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Zac Efron opens up about toll ‘unattainable’ Baywatch body took on his mental and physical health

Actor says he developed insomnia and depression while training for role

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 07 September 2022 22:31 BST
Related: Zac Efron says he never wants to resume Baywatch fitness regimen

Zac Efron has spoken candidly about the negative impact the training required to achieve his Baywatch physique had on his mental and physical health.

The High School Musical star, 34, who starred in the 2017 film, discussed the arduous training and reliance on diuretics required of him while filming during an interview with Men’s Health, where he revealed that he doesn’t believe his Baywatch body is actually “attainable”.

“That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable. There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d,” he said, adding that he is no longer interested in doing what it takes to achieve the physique. “And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, two to three per cent body fat.”

According to Efron, in addition to taking diuretics, which rid the body of salt and water, he was also overtraining, not getting enough sleep, and eating the same three meals each day.

The punishing training took a toll on the actor, who revealed that he developed insomnia and depression as a result of the lengths he went to to achieve his Baywatch body.

“I started to develop insomnia,” he said. “And I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentreing. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up.”

According to the actor, it took more than six months after production wrapped before he began to feel okay again.

While speaking to Men’s Health about the experience, Efron explained that he doesn’t want to complain but rather wants to warn those trying to obtain the Baywatch body.

Elsewhere in the interview, Efron opened up about his decision to stop following a vegan diet. According to the 34 year old, who was vegan for two years, he initially tried to fight what his body was telling him, but ultimately decided to reintroduce meat into his diet after feeling depleted.

However, he revealed that, from a moral standpoint, he wishes he was able to maintain a vegan lifestyle. “Morally, of course, I still wish I was vegan,” he said.

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