A lot has changed since the third season of Strange things premieres summer 2019—especially for David Harbor. The actor, who plays burly dad Jim Hopper in the hit Netflix series, has lost more than 70 pounds (!) in preparation for his big reveal in the latest season when — spoiler warning! —After surviving a massive explosion, Hopper appears locked in a Soviet man, looking mean and thin.
Transformation is not just a physical transformation. When the pandemic hit and filming stopped, Harbor incorporated long-term activities into his workout routine, which he said helped both lose weight and his anxiety. In the process, he says he developed a whole new relationship with his body and mind. GQ chatted with Harbor to talk about how he lost all that weight, his partnership with heavyweight running brand Brooks, and how all this physical activity has helped him feel healthier.
GQ: For the latest part of Strange things You’ve gone through quite a bit of transformation. How many pounds did you lose in total and how was that time?
Port David: I think the total is 75 pounds. I started like 265 and dropped to 190. The timeline is pretty weird since the pandemic interrupted it. I lost most of that money in about three months. I lost 45 or 50 pounds in 3 months, and the rest is a slow burn. Four more months and I have to maintain it for a year while we wait to come back. It’s funny: When I started, it was pretty easy. As you lose more and more pounds, it gets much harder because your body is like, we have to stop doing this. But initially it was liberated.
For the first three to four months, what was your daily eating and exercise routine like?
I have done a lot of intermittent fasting, which I know is a diet of the moment, but it really worked for me. I don’t know if it’s just a code for starvation but basically it was like… I was very hungry at the time. In general, I think it’s calories in, calories consumed. I don’t think there’s anything more mysterious than that. But it’s nice to have this fetish, this intermittent fasting. We wanted to go on a 6 hour diet and like two days a week I would fast 24 hours because I started to become more and more stressed.
I’ll do a mix of resistance training and cardio. Cardio runs a lot but at a very low intensity for a long time, about 60 to 90 minutes with a heart rate of around 165. That was in vogue a while ago, but now things have become more high-intensity. That level of training and exercise has lost its beauty. But I found that it not only helped me lose weight physically but mentally as well. It really helps with my anxiety and breathing. You will do about 40-45 minutes and my breathing will slow down and I will feel more relaxed.
I also did a lot of Pilates, and some weight training. What I am looking for is the skinny look. He’s strong but he’s skinny, so Pilates really helps with that lean, like strengthening, stretching, and stretching muscles a lot.
https://www.gq.com/story/real-life-diet-david-harbour David Harbour Lost 75 Pounds for His Big ‘Stranger Things’ Reveal