Weight Loss Journey of Sean Murray NCIS (AKA. Tim McGee): His Diet, Health, and Before and After

Sean Murray weight loss

Sometimes people forget that Tim McGee is actually Sean Murray.

Sean Murray plays the fictional character of Special Agent Timothy McGee on the much-loved American TV drama NCIS.

Tim McGee, in the series, is a computer crime and cybersecurity expert; he is a graduate of the John Hopkins University as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Murray was a guest star in eight episodes of the first season but in season two, he was part of the main cast.

He became such a regular feature, for 20 years that we almost want to call Sean Timothy!

He rose to fame in the early 90s when he starred in the hit movie Hocus Pocus; before securing a place on NCIS in 2003.

In his nearly 20 years on the show, fans have noticed his weight drop drastically.

He lost such an incredible amount of weight, in fact, that he looked completely different on NCIS and fans commented on this – they were concerned that his health had taken a dip.

However, in 2010, Sean, on his Twitter account, explained to everyone that it had been a completely deliberate weight joss journey that he had undertaken; that he was eating only organic food and was not drinking a drop of alcohol.

Neither was any sugar passing through his lips.

And for those efforts, he had reportedly lost 25 pounds!

But when you look at his weight loss, it appears as if he has actually lost much more!

We are going to find out more about Sean Murray and this fantastic change, for the better, in his appearance – he looks lean, mean, and full of energy now!

Sean Harland Murray, born 15 November 1977

Sean Murray

Early years

Sean Murray was born in Bethesda, Maryland in the USA.

His father is Craig Murray; he was US Navy Officer for around 30 years, and his mom is Vivienne Bellisario.

Sean grew up near Coffs Harbor in New South Wales, Australia.

He had one brother, Chad W. Murray.

His young adult years

Sean Murray and wife

Sean married his wife, Carrie James, in 2005.

She is a teacher.

They had a daughter, Caitlyn Melissa Murray, born in 2007, followed by their son, River James Murray, in 2010.

His parents divorced when he was 15-years old and he moved with his mother to L.A.

His mother married screenwriter and American television producer, Donald Paul Bellisario.

She was his fourth wife.

Bellisario had children of his own, so Sean grew up with a few stepbrothers and sisters as well.

One of them, acted as his sister in NCIS, Troian Bellisario, and another, Michael Bellisario acted in the movie, JAG.

Maybe that is why Sean got the “acting” bug in his early years because he knew from an early age that he wanted to go into acting, and his family stood by him in this decision.

he says..

“As much as my father knew how hard the life was, he was very supportive, so was my grandmother. I come from a very middle-class family.

We didn’t have the money to come to LA and do headshots, paying a ridiculous amount for rent and going to auditions all the time as a kid, so my father allowing that to happen alone was big support from him,”.

When Sean was 12, he had already moved into the professional acting world.

Because he had spent a good part of his life in a military family, he knew about moving to different countries, be it Australia, Singapore, London, and several in California.

But that didn’t deter Sean from becoming an actor.

When he heard they were looking for extra in the movie My Blue Heaven, he begged his mom to take him for an audition.

They were at that time living in San Diego.

In 1993, he was nominated for the Young Artist Awards in the movie Hocus Pocus as the Best Youth Actor Leading Role in a movie comedy.

Then in 1994, he was nominated again for the Young Artist Awards for Harts of the West, again as Best Youth Actor in a Leading Role.

His acting career was on the way.

Some interesting tidbits about Sean Murray

  • He loves listening to electronic music.
  • He is both a citizen of the USA and Australia.
  • He is left-handed.
  • He enjoys working on and assembling computers in his free time.
  • He taught himself to play the guitar as he has a love for music.
  • Bet you didn’t know that he works with Heal the Bay. That’s an organization that works to keep the beaches clean and he is on the board of directors. His mother is Australian, so he grew up loving the beaches.
  • He has a pet cat called Abby, whom he adores, like a girlfriend, he says. Other pets he has are a dog called Otis.
  • He learned to shoot very well from being a cop on NCIS, as well as handcuffing and other stuff cops do.
  • It was the movie, River Phoenix and Stand by Me which influenced Sean to become an actor.
  • As far as NCIS goes, Sean reportedly loves Mark Harmon’s hair (Mark Harmon is also a seasoned actor on NCIS).
  • Sean and his family live in Sherman Oaks, California.

Sean’s strategic weight loss journey paid off

Tim McGee before after

Sean Murray once said of his weight loss…

“You can actually see me gradually lose the weight over the 24 episodes of Season 7. Slowly, a pound every week or two. Watch the DVDs.”

Isn’t that amazing?

He had to start explaining his weight loss because viewers started noticing the huge difference in his ‘looks’ in the popular show.

They wanted to know if he had been ill, or was ill – they wanted to know why he had become so thin.

What is interesting is that Sean lost his weight slowly, as you can see from his above strategy.

For some, it seems as if it might have been drastic, but he has assured his fans that that was not the case.

Taking it slowly had been his goal.

He had chosen to lose one pound per episode, which meant that he had around 7 days to lose one pound of weight.

He was inspired to follow the strategy of one pound a week

He knew he had a fantastic timeline to lose weight and this inspired him – he set about that to-do task and the weight started falling off and he kept it off.

Naturally, people started wondering if they should toss out quick fad diets and quick weight loss programs.

But don’t worry; Healthline says there are some fad diets that do work, so you can check them out here.

Fad diets are very popular for losing weight in fact; promising rapid weight loss; even some health benefits.

But there is no scientific evidence that supports their use because often they are nutritionally not sound and can prove to be ineffective over the long term.

What did he do – what was Sean’s secret to his weight loss?

For Sean Murray, his secret to losing 25 pounds in 14 months was “no alcohol and almost no sugar – I ate strictly organic”.

Let’s look at each one of these and see why doing what Sean did make it so possible to be successful.

And for anyone else who wants to lose weight, and keep it off, just look at how Sean did it, and in a very healthy way as well!

1) First of all, he cut out all alcohol

Sean Murray, in order to lose weight, decided on the zero alcohol consumption route.

In fact, he said farewell to alcohol forever and then started doing regular exercises instead.

Here are the benefits of quitting alcohol that might inspire you too: 

a) Weight loss:

Many people don’t realize that those get-together drinks with friends after work start adding up very quickly.

When you reduce or cut out alcohol, your overall calorie intake gets reduced by quite a lot!

That’s granted that you don’ make up for it by ordering greasy takeaways and sugary stuff.

Did you know that if you drink just two cans of beer every day, it’s the same as eating an extra 8100 kilojoules per week?  

b) Mental health is improved: [1]

Alcohol enhances life and the way you behave when you are laughing and lost some of your inhibitions – having a great time with friends.

But did you know that alcohol is actually a depressant – that it can have serious negative effects on your overall mental wellbeing?

It might give you that temporary boost but drinking alcohol can deflate your mood, giving you less energy, and taking a toll on your body – aging you.

c) Better skin:

When you cut out alcohol for just a few days, you will notice an improvement in your skin; it will look more hydrated.

Alcohol is a diuretic which means it dehydrates the skin and body tissues; all these things can lead to premature aging and wrinkled skin.

For instance, if you suffer from eczema, dandruff, or rosacea, you might notice a huge difference in your skin when you cut out alcohol.

d) You get a better night’s sleep:

If you down some alcohol before you go to bed, you are disrupting your sleep patterns; [2] preventing good deep sleep that refreshes and replenishes the brain and memory, etc.

Drinking before bed also increases alpha wave patterns in the brain.

That’s a kind of cerebral activity that usually occurs when you’re resting but you are still awake.

It can cause disrupted sleep and might well be a reason why you toss and turn during the night.

e) Added energy:

If you are an alcohol drinker, you might find that when you wake up in the morning, you still feel tired; in fact, you feel groggy, but find it hard to concentrate on stuff during the day.

Well, you don’t have the energy for it either.

When you quit drinking alcohol, the energy comes back, and if you go to the gym, you could notice a distinct difference in your energy levels.

d) Organs:

Alcohol does have an impact not only on your appearance and condition of your skin but your internal organs as well.

When you over-indulge in booze, you are promoting high blood pressure [3], cardiovascular disease, and liver disease.

When you cut out alcohol, you give your body time to recover.

2) Second, it was out with the sugar

Next, Sean eliminated sugar from his diet.

He was used to eating high levels of junk food.

To keep to his promise of losing a pound a week, he became virtually sugar-free.

Most of us humans are eating much too much sugar than what the authorities recommend [4].

In the US, it is estimated that adults take in about 15% of their calories in the form of added sugars which don’t even include natural sugars, such as those that come from milk and fruit.

When you over-indulge on a lot of sugar, you can expect to experience these harmful health conditions along life’s pathway:

  • Metabolic syndrome and obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Dental plaque and plenty of dental cavities
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

When you reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, it makes a whole lot of sense that it will affect your weight as well – Sean was very clever and knew that just cutting out sugar was going to knock off a pound a week in no time!

How can you cut sugar from your diet?

Check these out:

a) Go slowly

because moving from a diet that was loaded with sugar for you should be slow, otherwise, you might never be able to do it. Start with the basic stuff like sweets, cakes, sodas.

b) Check labels on products…

…because you might be surprised how many products do actually contain sugar! Avoid these types of sugars:

  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Cane sugar
  • Lactose
  • Brown sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Beet sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Barley Malt
  • Coconut sugar
  • Grape or apple juice concentrate
  • Demerara
  • Honey
  • Sucanat
  • Panela or piloncillo
  • Turbinado
  • Muscovado

It sounds like you might wonder what you can still eat, but that’s why he had such a dramatic weight loss and why so many people are obese.

c) Avoid simple carbs

Simple vs comple carbs

Carbs like white pasta, white flour, white sugar, and white rice.

These carbs quickly get converted into sugar in the body during the process of digestion and cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

d) Avoid artificial sugars

You might have thought a good escape route of eating too much sugar is to simply use artificial sugar.

Did you know that they are in fact much sweeter than sugar and yet contain few or no calories?

But they can trick your body into thinking you are eating real sugar and therefore intensify sugar cravings.

This in turn makes it more difficult to stick to a diet.

Artificial sweetener examples are Stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, Aspartame, and more.

3) Thirdly, Sean went strictly organic

Organic food

Sean quit drinking alcohol, he cut out sugar, and now he quickly shifted to eating a virtually organic diet.

It was out with all the junk, processed, and fast foods.

What is organic food you might be asking?

It’s all about how agricultural products are grown and how they are processed.

Regulations will vary from different countries but in the US, organic crops must be grown without using things like synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, or bioengineered genes, sewage sludge-based fertilizers, or petroleum-based fertilizers.

As far as organic livestock goes, if it is meat, eggs, milk, etc., it has to be animals that have lived a natural outdoor life that all animals should live; that also eat their natural grasses outdoors.

That means organic foods are not pumped with hormones and antibiotics, etc. and they have more beneficial nutrients.

Organic foods won’t have preservatives in them and will have more antioxidants.

Real organic food offers health benefits

Those people who suffer from allergies, etc. and even certain illnesses will find that when they eat organic foods, these allergic symptoms and inflammation, [5], etc. gets less, and in some cases disappear.

Naturally, organic farming is also ideal for our environment because it protects the soil; it protects the birds and animal kingdom, and our much-needed bees’ kingdom as well!

Organic foods are also GMO-free.

GMO means Genetically Modified Organisms and these organisms are plants where the DNA has been altered which does not occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Sean Murray stayed away from non-organic products as much as possible, focusing rather on eating plenty of organic veggies and fruit.

Why did Sean start this weight loss journey – any specific reasons?

The weight loss process is incomplete without exercise and Sean did intense exercise routines each day.

But whenever he did get interviewed by the press, Sean would always tell them his weight loss was motivated by just a very simple reason – he just wanted to be healthier and have a better physique, and he has certainly achieved that.

He didn’t try and make it all complicated, nor did he drastically starve himself and at the same time, work out harder.

He made three major dietary changes to his life, as shown above, and because of these changes, he shed four pounds every month which was his goal.

By doing it this way, it made it so easy for him to see that he was achieving his targets, gradually.

Along with diet change, he would do a couple of home exercises too, such as push-ups and planks, etc. and this helped to shed off the fat.

He also followed these rules:

  • Drink at least 3 liters of water a day to get rid of fat, calories, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.
  • Close the kitchen at night time – don’t go there.
  • Trim food portions.
  • Say a big no to oily foods.


Sean Murray’s weight loss journey has taught all his fans and others who follow him that fad diets and complicated diet routines don’t have to be the route to go if you want to lose a whole lot of weight and keep it off.

How he did it was really simple; it amounted to a few mindful habits that he changed and he also followed a simple exercise schedule.

Sean didn’t make use of any spectacular, heavily marketed weight loss program with diet supplements and personal trainers, etc.

He followed his own diet and he had a strategic plan for how he would do it, and he kept to that.

He fixed his goals on losing weight for himself by doing just 3 things.

He cut out alcohol and sugar and started eating only organic foods.

If you are someone who is overweight and who longs to lose weight but feel it will be too expensive to find a personal trainer or to buy specific foods and supplements, you are wrong!

You can do it too because Sean Murray is the ideal candidate to show you that it doesn’t require a whole lot of money; it’s a change of mind and lifestyle.

He has incredible weight loss to show for it.

Just make a very simple goal for yourself as he did.

His goal was to make sure that he lost one pound a week; every new episode he made with NCIS, he would lose a pound and he made sure he did it.

This inspired him to keep going at it because, after such a short time frame of only one week, he set himself the target to lose one pound.

Naturally, he started out with small achievable goals, but the more the weight fell off, the easier it was to keep on going at it and to maintain his weight.

It is really an inspiring weight loss story that makes it really difficult for would-be dieters to make excuses not to lose weight.

Not only did he achieve fantastic weight, but dropping alcohol and sugar has made him more alert, filled with energy, and feeling on top of the world.

And the one question people still don’t know the answer to…

Did Sean Murray’s voice change because he lost weight and started a healthy lifestyle?

Why Sean Murray and the TV series NCIS is so popular season after season is because the known characters are every-day people that solve weekly problems in a way that stays true to their established core.

It’s a consistent story with an unshakeable core with high rankings even though it is entering its 20th year.

So what happens when a character like Sean Murray does change?

First, he has lost so much weight; it almost takes time to have to get used to the fact that it is still Sean Murray!

Viewers were really concerned that he was ill.

And then there was the other noticeable change that happened more or less at the same time of his weight loss – his voice.

Around the eighth season, his voice went from the soft-spoken computer expert to a more gruff raspy voice.

Fans couldn’t figure it out.

Some believed it was his weight loss and his healthy living that had ‘changed’ his voice.

And of course, it is possible that the change in Murray’s voice for McGee did come as a result of weight loss and better living.

One of the fans wrote that “Losing all that weight and quitting smoking can affect a person’s voice,” while another added, “This is also around the time he got super skinny.”

Apparently, there is a science to back this all up

Studies conducted have examined the effects of obesity on the voice as well as what a big weight loss can do to the voice [6].

Dr. Reena Gupta, Director of the Division of Voice and Laryngology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California, says that excess weight can actually lighten a man’s voice.

And while Sean was not obese at the time of his weight loss, the extra 25 pounds he was carrying around could have had a softer impact on the sound of this voice.

Others say they believe that the new “raspy voice” of Murray is a concerted effort by him to separate himself from his earlier nerdish fatter character, turning him into a cooler, svelte, grizzled dude detective that he now is portraying.

What do you think?

Regardless, this intriguing controversy has certainly not been sufficient to derail NCIS.

With the flagship and its New Orleans-based spin-off safely secured for some more future seasons, we are going to see the fabulous Mark Harmon and the slim, svelte Sean Murray appear on our 2021 screens, and we can say yay to that!

Well done Sean!

 “People are afraid of change, but change can also mean possibilities and new things to explore”Sean Murray