Eliza Coupe wakes up at 4am to do yoga then takes an ice cold shower

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I know Eliza Coupe from Happy Endings, she’s a 36 year-old character actress and is currently on Hulu’s Future Man with Josh Hutcherson. (I’ve heard good things about that and need to check it out.) She talked to Bon Appetit about her schedule, fitness routine and diet it was so extreme I wanted to cover it. To be fair to Eliza, I’m also kind of crazy and regimented about those things so I could relate to her. For instance she wakes up at 4am to do yoga. I set my alarm to 5am so I can get a workout in and get some work done but usually wake up naturally before that. I love waking up before everyone else although I desperately need a nap in the afternoons, but I digress.

Eliza is married to the creator of Shakeology, which is a racket if there ever was one. Those diet shakes are a multimillion dollar business and they benefit from their connection to the Beach Body franchise popularized by Sean T. It’s so annoying to pay over $100 for some fitness DVDs (T25 in my case, although I got them on eBay) and see diet shake advertisements before and after every workout. So of course she mentions Shakeology and this might be a covert ad for that, but please don’t fall for it. You can eat real food and still lose weight with sensible portions.

Here’s some of what she told Bon Appetit, including her diet restrictions which sound legitimate, she has real digestive issues:

She wakes up at 4 to do yoga then takes a hot/cold/hot shower
“It’s more about breathing and stretching than working out. If I don’t front-load the day with time to myself, life will get too busy. [A cold shower] wakes me up and it’s good for hormones and the entire endocrine system. I start with hot, go to cold, and then I go to hot, and then I go to cold. The vacillation between those two is just incredibly good for your heart.”

She has food allergies and sensitivites and can’t eat garlic or anything with a seed, like avocado, chia, etc.
“I have the digestion of an infant as a 36-year-old, and I want to know how I can remedy that. l eat three huge bowls of blueberries a day, just because I love them and it’s very hard for me to find a quantity of food that I can digest.

“I’m in such a high-stress job where women have to wear tight dresses all the time, and if I eat something that messes me up, I’ll be so cripplingly uncomfortable that I can’t go 12 more hours of shooting without freaking out. Worrying about it makes it worse, because I am an incredibly anxious person. When I was 23, I cut all sugar out of my diet, quit drinking, and found yoga and breathing and stretching. That’s the best Ritalin you could give anyone.”

“I’m an actress with food issues and body image issues—that’s real. But I’m trying to heal that part of myself and also handle my physical issues naturally by putting the best things into my body.”

[From Bon Appetit via People]

My mom has a serious digestive problem and is on the fodmap diet where certain foods which are known to be irritating to digestion are elimated (more on this here). While it seems almost impossible to me that she can avoid so many foods, as Eliza stated there’s a very high cost to her if she doesn’t. Imagine getting horrible stomach pains and having to rush to the bathroom like you have food poisoning and that’s plenty of motivation for you to eat very restrictively. My mom has to bring her own food with her everywhere and to ask for very specific things on the rare occasions she eats out, but again it’s worth it or her health suffers. I really liked Eliza’s message about healing herself and eating the right foods. She sounds like she’s got a handle on her body image and her health and like that wasn’t achieved easily.

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76 Responses to “Eliza Coupe wakes up at 4am to do yoga then takes an ice cold shower”

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  1. mkyarwood says:

    Yeah, I mean that does work in the youth and health department, but I can’t do it in the winter.

    • Erinn says:

      This. I LOVE cold showers. But I live in Canada. I’m not willingly having a cold shower in the middle of winter when it’s -20 outside. Summer though – I’ll make it super cold. I have a low tolerance to heat – I can’t handle anything too hot like a hottub or super hot showers/baths. I need my water ‘warm’ at most.

      • HeyThere! says:

        SAME! Lol My husband and I have a hard time showering together because he likes to have the hottest water and I’m a warm to cool water person year round! I am constantly turning his water temp down. Ha! Also if it’s winter and I take a warmer shower the last few minutes I turn the water to freezing! It feels amazing.

