Lifestyle Health Rob Lowe Has Sworn by This Diet for 20 Years: 'It's About Moderating' The Parks and Recreation star, 57, started changing his diet after realizing "you can’t eat like you’re in college anymore" By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 27, 2021 11:45 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Rob Lowe. Photo: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images Rob Lowe was in his 30s when he decided it was time to switch up his diet. "Everyone comes to the point sooner or later where you realize you can't eat like you're in college anymore," the Parks and Recreation star, 57, told Insider. "I hadn't realized it was a thing, but it changed my life." Lowe opted to give a low-carb lifestyle a try, and he's stuck with it for the last 20 years, focusing on lean meats and fish and tons of fruits and vegetables. It's worked so well for him that he's now a spokesperson for Atkins, the high-protein, low-carb diet. "This way of eating gives me way more energy during the day. I'm not tired after a meal, I'm more focused and it enables me to train harder. It also keeps my weight down even though I don't use it as a diet," he said. Rob Lowe Knows He Looks the Same as He Did in St. Elmo's Fire The dad of two, though, loves his sweets and will happily go off-plan to get in his favorite treats. "I love to cheat — I love pizza and I love cheeseburgers, and ice cream and nachos. Life without that stuff isn't worth living," Lowe said. "It's about moderating it and doing it in a healthy sustainable way." That means indulging when he wants, and staying focused when he can. "When you have willpower, use it. We all have willpower sometimes. And then there will be days when you say 'gimme those nachos and put them in my body,' " he said. But Lowe's overall mantra is simple: "I know enough to know if I stick to the right foods and avoid the wrong foods, I'm going to be fine," he said. RELATED VIDEO: Rob Lowe Virtually Surprises Middle School Students Reading The Outsiders on the 38th Anniversary of the Film Lowe previously told PEOPLE that his diet and exercise routine is vital to maintaining his career, now nearly 40 years since his breakout role in The Outsiders. "I have to take care of myself and be disciplined," he said in 2018. "I have to get enough sleep, work out, eat right. I look at myself as no different than a professional athlete. If you go to sleep on it, you can't expect to have the energy to be diverse and have longevity."