Hafthor Björnsson Reveals the 3,600-Calorie Diet He Followed to Shed 50 Kilograms

It's a modest amount of calories, especially for the man who once tipped the scales at 450 pounds.

Hafthor Björnsson has had some extremely caloric diets. The 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion would eat 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day on the vertical diet conceived by nutrition coach Stan Efferding, consisting primarily of rice, potatoes, rib-eye beef, orange juice, and coconut water — just so, so, so much coconut water. Of course, that number of calories was necessary to maintain a mass of 450 pounds capable of deadlifting 501 kilograms (1,104 pounds).

These days, Björnsson trains as a full-time boxer in preparation for his bout against 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall and his diet is drastically different, as is his leaner physique at a bodyweight of approximately 340 pounds. Björnsson took to his YouTube channel to share what a full day of eating for him looks like and it is surprisingly normal. “Normal” is subjective, of course, but a not-400-plus-pound person would struggle to eat his former 10,000 calorie diet — we know from experience. You can check out Björnsson’s new diet in the video below:

[Related: 2021 UK’s Strongest Man — Events, Roster, and Athlete Groups]

Meal One 

Björnsson doesn’t specifically mention when he started this diet, but he knew prior to his retirement from strongman in August 2020 that he would battle Hall in the squared circle come September 2021 in Las Vegas, NV. He does state, however, that he eats exactly the following foods every single day:

  • Three eggs — 273 calories
  • 200 grams of chicken —330 calories
  • Smoothie
    • 150 grams Greek yogurt — 89 calories
    • 100 grams strawberries/blueberries — 40 calories
    • 40 grams of oats — 156 calories
  • Total — 888 calories

Note: The following calories were tabulated via USDA.

While he doesn’t specify, Björnsson rounds out the meal with “liquids” presumably without any calories. Following breakfast, he trains at the Strong Gym Dubai to prepare for his upcoming exhibition match against heavyweight Simon Vallily on May 28, 2021. His training session consisted of shoulder mobility exercises, boxing exercises focused primarily on footwork, and five round on the assault bike.

Meal Two

Following his training session, Björnsson crushes the following meal:

  • 220 grams of tenderloin beef — 713 calories
  • 180 grams of white rice — 234 calories
  • 100 grams of greens (he had string beans and zucchini in this video) — 25 calories
  • Total — 972 calories

After this meal, Björnsson performed a second workout focused on strength training. Exercises included overhead dumbbell presses, lat pulldowns, Zottman curls, triceps extensions, and face pulls.


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A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson)

[Related: Strongman Hafthor Björnsson Teaches You How to Deadlift]

Meal Three

Here is Björnsson’s third meal of the day following his second workout:

  • 220 grams of chicken —363 calories
  • 250 grams of potatoes —260 calories
  • 100 grams of greens —25 calories
  • Total —648 calories

This is Björnsson’s least favorite meal of the day. He doesn’t not like chicken. Less fat, he says, means less flavor compared to red meat. However, he is happy with how “clean” his diet is and how he feels satiated throughout the day.

Meal Four

Meal four comes after a bit of rest and recovery laying out by the pool:

  • 100 grams greens — 25 calories
  • 100 grams of white rice —130 calories
  • 220 grams of salmon — 458 calories
  • Total — 613 calories

Unlike meal three, this meal is one of Björnsson’s favorites to consume each day. Once he finishes his salmon and rice, he logs 15 minutes in a sauna followed by 15 minutes in an ice bath.

Meal Five

The final meal of the day for Björnsson looks like an odd bowl of mush. What it actually is, though, is:

  • 250 grams of Greek yogurt — 148 calories
  • 30 grams of almond butter — 184 calories
  • 100 grams of banana — 89 calories
  • One scoop of whey protein — 121 calories
  • Total — 542 calories

Combine all the meals, and the former strongman eats 3,663 calories per day as a boxer. In Björnsson’s words:

Can you believe it? I’m eating nothing. I’m getting skinny, it’s crazy.

Björnsson admits that he feels “so much better” on this diet than carrying an additional 50 kilograms (110 pounds). In September, after approximately a year and a half on this diet, we’ll see how lean and mean “The Mountain” looks during weigh-ins. 

Feature image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram