'NCIS' Star Michael Weatherly Reveals the Secret Behind His Healthy Weight Loss

Michael Weatherly followed a diet and exercise plan to lose weight. (Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock)

Like many of us, 'NCIS' star Michael Weatherly says his poor eating habits and time management for exercise came from the stresses of juggling a young family and work. The 46-year-old, who plays Anthony DiNozzo on the CBS series, realized his health was in need of a shakeup after he managed to split five pairs of pants while filming season 11.

"I have two very small children, ages 21⁄2 and 1 year old. That means I had been living with a pregnant lady for a long time," Weatherly joked to People. "While my wife [Bojana Jankovic] never gave in too much to her Nutella craving, we weren't doing too much. And I found it very hard to say to my wife and children [Olivia and Liam] that I need to spend a couple of hours on me. And the job was demanding."

Weatherly says that in addition to his hectic schedule, the food catering offered on set often wasn't very healthy - leading him to graze from a buffet of high-calorie foods with very little activity to match. "It reached a tipping point," he said. "Even the writers made jokes about Tony needing to go on a cleanse."

While on a break between seasons this summer, Weatherly embarked on an exercise regimen that included a variety of cross-training activities like boxing and swimming. Dude even ran a triathlon:

Perhaps the biggest change, however, is how he approached his diet.

"No food that comes from a package like potato chips," he said. "I stayed away from pasta, rice, bread, potatoes ... anything that's fun to eat, I did not eat. And I pulled way back on alcohol consumption."

As a result, Weatherly says he dropped more than 35 lbs. off his 6' 2'' frame in only a matter of months; a rapid change that he says led to more energy, stamina, and a figure he hasn't seen in more than a decade.

"I discovered great things about myself at this stage in life," he said. "You have to take time for yourself, whether it's reading a book or going for a walk or just spending some time talking to a cat. At a certain age, you have to take care of yourself. No one is going to do it for you."