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
May 27, 2021 11:45 AM
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Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe
| Credit: 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.

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. 

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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."