period. 

The 16:8 diet has become popular over time due to its relative ease compared to other diets. It has no restrictions on what kind of food you eat in your eight-hour time frame. So you can tailor your diet to hit whatever goal you want, like building muscle. 

How to Implement Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine 16:8 Diet

Before you start the 16:8 diet, you must talk to your doctor to ensure you don’t have any underlying health conditions fasting can exacerbate. If all’s good, here’s how to follow 16:8 intermittent fasting. 

Choose an Eating Window

First, you need to choose your eating window. Options include 2 pm to 10 pm, 7 am to 3 pm, 9 am to 5 pm, or 12 noon to 8 pm. Of these, the most popular is noon to 8 pm, which only means skipping breakfast. You can still enjoy a healthy lunch, dinner, and snacks.

You could also choose the 9 am to 5 pm slot. It allows time for a good breakfast, lunch, and even an early dinner. With this diet, the key is experimenting and seeing which fits best into your schedule.

Decide What to Eat

After choosing your eating window, it’s time to decide what to eat in that period to maximize your 16:8 diet. Generally, it’s best to stick to healthy food and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. 

Focus on consuming protein sources such as eggs, poultry, meat, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Healthy fats like avocado and olive oil are essential for optimal bodily functioning. Moreover, you can add veggies and fruits to ensure you’re getting all your micronutrients

Does the 16:8 Diet Work?

16:8 intermittent fasting

Studies on time-restricted feeding patterns show they’re effective for weight loss (1). The key lies in the hours that you spend fasting. So, let’s break down what happens in the 16-hour fast period of the 16:8 diet. 


The very first response from your body is hunger and fatigue. This is why choosing the right hours for your fasting window is essential, especially for muscle building. It might not be advisable to put your workouts amid your fast. Instead, time it for your eight-hour window after a meal to utilize the energy.


Next, your body starts the process of glucogenesis. This is when your body converts your fat stores to glucose for energy needs, leading to weight loss. 


During the fast period, you also experience autophagy. This is the point where your body destroys cells that are old or damaged. It has many benefits, such as slowing aging, improving your immune system, and improving your skin.

Eating after your fast also helps with your health journey by increasing your insulin sensitivity and preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Insulin also plays a crucial role in weight loss. 

Benefits of the 16:8 Diet

With the above breakdown, you already get a glimpse of the effectiveness of this diet. However, here are the benefits appropriately outlined.

Weight Loss

The 16:8 diet leads to weight loss due to the time spent in the fasting period, which is 16 hours. You reduce the amount of food you eat as opposed to when eating throughout the day. This research on intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating showed weight loss in people who are overweight (2).

Reduced Blood Sugar

Intermittent fasting also reduces your blood sugar levels. This could reduce your risk of diabetes. Also, by decreasing your fasting insulin levels and other metrics, intermittent fasting can be used as a non-medical treatment for diabetes type 2 (3).


Intermittent fasting, like the 16:8 diet, can change your lifestyle positively by working on your insulin and reducing your risks for life-shortening diagnoses like type 2 diabetes. The weight loss could also help you avoid heart disease and other heart-threatening conditions that could be fatal. 

Building Muscle Alongside the 16:8 Diet

You may wonder if doing the 16:8 diet and losing weight impacts muscle growth. It won’t with the proper nutrient intake. Below are some tips to help you protect your muscles and increase lean muscle mass alongside this diet. You can also read this post on handling intermittent fasting as a bodybuilder for more details.

  • Eat lots of proteins
  • Consume fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Increase vitamin and antioxidant intake
  • Workout
  • Lift heavier weights with fewer reps
  • Rest between sets
  • Sleep properly

Wrapping Up

Hugh Jackman transformed his physique for his iconic Wolverine role by employing a powerful combination of bulking workouts and adopting the 16:8 diet. This unique dietary approach involves intermittent fasting, restricting the eight-hour feeding window. By doing so, he managed to keep his body fat levels low while sculpting his muscles to perfection.

Unlike restrictive diets, the 16:8 diet offers greater flexibility, allowing you to customize it to suit your specific goals. Whether aiming for a ripped physique like Hugh Jackman or pursuing other objectives, combining this diet with targeted workouts and bulking strategies can yield effective results.

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  1. Cienfuegos, S., Gabel, K., Kalam, F., Ezpeleta, M., Wiseman, E., Pavlou, V., Lin, S., Oliveira, M. L., & Varady, K. A. (2020). Effects of 4- and 6-h Time-Restricted Feeding on Weight and Cardiometabolic Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adults with Obesity. Cell metabolism, 32(3), 366–378.e3. 
  2. Patterson, R. E., Laughlin, G. A., LaCroix, A. Z., Hartman, S. J., Natarajan, L., Senger, C. M., Martínez, M. E., Villaseñor, A., Sears, D. D., Marinac, C. R., & Gallo, L. C. (2015). Intermittent Fasting and Human Metabolic Health. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1203–1212.
  3. Albosta, M., & Bakke, J. (2021). Intermittent fasting: is there a role in the treatment of diabetes? A review of the literature and guide for primary care physicians. Clinical diabetes and endocrinology, 7(1), 3.
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.