Skip to content

"Ghostbusters" Star Ernie Hudson Shares How He Stays Fit and Avoids Belly Fat at 78

The actor's chiseled biceps and toned physique are the talk of the town.

Ernie Hudson is living proof that age is just a number. The 78-year-old actor doesn't look very different today than he did in the original 1984 Ghostbusters film when his charming good looks and super-toned biceps first caught fans' attention. But how, exactly, does Hudson look just as fit today as he did at 44 years old?

In a new interview with Men's Health, Hudson, who is famously known for playing Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters franchise, chalked up his buff physique to thrice-weekly workouts, a well-balanced diet, drinking lots of water, and sober living.

RELATED: 91-Year-Old Fitness Star Shares Her Best Workout Tips to Stay Young.

"When I turned 50, people said, your body's going to change," Hudson told the magazine. "Nothing changed. Sixties, nothing changed. Seventies…there was a change."

A two-time cancer survivor, Hudson has leaned into his own version of intermittent fasting in which he only eats between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. He prioritizes fruits and vegetables, drinks lots of water, and occasionally treats himself to a bite of fast food.

Cutting out alcohol from his diet also served him well, Hudson noted. The Miss Congeniality star has stayed away from alcohol ever since he blacked out and woke up in a drunk tank at the age of 19.

"People had been throwing up in that cell, and the smell was so strong that I started throwing up. After that, every time I went to drink, the smell would turn my stomach, and I just couldn't do it for years. I just ask myself; do I need this?" he explained

Hudson also doesn't dabble in the recreational use of marijuana: "I get a little paranoid with marijuana—actually I get a lot paranoid, and so I just feel none of that's for me," he said.

But when it comes to maintaining his youth, Hudson said feeling good on the outside is just as important as feeling good on the inside. To combat stubborn belly fat, or "Mr. Jiggles," Hudson hits the gym in addition to healthy eating practices.

"Fasting didn't get rid of Mr. Jiggles. He just hung in there, you know, and he talks to you at night. He whispers: We need to eat something. And suddenly, I'm feeding Mr. Jiggles," Hudson told Men's Health about his journey to getting trim and fit. "So a couple of years ago, I thought: I need to get to the gym."

Hudson's weekly workouts consist of pilates, coordination and balance exercises, and strength training, which Hudson says leaves him "feeling really pumped."

"I have this trainer who's in his twenties, and he pushes me like I'm in my twenties. And on the days I don't work out, I try to get in at least a half-hour walk at a nice pace, get the heart rate up over 110 BPM," he shared. "That seems to be most effective for Mr. Jiggles!"

RELATED: Jane Fonda's Trainer Reveals Her Top Secrets for Keeping the 86-Year-Old Fit (Exclusive).

From the outside looking in, Hudson may come across as a gym rat—but the actor claimed that's far from the case. "I'm just not one of those guys," he said.

In Hudson's fitness journey, joint mobility and improving flexibility and muscle function have been top of mind. Low-impact exercises and stretching are core to his workout regime.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've always made a point of being able to touch my toes," he said. "So at some point during the day, every day, I'll do a stretch to make sure I can still touch my toes."

Though the Ghostbusters star thinks the fascination with his muscles is "flattering," Hudson wishes his toned physique wasn't the second thing people noticed about him.

"When the age thing comes up, it's like, 'Oh we're surprised you're still alive!' It would be nice if they said I was sexy and then say I'm 78," Hudson explained.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
Filed Under