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8 Ways Chris Hemsworth & Elsa Pataky Burn Off Calories

How one of Hollywood's hottest couples stay so fit. 
FACT CHECKED BY Jeremy Horowitz

Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky showed off their impressive rock-hard abs while on holiday in Spain earlier this summer with their three kids, proving they're one of the most ridiculously hot couples (and parents). The Thor star documented the luxurious family vacay in a series of Instagram photos that flaunt their toned physiques while lounging on a boat with friends. "A little fun in the sun in Spain," Hemsworth captioned the pics, alongside the country's flag. The duo works out all the time. Just this week, Hemsworth posted a video of himself boxing after his 40th trip around the sun. "Sweating off the birthday cake," he captioned it.

While the pair oozes physical perfection, the two are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and work hard at being fit. Read on to learn how the married couple of 13 years stay in shape and what experts think of their regime.

Hemsworth Eats 6-8 Meals a Day

Man eating bowl of fruit

To look like the God of Thunder, Hemsworth eats multiple meals a day, according to his longtime trainer Luke Zocchi. "When we go into prep for movies like 'Thor,' it's a massive increase in food," he told Page Six. "He eats, like, six to eight meals a day."

What the Expert Says: Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, Nutritionist, and ACE-Certified Trainer explains there are several benefits to eating several meals throughout the day like Hemsworth.

  • -"Increased metabolism: Consuming frequent meals throughout the day can help boost your metabolism. When you eat, your body burns calories through the digestion process. By having more frequent meals, you can potentially increase the number of calories burned throughout the day.
  • Steady energy levels: Eating smaller, balanced meals throughout the day can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. This prevents energy crashes and helps sustain energy levels for workouts and daily activities.
  • Muscle recovery and growth: Providing your body with a steady stream of nutrients throughout the day can support muscle recovery and growth. This is especially important for individuals who engage in intense physical activities like weight training, as it helps repair damaged muscle tissues and promotes muscle development."

Pataky Follows a Plant-Based Diet

plant based dish

The actress enjoys working on and eating a healthy diet, and according to Marie Claire Australia, she follows a plant-based diet. 

What the Expert Says: "There are many misconceptions that are made regarding following a plant-based diet," Trista Best, RD, Environmental Health Specialist and Adjunct Nutrition Professor, explains. "These misconceptions circulate around two primary areas; cost and taste. It is thought that a plant-based diet is both expensive and bland, but this is not necessarily the case. Yes, a plant-based diet can add up quickly in terms of cost, but so long as you are avoiding those expensive pre-packaged vegan products, the cost is relatively low. For instance, a diet rich in legumes, potatoes, and canned or frozen vegetables is low-cost and plant-based." She adds, "A meal of rice and beans with frozen broccoli and pico de gallo makes a nutrient-dense lunch at a very low cost. Beans are known for their protein content, but eating them paired with rice is the best way to get in all 9 essential amino acids. There are twenty amino acids, nine of which are essential, meaning they must be obtained through the diet, which is vital to plant-based dieters."

Hemsworth Has Protein Shakes Daily

protein shake

In between his main meals of chicken, steak, fish, and white rice, Hemsworth has a protein shake, his trainer revealed. 

What the Expert Says: According to Sabat, "Protein shakes are often used as a convenient and effective way to support fitness and health goals. Here's how they can help:

  • Muscle repair and growth: Protein is an essential macronutrient for repairing and building muscles. Protein shakes typically contain a high amount of protein, which can be quickly absorbed by the body. Consuming protein shakes after workouts can provide the necessary amino acids to support muscle recovery and growth.
  • Convenience: Protein shakes are convenient and easy to consume, making them a popular choice for individuals with busy lifestyles or those who struggle to consume enough protein through whole foods alone. They can be quickly prepared and consumed on the go, providing a convenient source of nutrition.
  • Nutrient timing: Protein shakes can be strategically consumed around workouts to optimize nutrient timing. Consuming protein shortly after a workout can help maximize the muscle-building response and enhance recovery."

Pataky Does Yoga with Weights

woman performing child's pose to lead an incredibly fit lifestyle

​​The mom of three enjoys yoga and has been practicing for years. She told Body+Soul in 2019, "Weight training with yoga really works with my body." She added, "But stretching is such an important thing for the muscle – and in women, it's what makes you get the shape, the beautiful shape."