  2. Tanguerita says:

    What time do you usually go to bed, @Celebitchy?

  3. Natalie S says:

    What time does she go to bed if she’s up by 4? Anything less than 5 hours means that I start falling asleep during the day. And managing to get 8 hours of sleep makes such a huge difference in how I feel and look.

    • laulau says:

      I read that women who don’t get enough sleep consistently gain, on average, 35 pounds! This hsa me forgoing my binge-watching tendencies. I do think when I’m awake too long I get hungry for more food.

      • minx says:

        So true. I put on weight as a new mother years ago when I wasn’t getting enough sleep.

      • TorieLynne says:

        It’s so true. I have a 15 month old with sleep issues. (Night terrors, she needs a sleep study if insurance will cover it) I weigh more now than I did after I had her. I’ve probably gained 10 pounds in the last year.

      • Embee says:

        minx and TL I went through the same. Because I had an easy pregnancy I was able to stay active and eat really well, which meant I was actually smaller (by 15 lbs) and still fit 2 days after delivering than when I got pregnant. I also had a glass or two of wine nightly before getting pregnant and not all while expecting so that was a huge reason for the overall loss. About 16 months after I gave birth I put on, like 25 pounds over a couple of months. Hormones, sleep deprivation, etc. were the reasons as nothing else had changed. It was insane.

        Like Eliza I am now a super-early riser for my yoga (love Seane Corn detox yoga) but I am in bed by 9 and lights out at 9:30. It’s a different way of life but it works for where I am now (busy lawyer; single mom). And it definitely cuts out the late-night Cheeze-Its damage.

      • Bridget says:

        Lack of sleep increases your stress hormones and does some other stuff to throw your body out of whack, so yes you can definitely find yourself gaining weight through chronic lack of sleep.

      • HeyThere! says:

        I believe this!! I have a infant, just a few months old. I always drop some weight naturally by 6 weeks mark, then I just start gaining back!! It sucks but I try to remind myself my baby needs me and soon enough she will be bigger and I can go back to my ‘normal’. I also have a two year old and the same thing happened with him! I’m normally a workout 4-5 days a week, eat healthy 80% of the time. I’m in pure survival mode with my microwave breakfast sandwiches at Noon, coffee, water, hot pockets, bananas, just ‘quick’ stuff. LOL No, I’m not breastfeeding, the milk dried up after 3 weeks!! Ugh!

    • milla says:

      And you need that sleep to rest your brain and not look like a vampire. 8 hrs is perfect.

      • Lirko says:

        I listened to a Ted Talk just yesterday about how we legit need 8 full hours to properly cycle through all the stages of sleep. Also, on NPR not long ago, they had an article about how the brain uses sleep as an opportunity to sweep the toxins out (of the brain), and turn the happenings of the day into long term memories. Fascinating stuff!

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      For some it’s easier said than done. I’m getting paranoid about the 8hr sleep rule – everyone says how beneficial it is and I saw how much difference in the looks department it makes, but my body just doesn’t let me do it – 6 hours is the top I can get. It doesn’t matter how early I go to sleep – if I go at 10, I will wake up at 4 if I’m lucky and won’t fall asleep anymore. Last night I was super tired, I almost fell on my face and I woke up after 4 hours of sleep! I will look like Sean Penn by the time I’m 45.

      I used to suffer from severe insomnia, no sleep for days on end – I once had hallucinations and passed out from the lack of sleep and then I was prescribed very strong, psychotropic drugs. The doctor said I will sleep 10 hours after taking them – I slept for 5 and my stomach couldn’t handle them. I tried all kinds of other stuff as well.

      • Lirko says:

        I hear you! The struggle is real. I ended up having to take meds, because it got so bad. Even with the meds, I still have an occasional night where I’m literally just up all night. It’s hell, really, and takes all of a few days to wreck the quality of life for the insomniac. Best wishes to you.

      • Milla says:

        Try very simple meditation. You can use an app, like Calm or anything similar. Avoid certain foods, especially sugar, fruit included, carbs, tea, coffee, you can Google it and see what’s good for you, cos everyone is different.

