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Rob McElhenney: How to get fat for TV

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Go it alone
In the writers’ room, I said, ”I think it would be interesting if we all [got fat].” Nobody wanted to do it. Glenn [Howerton] was like, ”F— that!” Kaitlin [Olson] was like, ”I just put on 40 pounds when I had a baby. I’m not doing that again.” So I said, ”What if I did it myself?” And they supported that.

Consult a professional
My friend [the Phillies’ Chase Utley] knew a sports nutritionist who specializes in getting offensive linemen fat. I wound up consuming five meals a day, 1,000 calories per sitting. You can do it the healthy way: four chicken breasts, four cups of rice, four cups of vegetables. Or you can eat a Big Mac. At a certain point, you just eat the Big Mac. With fries.

Lift weights
I was gaining weight, but just in my stomach. I wanted to accumulate fat in other areas. So the trainer suggested, ”Why don’t we do power lifting? It will create a big, fat, sleek look, like an albino seal.”

Never, ever walk anywhere
Any opportunity to take the elevator, I took. Any opportunity to drive, I drove. I thought about [buying a Segway], but production wouldn’t pay for it.

Binge late at night
Cottage cheese is great to eat before you go to bed because it metabolizes slowly. I was always gaining weight as I slept.

When in doubt, have a pastry
By the middle of production, I was eating six doughnuts a day. And I felt great.

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