How Game Of Thrones’ The Mountain Shed 120 Pounds (And Kept It Off)

the mountain game of thrones hbo Hafthor "Thor" Bjornsson

There will likely be few Game of Thrones fans who do not remember the awe and terror felt every time Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane appeared on screen. The "freakish" knight came by his nickname honestly, being a true mountain of a man who had the height, strength, and skill to be imposing enough, even without his talent for brutality. Hafthor "Thor" Bjornsson played the impressively sadistic character from Season 4 through the finale, but now that he's lost a whopping 121 pounds, he's sharing how he lost the weight, and how he's keeping it off.

Few of us have jobs which require any kind of extensive weight loss and / or body-building, but that's not the case for Hafthor Bjornsson. He's actually had several careers that have meant he would need to pay close attention to his physical fitness and health, with the 6'9" former GOT actor having gone from basketball player, to noted strongman, and now, boxer. After retiring from Strongman competitions in 2020, Bjornsson turned his attention to the punch-happy sport, initially losing 110 pounds in preparation for his first fight. He's now spoken with Insider, and revealed the secret to his weight loss, which involves eating the same five meals daily.

Bjornsson's full 121 pound weight loss took only 18 months, and he made it a reality partly by eating five identical, "clean," high protein meals six days a week, with one day "off" for him to eat whatever he wants, within reason. Here's what the brand new boxer eats in a day:

Meal 1: Two whole scrambled eggs with 200g chicken, a portion of skyr (Icelandic yogurt with more protein than regular yogurt), 40g oatmeal, 50g blueberriesMeal 2: 230g beef tenderloin, 140g white rice, and 100g greens (such as spinach, zucchini, or green beans)Meal 3: 230g chicken, 200g boiled potato (sweet or white), and 100g greensMeal 4: 230g salmon, 100g white rice, and 100g spinachMeal 5: Skyr, 30g peanut butter, and a scoop of whey protein

Wow. I don't know about you, but I think I might be able to do that for maybe two days in a row before getting bored / never wanting to look at food again. The very idea of measuring out exact portions of food, eating similar things throughout the day, and then also eating exactly the same thing for each meal most days of the week is so stressful to me that it's very good that I never even considered becoming any kind of professional athlete. I mean, the fact that I have no sporting interests or talent is a big factor there, but this food thing is just the nail in that coffin.

The former strongman, who competed in dozens of challenges (winning several) starting in 2009, admitted that he had to take "baby steps" when losing the weight he kept on for those competitions. His gig as a strongman required far more food, and eating an insane eight full meals a day, which sometimes required him to get up in the middle of the night to satisfy his nutrient quota. Bjornsson eased himself into the new diet by making small changes every few months, so that the adjustment didn't have to happen all at once.

And, while he seems to understand that this fitness approach isn't for everyone, he does feel that having that once weekly cheat day has helped him stick to his new plan:

You can't be a robot. We're all human, we all crave things. It's OK to go off the diet as long as you stick to it six days a week, or however you do it...You obviously don't go super crazy and eat like a maniac, but if you want a pizza, have a pizza.

It's a good thing that this method is working for Hafthor Bjornsson, and that he's happy with the results. Right now, his next fight is scheduled for September 18, so here's hoping that all that chicken and those greens help him come out on top.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.