Zac Efron was in incredible shape for the 2017 “Baywatch” movie, but he wasn’t happy.

The actor speaks to Men’s Health about fitness and extreme dieting in a new interview, telling the mag: “That ‘Baywatch’ look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable. There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3 per cent body fat.”

Efron adds of how long the ill effects of his “Baywatch” training lasted: “I started to develop insomnia and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time.

“Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time re-centering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up.”

He goes on to talk about re-evaluating his approach to fitness, admitting he considered letting himself go.

“At one point, that was a dream of mine—what it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time. What if I just say, ‘F**k it’ and let myself go? So I tried it, and I was successful. And for all the reasons I thought it would be incredible, I was just miserable,” he says. “My body would not feel healthy; I just didn’t feel alive. I felt bogged down and slow…. I enjoy pushing myself and really laying it all out, to the point where I kind of have to do it. Otherwise I don’t feel like myself.”

READ MORE: Zac Efron Goes On ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ To Vietnam In New Trailer

Zac Efron. Credit: Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health
Zac Efron. Credit: Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health

Elsewhere in the chat, Efron talks about becoming an ice-bath adherent, admitting: “It’s my favourite part of the day. Before is when it’s most miserable, and when you finally just commit and jump in there.

“From that point forward, you’ve conquered something deep within you; you do not want to get cold. That’s the simplest philosophy: Anything you don’t want to do, make it a habit.”

READ MORE: Zac Efron Follows Vanessa Hudgens’ Lead With Trip Back To ‘High School Musical’’s East High

Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health
Ture Lillegraven for Men’s Health

Efron has been in the industry for years, insisting in the chat that he doesn’t care what people think about him on social media, so he avoids it.

“If I valued what other people thought of me to the extent that they may think I do, I definitely wouldn’t be able to do this work,” he tells the mag.

Efron adds of his romantic life: “I’ve really been taking time to focus on, you know, self-fulfilment and trying to find my groove. I know that probably when I meet the right person, it’s going to be when I least expect it.”

The October 2022 issue of Men’s Health, featuring Efron, hits newsstands nationwide on September 13.