Actor Idris Elba was shocked to learn his body would have “shut down” had he not made adjustments ahead of filming his new TV documentary.
The Thor star received a rude health awakening while consulting with his doctor before shooting Discovery Network series Idris Elba: Fight, which documents the hunk’s efforts to become a professional kickboxer in just 12 months.
The 44-year-old’s physician told him his “bad diet” could cause severe illness as he took on the intense physical training required to become a career martial artist.
“My doctor said, at my age, I would’ve collapsed within four months of training if I’d not changed my diet,” Idris tells the Daily Mirror. “My body would have shut down, my immune system would have been compromised and I may have caught an infection, so I wouldn’t have been able to train.”
The health warning prompted Elba to re-evaluate what he ate, and he was astonished when he found out some of the foods he’d regularly consumed over the years were bad for him.
“I discovered I had huge allergies to foods I was eating every day, like wheat, corn and things like that, which were working against my metabolism,” he shares. “That was one of the hardest things because I love pasta, rice and beer and I had to cut all of that out. As soon as I did I lost huge amounts of weight, but I also gained a lot of energy.”
The star adds, “I’m getting older and I want to stay healthy for as long as I can. What you put in your body is definitely a big component of that.”
Ultimately Idris is glad he took on the intense challenge, and plans to “keep up” the training.
“I’m kind of loving my body at the moment,” he declares. “If someone (professional) came out and said, ‘I watched your show, Idris, and I challenge you to a fight’, I would definitely consider it.”
Idris Elba: Fighter premieres on Discovery Network in the UK next week (17Jan17).
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