        I work out at 8 pm to 9 pm and I’m in bed by midnight. I get better sleep when i work out later, not in the morning.

        You can also play with coloring books. They calm the mind. I’m sure there are many other remedies for better sleep, but I just never used them. Food is crucial in my case.

      • megs283 says:

        are you still tired, or does 6 hours make you feel rested? I think that’s the most important part!

      • magnoliarose says:

        There are amino acids and things I had to take because I traveled over time zones sometimes in one week. I nearly collapsed until I learned to take some natural things to sleep and wear a sleep mask.
        My doctor doesn’t believe in 8 hours for everyone. 6-8 or some people need a little more. My brother is 5 hours and nothing more.

      • Jabberwocky says:

        I sleep six hours, max. Most nights 4.5 – 5 hours. I will not sleep more than that. It just doesn’t happen. When I fall asleep at midnight and wake up at 6, I don’t need a nap mid-day, I’m not exhausted by dinner time – it’s just natural. However, I sleep deeply. My doctor has said if the sleep feels restful, if I wake up feeling awake, if I’m not tired throughout the day… then there’s no issue.

        When I used to drink and party more, I’d feel more tired, but wouldn’t sleep anymore. I could get home at 5am – awake by 10am. I could see it in my face – well, as much as you can in the face of a 20-something.

        However, now I almost never have caffeine, outside of a bit of dark chocolate – I’m rooibos tea all day and a decaf Americano every now and then. I exercise in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening. I don’t watch TV late into the night. When I sleep I’m out, when I’m awake I’m awake. My diet is healthy and not overprocessed, but cutting out sugar ain’t gonna happen. A slice of nice cake once a week or every two weeks, I’m gonna do it. Some whole wheat pasta occasionally, gimme gimme gimme.

        Long story short, if you need less and it’s working, don’t let people stress you about it. If it’s not working – if you’re tired, if you’re flagging by mid-afternoon, then look at things that might be messing up your sleep cycle.

    • M&M says:

      I wish I could.
      I try to be out of the house before 5:30 to get on the road. Take the train, get to the gym, shower. Work from 8-5. Then back on my commute.
      A little over 5 hours during the week then make up on the weekends.
      I’ve been doing keto since May with a couple cheats here and there but pretty steady. Lost 12 lbs and they have stayed off. I find I sleep really well with this way of eating and I haven’t been sick all year.

  4. Sam says:

    Her skin looks terrible :-/ Healthy lifestyle should at least include tanning in moderation.

    • Juls says:

      Yeah, the tanning is no bueno. To be fair to her, makeup looks harsh on her. She’s much prettier in the candid without it.

    • mary says:

      if she is doing HOT yoga at a studio every day, i suspect the hot yoga is affecting her skin.

      I don’t know about other yogis but i started getting serious clogged pores and blackheads once I began a daily hot yoga routine. My esthetician and I both suspect hot yoga is the cause of my blackheads/clogged pores and i have heard this happening to other yogis.

      Haven’t stopped yoga tho! just upped my skin routine

      • Luca76 says:

        I do hot yoga every other day and my skin doesn’t look like that. I suspect she runs without sunscreen. She has classic runners face.

      • RN says:

        I do Bikram yoga at least four times a week and I’m often mistaken for someone in her 30s or 40s (I’m in my 50s). It’s my anti-aging weapon. The postures and sweating are incredibly good for the skin and nervous system. I’ve also always eaten a whole food diet, which includes plenty of fermented food and bone broth. That’s how I was raised.

      • Bridget says:

        Most of those hot rooms are high humidity, which would actually be good for your skin (most folks aren’t actually sweating as much as they think, a lot of it is humidity). It’s tanning. She’d have to be running like Olympic Marathoner amount of miles in the sun to be that tan.

