Drew Barrymore lost 20 pounds to play housewife turned zombie Sheila Hammond in new Netflix series ‘Santa Clarita Diet’.

The actress, 41, didn’t quite follow her character’s lead and feast on human flesh to shed the pounds, but she did take inspiration from Sheila and follow a simple, protein based diet.

Drew BarrymoreDrew Barrymore lost 20 pounds for new series ‘Santa Clarita Diet’

"I had let myself go due to personal circumstances and I thought, I could come alive with Sheila," Barrymore told the Today Show on Friday. "It was a really great goal line for me, because as much as the weight loss everything's very subtle, it's attitudinal, it's empowerment, it's confidence.”

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"It's all of these things that she's lost in her life and I felt I had lost in my life, and it was such a blessing to come alive with her and it really was so positive for me,” Barrymore added.

Speaking about how she lost the weight Barrymore said: “If you're eating, in her case, human flesh, I basically thought, well if a woman was just eating simple protein every day all day long she would lose weight. It’s like a very macabre Atkins!”

Barrymore split from her husband Will Kopelman last July, with the couple’s divorce finalised that August. Five months on, the actress says she’s ‘still in shock’ over the split and she’s not yet ready to begin dating.

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Appearing on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM's Town Hall show on Friday, Barrymore was asked if she was currently seeing anyone. “No, nobody,” she told Cohen. “I'm not ready. I'm still in shock over everything.”