The Dramatic Transformation Of My Name Is Earl Star Ethan Suplee

Although Ethan Suplee's name may not immediately ring a bell, his face certainly will. The actor was a staple in mid-'90s to early aughts cinema and television. While some may recognize Suplee for his more dim-witted roles such as Randy in My Name Is Earl or William in Mallrats, other millennial teens may instantly remember the celeb as school bully Frankie Stechino from Boy Meets World or hard-charging lineman Louie Lastik from Remember the Titans (pictured above.)

Now, however? You may find yourself doing a double-take to even identify Suplee because his weight loss in recent years has been absolutely extraordinary. In fact, even his industry peers have struggled to recognize the New York native. "[When I started looking for work], I found that people were like, 'Who are you? We don't know you. You're this new person,'" Suplee dished to Entertainment Weekly in 2017.

As it turns out, that lack of recognization in Tinseltown prompted the American History X star to regain some pounds — only to lose them yet again a few years later. Let's take a closer look at the dramatic transformation of Ethan Suplee.

Ethan Suplee's health improved, but his career suffered

There's no denying that Ethan Suplee found fame in Hollywood. Unfortunately for the actor, that same fame worked against him when he decided to get his health back on track. In an 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Suplee explained how difficult it was for him to land his role on Hulu's psychological thriller Chance. "Initially, the casting directors didn't want me to come in because I'd lost a bunch of weight," the actor revealed. "Apparently they had proposed me a bunch of times, but the casting directors were like, 'No, he's too thin now.'"

Getting rejected in Hollywood must hurt, and Suplee eventually decided to stop prioritizing his health. "A couple years ago I made the decision: I'm not going to kill myself to be thin when nobody knows me as a thin person, and I do think it is affecting the kind of jobs I'm getting," the Boy Meets World star told the outlet. "And so I just kind of relaxed on my diet."

However, fans have noticed via Suplee's Instagram page that he's been losing weight yet again and making headlines in 2020.

Ethan Suplee's transformation has been in the works since he was a child

Ethan Suplee's dramatic transformation is particularly commendable, considering the Mallrats actor has struggled with his weight his entire life. It's something he's even started to talk about, too, having launched his podcast, American Glutton, in January 2020.

As the star explained on the podcast (via The Epoch Times), he's struggled with his weight since he was 5 years old. He said his grandparents even restricted his eating. "It became something that I was withholding from people," Suplee explained. "Health wasn't something I ever thought about." The actor said he turned to drugs and alcohol to "help fill the void inside him."

After finding mainstream success on My Name Is Earl, Suplee became "identified for big-bodied characters," making it hard for him to expand into more diverse roles. When the show ended in 2009, Suplee took on cycling as a hobby and went from "over 400 pounds" to 220 pounds. Unfortunately for the star, his new look cost him work. As he dished on American Glutton (via Entertainment Tonight), "I definitely struggled with work because of that for a while." 

Ultimately, it looks like this celeb chose a healthier way of living. "My goal right now is a six-pack and I'm not far off, pretty f**king close actually," he revealed. We here at Nicki Swift wish Suplee all the best in both his professional life and his fitness-related goals!

Ethan Suplee takes a scientific approach to health

Ethan Suplee started off 2020 in the spotlight due to his weight loss, making it a fantastic platform to discuss his diet goals and even educate others struggling with the same issues. "I made my career as the fat guy. I don't want to be fat anymore. If the podcast is what I have to do make a career, that's fine," the My Name Is Earl star explained to Men's Health. "The most important thing I would want anyone to take away is that for me, the biggest change was understanding how food works, and the more I feel that I understand, scientifically, the more power I have over it."

With diet and exercise, Suplee is taking a scientific approach to the world of nutrition. As he revealed to Men's Health, the star was on a ketogenic diet until he came across a TED Talk by Dr. Mike Israetel called "The Scientific Landscape of Healthy Eating." "I probably watched it four times in a row," Suplee said. "I was just like, this is not what I was being told."

Since studying the TED Talk, the actor "switched to a low-fat diet, gained 8 pounds in three days, but stayed the course of doubling down on the science." At the time of this writing, Suplee is "about 260 pounds" and working towards getting only 10 percent body fat. "[It's a] crazy, kind of science-y fun project I'm looking forward to," he said.

Ethan Suplee has a rigorous training schedule

Although Ethan Suplee has taken a scientific approach to the world of nutrition, the Remember the Titans star also spends a good chunk of his time training, too. "I spend about an hour at the gym every day," the actor revealed to Extra in February 2020.

In fact, Suplee has gotten so streamlined with his workouts that he gave Men's Health a glimpse at what he does at the gym. "I've lost a lot of weight, and I am focusing now on retaining as much muscle as possible while I continue to lose weight," the Mallrats star told the outlet in a video. "I've found lifting weights to be really important."

Suplee is also focusing on maintaining his current weight, rather than dropping much lower on the scale. "In around 2011-12, I was about 50 pounds lighter than I am now, and I was not happy," the actor told Extra. "My skin hung off me, I felt frail, I felt like a light breeze would knock me over." 

And now? "I feel fantastic," he said.

Ethan Suplee makes food 'unenjoyable'

While training is essential to Ethan Suplee's dramatic transformation, he also credits his diet — which, if we're being honest, doesn't seem like a walk in the park. In an interview with People, the American History X actor dished, "I actually work to make my diet unenjoyable." He explained that he follows a "lean, high-protein diet" with very little fat. "I'm trying partially because I'm a little bit of a masochist, but also because I want food not to be a crutch emotionally. I want it to be a source of fuel."

Suplee shed a bit more insight into the trials and tribulations of dieting during an interview with Extra. "Unlike drugs and alcohol, you can stop, you can become a sober person. You kind of always have to eat, you don't just give up eating. If [I] did, I'd be great," he said with a laugh. "So I need to regiment my eating ... I numb myself with it, I entertain myself with it, I anesthetize myself with it, and I have to just stay away from that."

Does the fitness fanatic allow for any cheat days? "I'm pretty perfect on my diet," he said. "But when I do deviate from my diet, I plan that out meticulously." For example, "There's a burger place called Burgers Never Say Die. I go there two or three times a year," he said.

Keep up the great work, Ethan!