    • cleveland girl says:

      give me just a SMALL break…this womantgb

      • Ramona Q. says:

        Hot cold hot cold showers are incredibly good for the heart? Get over yourself. IT’S ALL BULLS–T, FOLKS, AND IT’S BAD FOR YA – George Carlin

  5. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    There is a guy who works for me who can’t digest seeds either-you never realize how many seeds are in food until you go to dinner with someone with that particular issue. He ends up in the hospital if he gets a seed in his food.
    I like that she’s being honest about her issues, although the Ritalin dig…ehhhh…You can absolutely use natural practices, but some people need their medication, and it is really damaging if they don’t have it. Nothing wrong with combining the two-I am extremely high-stress, high-anxiety, and if I do not manage it with medication and activity and balance…I can easily work myself into constant panic attacks and migraines.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, that jumped out at me, too. Certain brain disorders just cannot be remedied by holistic methods alone. I’d also venture to guess that some of her gut issue might be related to anxiety. I tried for years to get to the bottom of my many digestive issues, with no relief. Then, unrelated, I started treating my anxiety with therapy and meds and I haven’t had any gut issues since.

      • Sophia's Side eye says:

        Esmom, same here. I lost a ton of weight in a short amount of time, I ended up at an appointment with a gastro. He told me that it was unlikely I’d developed some major disorder at my age and that it was probably stress. He said the same enzymes that are in our brain are in our digestive tract and they communicate. He said I probably needed therapy and he was right.

      • ElleC says:

        DING DING DING! If she’s got emotional/mental issues with food that can feed into physical issues with food, no question!

        An anecdote, for what it’s worth, my mum developed a sensitivity to onions shortly after her dear friend died, and it suddenly disappeared decades later when she reconnected with the late friend’s children on Facebook.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      Diverticulitis will end seed eating, pronto.

    • Kealeen says:

      Thank you! The Ritalin comment really bothered me too. I’ve struggled with depression and ADD (which often manifests itself as depression/anxiety in adults) for most of my life, and my biggest struggle has been accepting that it is part of who I am, and medication will always be a part of my life. Diet and exercise make a huge difference in how effective the meds are, but not all of us can rely on diet and exercise alone.

      • Rosemary says:

        LizLemongotmarried and Kealeen – I was about to say what you both did – if meds keep you functioning, then use them. They’re an important part of my anxiety management regimen. I don’t like that she suggests you can do without them. That said, yoga/stretching/breathing/exercise can be very helpful, and are other important parts of how I manage anxiety.

      • Lirko says:

        HOLLA! Every time I hear these systematic knocks against psych-meds, I think “And Xenu approved this message”. Not to mention, anxiety is often included in the cluster of ADHD symptoms, though, Ritalin would never (logically) be prescribed to treat JUST anxiety, which is the only (potential) psychological disorder she mentions here. Her rather off hand remark makes no sense. Stimulant medications can increase anxious tendencies (especially in those who do not have legit ADHD).

        I have found many people who have never had to deal with chemical imbalances in the brain, and /or central nervous system disorders (ADHD, chronic anxiety) simply cannot comprehend how crucial meds are to an individual who is struggling to live their best life with the cards they have been dealt. Without my meds I am a rather ineffective humanbeing/wife /mother, etc.

        As an aside, I have read on the website of a reputable, independently run lab that tests many supplement type products (including protein powders, etc) that the Shakeology brand shake mixes tested quite high for lead or arsenic, as did my favorite magnesium supplement. Kind of blew my mind, but since they are not regulated, it makes sense, I guess.

    • Temporarynamechange says:

      My personal experience – not diagnosing anyone else – I developed digestive issues and in trying to get to the root of them went on fodmaps, saw a couple of doctors, tried other diets. The list of things I could tolerate became smaller and smaller, and finally I saw a doctor who, when I told him the short list of food I was eating, said I had an eating disorder.

      I was really confused, as I did not have a fear of getting fat, but my entire life had started to be planned around which foods were ok, and which foods were not.

      My Doctor said limiting my diet with say, fodmaps, might have helped with digestive issues temporarily, but gastroenterologists found it was not meant to be a forever diet.

