While it's easy to assume Hugh Jackman is genetically blessed with a superhero physique, the behind-the-scenes truth is that it requires extremely hard work combined with an intense eating regimen. 

“I’m quite a skinny person by nature so I’m eating ridiculous amounts of food,” Jackman told EW Radio of his preparations for "The Wolverine." “I quite like everything I ate, but it’s more bland. It’s chicken breast, but steamed and no salt, and steamed spinach.”

But it's the 24-hour nature of this physical transformation — which includes three hours of workouts — that might make anyone think twice about nuturing their inner-Wolverine. 

“What I do is I eat everything in an eight-hour period … It’s called the 16-8 diet. For 16 hours of the day I fast, so I don’t eat. So between 10 in the morning and 6 at night — this is why I’m burping because I ate a steak literally before I came out — I eat 5,000 calories and then I eat nothing,” Jackman said. “I literally talk to myself like I’m training: ‘One more mouthful, come on man, you can do it. Just one more mouthful. Half a chicken breast to go and you’ve got it! Only two meals left.’”

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One thing not mentioned in all of this are the plant-based elements that Jackman was said to be pursuing as part of his diet. Famed vegan nutritionist Brendan Brazier, founder of the plant-based nutrition brand Vega, mentioned back in 2010 that he was working directly with Jackman's trainer to craft a diet with less emphasis on chicken. 

"He has a great trainer in Don Scott, who is not vegan but is well-aware of the benefits of being vegan, and he takes Vega," says Brazier. "He’s going to be training Hugh again for the upcoming movie, and I’ll be helping with the nutrition program. I’ll be making nutrition suggestions about what he can eat to pack on the muscle — instead of chicken — so and I don’t know if he’ll do 100-percent plant-based, but he’s certainly going to incorporate elements of it. That’s our plan — to do as much plant-based as possible and, ideally, completely vegan."

At least it looks like Hugh got his spinach. Check out the actor's recent radio interview below. "The Wolverine" will hit theaters on July 24. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Hugh Jackman's intense 'Wolverine' diet
Actor says he needed more than 5,000 calories per day to bulk up for his sixth appearance as the superhero Wolverine.