The Real Life Diet of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Who Found Out the Hard Way That Pilates Is Harder Than It Looks

I love Pilates. I’ve started taking Pilates classes. I was one of those people who—probably it’s slightly male chauvinistic for me to say—but I walked into the room, and I was like, I got this. It’s all these ladies in Lulu… And I was by far the weakest member in the room—all these ladies were kicking my ass. And so I was like, Okay, this is challenging for me! I’ve gotten better at it; I’m really proud of myself. But I don’t think I’ll ever be as good as some of the people I take these Pilates classes with. They’re just superheroes to me.

Do you have a favorite Peloton instructor?

I mean, it’s Cody [Rigsby]. But also, I will search for whoever’s doing a Broadway-themed ride. I love a themed ride—a Beyoncé-themed ride; I think there’s an Usher one out right now.

Your podcast roster of guests makes clear that you have a ton of friends. Do you think about your friendships and your relationships with other people as being core to your well-being?

Yeah, I definitely feel I get a little depressed when I haven’t seen friends and loved ones for a while. I’m also an introvert, and I love being at home. I love being at home by myself. I’m totally cool if Justin, my husband, wants to go out with some friends and I stay home with the kids and get in bed early and watch something on TV. That’s awesome. But after a while, after maybe a week of that, I really do hunger for my friendships and just interacting with people I love. And so I think definitely it is part of my wellness routine to try and see people—especially when I’m working because I can get very tied up in work, and then that’s all I do. Then I need to remind myself that I have a life and I have friends that aren’t part of that career.

Something that’s really captured public interest recently is this idea of having a health span and approaching health through a longevity lens. How has your approach to food and fitness and wellness evolved as you’ve gotten older?

When I was a teenager, I had a very, very high metabolism. I could eat anything and just not gain any weight—and people hated me for that! That lasted until my mid-twenties, and then it started to slow down. Now, I’ll be 49 this year, and I feel like I’m in better shape than I’ve been in a long time just because I’ve had to stay more on a routine and I’ve had to sort of think about what I’m eating.

As a newish dad—I have a three-and-a-half-year-old and a 15-month-old—I can’t drink booze as much as I used to. The hangover really kills me. So I’ve naturally cut back on my liquor intake and turned to non-alcoholic options when I go out, just because I can’t be groggy the next day. I save the booze for the really special occasions., I think that’s helped me just with losing weight and not being so puffy. And then, of course, I have more energy for the day, and I have a better workout….I feel like I have a little bit more energy, even though I’m a new father. I also nap really hard when I need to. When I go down, I go down hard. I love a nap.

I also love a nap. Do you have tips for falling asleep?

Someone told me that if you have a cup of espresso—and I’ve tried this—right before you nap, the espresso will naturally kick in after about 20 minutes and naturally wake you up. And that’s about how long you really should nap for.

Are you into any wellness trends, gadgets, or practices?

The Oura Ring—but sometimes that gives me too much information. I was like, I’ll base how I slept on what my ring is telling me rather than how I feel. Or I’ll use it as an excuse if it says I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m like, Oh, I shouldn’t work out too hard today. So, I’m trying not to look at it too closely. But I do think it’s interesting to see my sleep patterns through the night. Of course, my Peloton is something I love. Justin and I both do acupuncture.

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