The Hollywood Diet: 8 Foods Celebrities Eat on Set

The paparazzi are a lot more interested in snapping photos of our favorite actors while vacationing than while working. All of these images of sand and sun can make it easy to forget they spend plenty of time researching roles and shooting scenes, sometimes spending incredibly long hours on set. Because of this demanding schedule, access to tasty food is a necessity. Though many stars stick to healthy eats, some still allow for the occasional indulgence. Read on to find out how some of your favorite actors keep themselves fueled for the day’s work.

1. Salmon

salmon is one of the foods to avoid on the hollywood diet

Salmon |

Cardiologists might not be able to convince their patients to eat more fatty fish, but celebrities have embraced the advice. According to The Times-Picayune, stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum weren’t satisfied with the typical carb-heavy fare available on movie sets, so they decided to make a change when filming 22 Jump Street. The actors looked to a catering service called Your Nutrition Delivered for healthier eats, frequently digging into salmon.

They’re not the only ones looking to seafood to stay fit, either. According to Every Day With Rachael Ray, Joe Manganiello typically ordered salmon with plenty of leafy greens for dinner on set while filming True Blood. Recreate his meal in your own kitchen with this healthy salmon and spinach dish from Ellie Krieger, featured on Food Network.

2. Fruit


Blueberries |

Most of us do a pretty lousy job of eating enough vegetables, and even the sweet taste of fruit isn’t enough to boost our produce consumption. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report earlier this year indicating only 13% of Americans get enough fruit. Perhaps we should look to our favorite actors for diet inspiration because they certainly don’t shy away from the produce. Robert Downey Jr. was known for hiding snacks all over the Iron Man sets, including blueberries. Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, who co-starred in 2014’s They Came Together, like the sweet stuff for a healthy snack as well. They were snapped munching on some apples during a break.

Though craft service hasn’t traditionally offered much in the way of healthy foods, there’s been a shift in the last decade or so. NPR followed a team to the grocery store to gather food for the cast and crew of Burlesque back in 2010, and they loaded up on an impressive amount of fruit, including strawberries, bananas, and pineapples.

3. Chips

chips, bag

Chips |

While most of the ladies stick to salads and other low-calorie eats when filming, Jennifer Lawrence sees no reason to skip out on some of her favorite snacks. She famously almost ruined a dress while filming American Hustle thanks to the stubborn orange dust from a bag of Doritos. She even told Harper’s Bazaar UK she usually reaches for some type of crunchy, salty snack between takes.

4. Protein-Packed Snacks

beef jerky

Beef jerky |

Sticking with lean proteins and vegetables is usually the plan for actors when their roles involve showing a lot of skin, but they still need to keep up their energy when they don’t have time to sit down for a full meal. In these instances, protein is probably the best choice. Joe Manganiello laid out his typical diet for Men’s Fitness back in his True Blood days, and he regularly reached for almonds, peanuts, and jerky. Often, he combined those protein-rich foods with some type of fruit. It’s a healthy and pretty tasty snacking strategy.

5. Salad

chickpea, tomato, and cucumber salad

Salad |

No surprise here. Celebrities are under a lot of pressure to maintain their figures, so salad is a no-brainer for on-set eats. Some go so far as to stick to the same one. Courtney Cox made headlines in 2010 after revealing to the L.A. Times she, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow ate the same lunch concoction every day for 10 years on the set of Friends. It was a variation on a cobb that Aniston doctored with chickpeas and turkey bacon. Cox told the publication Aniston’s culinary prowess made it possible to stick to the meal,”because if you’re going to eat the same salad every day for 10 years, it had better be a good salad, right?”

Though she’s branched out from her former usual, Aniston hasn’t stepped away from salads. According to, one of her more recent favorites is made with bulgar, chickpeas, feta cheese, and cucumber. You can get a similar taste with Once Upon a Chef’s Middle Eastern-style salad.

6. Cookies

cookie bars

Cookie bars |

For actors with a sweet tooth, it doesn’t get any better than the simple pleasures of a cookie. Though Claire Danes usually opts for fresh vegetables and salads, she likes something sweet to nibble with a cup of coffee. The actress told Bon Appétit she had a soft spot for rusks, a type of twice-baked cookie similar to biscotti that’s wildly popular in South Africa, while on location for Homeland.

Even the queen of healthy eating, Gwyneth Paltrow, likes the occasional sweet. She hired chef Kate McAloon to cook for her when filming Iron Man and couldn’t resist an occasional blondie with marshmallows and coconut. Paltrow loved the treats so much, she even added the recipe to her lifestyle website.

7. Lobster


Lobster |

The quality of on-set food usually depends on the production’s budget. Instead of leaving it up to someone else to figure out, Will Smith took matters into his own hands on the set of Concussion earlier this year. TMZ reported the actor organized a gourmet spread with lobster tails, filet mignon, and other high-end eats. Not a bad way to break for lunch.

8. Everything in sight

chicken, rice, tomatoes

Chicken |

Dwayne Johnson clearly hits the weights to maintain his physique, but his menu is equally important. He shared his seven-meal-a-day diet with Muscle & Fitness, and it’s pretty impressive. The lineup includes such massive amounts of protein, rice, and vegetables, it’s hard to imagine he ever stops eating. It must work, though, because Johnson recommended the same plan for The Wolverine star Hugh Jackman when he needed to add some serious heft.

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