What the Expert Says: "It's an incredible choice to recenter your focus and find balance in your body," Jarrod Nobbe, a USAW National Coach, says. "Use Yoga as a low-intensity training day, active recovery, or dynamic mobility flow. Coupled with yoga's breathing and meditative focus, you'll find yourself refreshed, focused, and stronger than you were before beginning Yoga." April Federico, a certified nutritionist, adds, "Many yoga poses require you to engage and stabilize different muscle groups, which helps build strength and tone your body. Poses like Plank, Chaturanga, Warrior poses, and balances such as Tree pose work your arms, legs, core, and back muscles. Over time, regular yoga practice can lead to increased muscle strength and definition."

Hemsworth Does An Hour of Intense Weight Training


It might not be so bad to eat like Hemsworth, but training is another story. So how does he look like a chiseled God?  "It's just heavy weight lifting, training at least once a day, sometimes twice a day," Zocchi told Page Six. "People are surprised you don't normally train over, like, an hour in a session. It's normally an intense, heavy workout. But we're normally done within an hour because we've just pushed him that hard over that hour."

What the Expert Says: According to Sabat, "Intense weight training plays a significant role in getting someone in shape. Here's how it helps:

  • Muscle development: Weight training stimulates muscle fibers, leading to an increase in muscle size and strength. Through progressive overload, where the resistance or intensity is gradually increased over time, weight training challenges the muscles, promoting their growth and adaptation.
  • Increased metabolism: Intense weight training can increase the body's metabolic rate, leading to a higher calorie burn even at rest. This occurs because building and maintaining muscle requires more energy than fat tissue, resulting in a higher resting metabolic rate.
  • Body composition: Weight training can help improve body composition by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass. This can result in a leaner and more toned appearance."

The Both Love Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting concept, plate half full

Pataky admits she started fasting because of her husband. "[Chris], he got me into fasting," she told Body+Soul. "So I've started fasting now. I was always like, "Hmmmm, I don't know!" and it's really hard, but then I started reading about it. Although, I was like "I don't want to lose weight" – because it's a great way to lose weight, if you need to lose weight – but it won't you won't lose weight if you're body doesn't need to. And I learned that, doing it." She added, 'So he started it, and then I followed. But a lot of times, he starts something and I follow the exact opposite."

What the Expert Says: "Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by means of a caloric deficit," Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT, with My Crohns and Colitis Team, explains. "This method can help you eat fewer calories throughout the day. Say there is a limited window to eat. Over time this can help you lose weight and keep weight off."

Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD, Outpatient Clinical Dietitian at Cotton O'Neil Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic, adds, "The best way to describe how IF helps with weight loss is that it works by prolonging the time period when your body has burned through the calories from your last meal and begins to burn stored fat, which can lead to weight loss. It's the hours without food, the time spent fasting, that our body will exhaust its sugar stores and then focus on burning fat and this results in pounds lost."  She continues: "Our bodies are capable of going without food for many hours; however our society is set up to where we have access to the internet, scroll through social media, watch TV and other entertainment available 24/7 so that we (adults and children) stay awake for longer hours than in the past. This means more opportunities to sit and snack all day and into the night. When IF is followed as described, it can be a very helpful method of keeping calories u see control and giving out the pancreas and digestive system a break from all-day eating."

Hemsworth Eats Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes and greek yogurt

Besides the lean protein and shakes, the actor will also eat sweet potatoes, Zocchi said.

What the Expert Says: Sabat agrees that sweet potatoes are a good choice and tells us, " Sweet potatoes offer several health benefits that can contribute to overall well-being. Here's how they can keep you healthy:

  • Nutrient-rich: Sweet potatoes are packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as dietary fiber and potassium. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including immune function, vision health, and heart health.
  • Complex carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly compared to simple carbohydrates. This slower digestion helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and provides a sustained release of energy.
  • Antioxidant properties: Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, which can help protect the body against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants have been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and heart disease.
  • Digestive health: The fiber content in sweet potatoes supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and providing food for beneficial gut bacteria."

Hemsworth Boxes

 Boxing can be a tremendous full-body workout with strength and cardio all-in-one. "You're swinging your arms, moving the muscles of your arms and shoulders, increasing your upper-body strength. And when you're in the boxer crouch with a wide stance, with your knees slightly bent, you're strengthening your core muscles, back, and legs," says physical therapist Linda Arslanian, director of rehabilitation services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, to Harvard Health

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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