Not many people could pull of the body transformation Hafþór 'Thor' Björnsson did recently in anticipation for his boxing match with fellow strongman Eddie Hall. The Icelandic athlete lost a massive 55 kg (110 lbs) and looks as lean as people half his size. And he did it all by eating nearly 4,000 calories and working out three times a day .
Thor is most well-known for playing The Mountain in Game of Thrones and for being the world record holder of the heaviest deadlift ever (501 kg, FYI). And although Thor shared his full day of eating and workout in a recent Youtube video, I doubt many people would be able to keep up with it.
Right now, Thor weighs around 341 lbs/155 kg and stands 6"9'/2 metres tall, putting him in the 'obese' BMI category, which is a good example of why BMI is only an approximate measure of health at best. Case in point is The Mountain: he looks anything but obese with his has broad shoulders, big arms, wide pecs and that beautiful V-taper back. Not to mention, his ab-cuts are clearly visible.
He didn't always look this way though. As a strongman, Thor had a bodyweight of around 452 lbs/205 kg which is insane but then again, strongmen are generally huge and eat ridiculous amounts of food as well as lifting heavy, pretty much all the time. Thor's priorities are elsewhere nowadays so he includes more cardio workouts in his current workout regime, including sessions on air bikes and sparring with his trainer.
He still does resistance training, of course, but 'only' to maintain his physique as opposed to trying to get stronger. In the video, you can see him performing an upper body workout with his trainer and if you can't imagine just how huge this man is, just look at those 22.5 kg dumbbells in his hands: they look tiny.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the video and then we'll analyse his diet in further detail.
Thor Björnsson diet: the basics
We watched and analysed this video and tallied up how many calories Thor eats a day to maintain his body composition. We also analysed the macros in his meals to have a clearer idea of how these calories are sourced. In total, the Mountain eats around 3,740 calories a day with the macro mix of 309 grams of protein (30%), 372 grams of carbs (39%) and 131 grams of fat (31%) a day.
He mentions a few key details in the video in terms of his diet and workout regime, such as that he eats the same food every day, drinks lots of fluids throughout the day and that he doesn't snack (on 'bad' food). He says he doesn't need snacks because his diet never really 'makes him hungry or full'.
As well as eating right, Thor also works out three times a day which includes a movement session, an endurance (cardio) session and a strength session when he works with weights. He also enjoys some sauna time later, followed by a 15-minute (!) ice bath.
We can't stress this enough but even if you like how Thor looks like now – who wouldn't – just by eating exactly the same was as he does won't get you in the same shape. This is a lot of calories, especially for people who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Thor Björnsson diet meal #1
Approx. 800 kcal
Macro mix: 82g protein, 42 carbs, 36 fats
Thor really does start the day strong and eats ample amounts of fat and protein to energise his body in the morning. You won't find any breakfast staples here like cereals or toast, instead, Thor eats three eggs with 200 grams of chicken, followed by a shake of 150 grams of Greek yoghurt, 100 grams of berries and 40 grams of oats.
After his first meal, Thor gets his first and second workout of day out of the way, including sparring with his trainer and a HIIT cardio training on an air bike. The air bike session helps him burn fat even more than just sparring alone and also keeps his cardiovascular system in check.
Thor Björnsson diet meal #2
Approx. 990 kcal
Macro-mix: 75g protein, 157 carbs, 16 fat
Thor's mid-morning snacks look slightly different from yours. While some people would opt in to have a protein bar or a light snack, the Icelandic Giant crams in almost a 1,000 calories in the form of 220 grams of tenderloin beef, 180 grams of good ol' white rice and 100 grams of greens, seemingly green beans. This is an absolute monster meal that's high in protein and carbs, the former aiding muscle protein synthesis and the latter boosting energy levels.
After presumably having some rest, Thor hits the gym hard and does an an arm workout, including shoulder presses, face pulls and overhead cable triceps extensions.
Thor Björnsson diet meal #3
Approx 400 kcal
Macro-mix: 59g protein, 40g carbs, 3g fat
Admittedly his least favorite meal of the day, Thor's third repast consists of 200 grams of chicken, 250 grams of potatoes and 100 grams of greens. This is a straightforward muscle food-type 'snack', much lower in calories than his previous meal he had before his resistance workout.
In the video, Thor mentions that he isn't too find of poultry but it serves its purpose in his current diet. Chicken meat, especially chicken breast which he seems to be eating, is super lean and mainly contains protein.
Thor Björnsson diet meal #4
Approx 860 kcal
Macro-mix: 53g protein, 89g carbs, 33g fat
Another big chow for Thor in the afternoon: another 100 grams of greens, 100 grams of rice and 220 grams of salmon. This meal contains some healthy fats in the form of the salmon, one of the best types of 'health food' you can eat. It goes without saying that you should choose salmon that was caught responsibly.
Thor Björnsson diet meal #5
Approx 690 kcal
Macro-mix: 40g protein, 44g carbs, 43g fat
Thor's final meal is, as he puts it, a 'dessert', which at first looks like porridge but it's actually a combination of 250 grams of greek yoghurt, 30 grams of almond butter, and 100 grams bananas. He washes it all down with some whey protein. You know, just for good measure.
You can have weight gainer instead of protein powder if you need even more calories.