Drew Barrymore lost 20 lbs. ahead of filming her new show, Santa Clarita Diet, after she "sort of let myself go" during her divorce

Drew Barrymore lost 20 lbs. filming her new zombie series, the Santa Clarita Diet — but she didn’t have to eat humans to do it.

The actress says she decided to slim down after putting her health on the back burner.

“It came sort of in the middle of a moment in my life where I had sort of let myself go, due to personal circumstances,” Barrymore, 41, says on the Today Show, of her weight loss.

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The mom of two, who split from ex-husband Will Kopelman in April, says she was inspired to lose weight by her character Sheila, who develops a strange illness that leaves her craving human meat.

“I thought, ‘I could come alive with Sheila,’ and it was a really great goal line for me, because I think as much as the weight loss, everything’s just really subtle,” Barrymore says. “It’s attitudinal, it’s empowerment, it’s confidence. It’s all of these things, that’s she’s lost in her life, that I sort of felt like I had lost in my life, and it’s such a blessing to come alive with her. And it really was so positive for me.”

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Barrymore didn’t say how she dropped 20 lbs., but joked that Sheila’s new diet would probably work.

“Well if you’re eating, in her case, human flesh, I mean, I basically thought, well, if a woman is just eating simple protein, everyday all day long, she would lose weight. It’s like a very macabre Atkins,” she says.

Barrymore adds that enjoyed playing a happy couple with co-star Timothy Olyphant.

“I love seeing a couple not fight,” she says. “I love seeing a couple become stronger partners through this adversity.”