      It is common knowledge among doctors that If you don’t eat enough, which is easy to do if you feel like you can only tolerate blueberries, your digestion will suck from lack of energy to make enzymes, stomach acid, energy to maintain peristalsis.

      It took me a long time of working with dietitians and doctors, but I can eat anything I want now! Before, I had just stopped eating because dealing with the symptoms from eating was awful. I Just see so much of my old situation in her story.

      Also, yeah, nothing wrong with Ritalin medication, EVER. It helped me get through the worst of my symptoms and work so I could get better.

      • Hollz says:

        The comments down here about her Ritalin jab are why I’ve been reading CB for more than a decade. Ya’ll are my people.

  6. HK9 says:

    I was able to do a 5:30am hot yoga class for a period of time and I must admit, it’s a great way to start the day, but I couldn’t keep it up, I just go to bed too late.

  7. minx says:


  8. monette says:

    My baby’s sleep schedule got messed up because we had a long weekend. So for the last 3 nights I’ve been going to bed at 1 am, begging a screaming baby to fall asleep and nursing him for the 100th time till my nipples hurt.
    So waking up at 4 to do yoga makes me want to stuff my mouth with chocolate. Which I am currently doing while writting this.

    • minx says:

      You have my sympathy.
      My kids are 26 and 18, yet I can still vividly recall that fatigue and coping with it by eating.

    • Esmom says:

      Aw, lol, I know how that goes. I don’t do well with sleep deprivation. Eating is always the only thing that makes me feel better if I can’t get actual sleep. Hang in there, it will get better!

      • Lirko says:

        I’ve been reading lately the science behind this, and it is indeed a very real thing. Basically, your brain craves salt, fat, sugar (CARBS!) when it is sleep deprived simply as a means to make itself feel better. Our brains attempt at self – soothing! At least I know now I’m not the only one! Lol!

    • Lizzie says:

      i’m drinking a huge hot chocolate after a loooooong night with a little one. cheers!

    • Lirko says:

      I remember those days as if they were yesterday (even though it was actually 13.5 years ago lol!). I literally kept a bag of Dove dark chocolate on my bedside table, just so I had a treat while pumping/feeding.

      Please forgive me if I am being obnoxious/nosy-but, I just wanted to mention, breastfeeding my first always left me SO sore, and my daughter was constantly hungry-long story short, I went to see a woman from the La Leche League, and she very quickly noticed my daughters latch was ever so slightly off, which was what was contributing to my soreness, and her not getting a really steady stream of milk. This tiny little tweak made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Anyway, just a thought. I so totally admire you and just want to remind you that you are AMAZING!

  9. Severin88 says:

    I love that she is so honest about the pressure in her industry. Sounds like hell to me. She so so so funny. I love her on Futureman.

  10. monette says:

    Thabk you for the sympathy comments! I loved her on Happy Endings, that show was awesome.
    I liked that she was brutally honest. If only other actresses were too. None of that I drink plenty of water or a have a fast metabolism crap.

  11. queenE says:

    The cover picture looks like she rolled in doritos

  12. JA says:

    Love her… funny gal! I do wonder tho, where do the body image issues and honest to God food allergies/sensitivities intersect? Do these foods have a negative affect on her body or does she have negative thoughts about certain parts of her body when she eats certain foods so she restricts herself to appease her mind/ body? I don’t doubt she is allergic to certain foods but the fact that she is aware of her anxiety over body image issues, has to reflect on some of her food restrictions…. if she is healthy and still enjoying life, food included then hope it’s working for her, like I said, love her in EVERYTHING I’ve seen her in.

  13. I try to get to bed by 10:00, I get up at 6:00 to run, then a warm shower ending with cold water, then a protein loaded breakfast and basically in my office by 9:00 am. It does start off the day on a positive note.

  14. lucy2 says:

    She strikes me as a very intense person so this isn’t surprising.
    I have to check out her new show, I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen her in. She has sort of this inherent confidence and bad-ass quality that I like.

  15. Eva says:

    I loved her on Happy Endings! Great to hear she has a new show, will check it out.

    She seems to have issues with food for sure but I’m glad she was at least honest about it.

  16. SJhere says:

    Maybe it’s the lighting in some of these pics but, she looks orange colored to me.
    Also, when will the dark roots to bleached yellow hair go out of style? Can we get a petition to make that trend go away?

  17. Angela82 says:

    Oh god there is another orange person out there…. :-(

  18. Hazel says:

    She can’t eat anything with seeds, like ‘avocado’? That has one large seed, which is easy to avoid. That, combined with the three big bowls of blueberries a day + 4am yoga + Ritalin comment just makes me think she has an eating/exercise disorder, not anything rooted in her physiology.

    • ichsi says:

      THANK YOU! I’m sorry, but everything she’s saying rings my orthorexia warning bells. This is not healthy behaviour, she doesn’t look healthy either and her allergies sound like an excuse for her eating disorder which unfortunately has become incredibly common.

      • Temporarynamechange says:

        I don’t think it is fair to comment on her looks as You cannot tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them – it is all about the thoughts around food and not wanting to eat.

        All I know is I was on a very similar diet when I had digestive issues and my doctor said it was essentially starvation, even if that was not my intent.

        Plus, blueberries have seeds, don’t they? I just feel confused when lifestyles like this are featured as healthy or aspirational when eliminating foods to such an extreme because of an awful digestive system practically killed me.

      • ichsi says:

        @Temporarynamechange No, I phrased this badly, I think she doesn’t look healthy because she looks haggard and malnourished, which she probably is judging by what she eats.

    • anon14 says:

      Don’t blueberries have seeds–very tiny ones, but still, seeds…

      EDIT: oops, sorry, I see Temporarynamechange already mentioned the same thing about blueberry seeds.

      I love blueberries and blackberries, but sometimes they bother me, and the first thing my sister (who’s heavily into nutrition and bikram yoga) said was “Oh, it must be the seeds!”

  19. DesertReal says:

    Future man is hilarious and she is amazing in it. I thought she looked really lean/toned in it- I applaud her discipline.

  20. Caroline says:

    Sounds as much like OCD as it does dietary issues. She’s a restricter to stay skinny, like most actresses.

  21. lisa says:

    sorry but if these are the results, i’d do the exact opposite


  22. Bridget says:

    Soooo Shakeology. That is such a sketch business. $150 a month for glorified protein shakes unless you lasso your friends into buying it too. Their “you can’t get all the recommended nutrients from a regular diet” schtick is baloney too. Not to mention, some of their products are no bueno (their weight loss tea? Amphetamines). If you desperately want a protein shake (which you likely don’t need sine most Americans already over consume protein) go to Costco and get a $30 tub of Orgain. And then eat some vegetables.

  23. HeyThere! says:

    YES to all do the above! My husband about fell over when my sister told him how much she spends on shakeology a month!!! He works out and eats very strict for years now. He said it’s a big pyramid scheme and that he, and millions/billions of people before him, got in shape with normal protein shakes. LOL

  24. Winter says:

    She looks like an older blonde haired and super tanned Emma Watson in the first picture. I think her yoga schedule is good for her, I’m not a morning person though so it would be a pain for me to force myself to wake up every day before dawn to exercise. And I shudder at the idea of taking an ice-cold shower at 4-5 AM, it’s definitely my definition of “nightmare”. Props to her for doing this every single day, I’m sure it takes a lot of willpower.

  25. OZmom says:

    I just had to start cooking low FODMAP for my husband 6 weeks ago and it has been quite a challenge! We use the Monash app and the fodmapeveryday.com site for recipes – does your Mom use an app or a cookbook or anything? Any tips & tricks for another FODMAP cook?

  26. HoustonGrl says:

    I agree with what she says about not drinking. Even one glass one wine makes me wake up feeling groggy and dry mouthed. While I haven’t given up alcohol completely, I have cut back a lot and always feel more energetic without it.

  27. LittlefishMom says:

    I think waking up that early and doing yoga makes you orange.