For those who don’t know, Eddie hall is strong. He’s so strong he won the World’s Strongest Man in 2017. Still don’t think that’s impressive? Well, he was the first man to ever pull 500kg off the floor in 2016 — shattering the previous record by 35kg.
This kind of brute strength is what has made Eddie Hall so famous in the strongman scene, gathering the nickname ‘The BEAST’ along the way and potentially being one of the strongest people in history, holding some serious world records in his field.
Now he’s turning his hand to boxing, fighting Hafthor Bjornsson in September 2021. A huge transition for a man of Eddie’s stature but one he is more than capable of doing — after all, everyone doubted him and said he’d never pull 500kg. Not to mention there is no love lost between the pair after Eddie dominated the World’s Strongest Man competition in 2017.
These two sports require vastly different approaches when it comes to food and nutrition. It's no surprise that Eddie is on top of things already to make sure that he’s ready to go. However, the real question is; what’s it like to eat like ‘The Beast’ himself.
Eating Like A Strongman
Now, during this time Eddie weighed close to 196kg. To put this in perspective that’s nearly 3,300 Layered Protein Bars.
It seems unimaginable that one person could weigh that much. However, the saying in the strongman community is ‘you’ve got to have weight to shift the weight’. Something Eddie listened to when preparing for the world’s strongest man.
As a strongman, I would consume over 12,000 calories a day, sometimes up to 15,000.
12,000 calories a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. Which amounts to a whopping 4,380,000 calories a year. The average human only eats just over 12,000 calories a week, so just the eating alone was a full-time job and there weren’t many times in the day where he wasn’t putting a hand to mouth.
We asked Eddie what his most notable, calorie-dense meal was during this time.
“They aren’t cheat meals when you’re that size, but the go-to before a contest would be like a full extra-large pizza, a full family cheesecake, and then a litre of ice cream to top it off. Probably talking 6000 calories.”
We don’t know whether we’re impressed or concerned...
The Beast’s menu
Eating to be a strongman is no joke. This is what 24 hours of eating used to look like for Eddie in the peak of his strongman days.
His day would usually start at around 7 am where he was awoken to a full English breakfast. Oh, and just to be clear, this breakfast was probably at least double the size of a standard full English that you might order in your local café. After this, it was nap time, because when you’re eating and training as much as he was at this point, you need a lot more than forty winks.
Following a nice nap, Eddie would wake back up at 9 am ready to chomp down on some porridge. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Sadly, you’d be wrong.
“I’d have a bucket of porridge with 5 or 6 portions of fruit and go back to bed.”
Then at around 11, when Eddie was doing his physio treatment, he’d snack on some nuts and then he’d have a litre of cranberry juice, which is amazing for all sorts of things due to the anti-oxidants in the berry and rich electrolyte content, too.
“I think I have drunk 3 litres of cranberry juice every day since I was 19.”
Lunch was a heavy meal. Its total weight was about 1100 grams.
“Lunch would consist of about 300-400g of meat with 500g of carbs and 200g of veg. I'd always have half a family cheesecake for dessert.”
At this point, Eddie needed another nap till around 3:30 pm where he then started to carb-up ready for his training session. This involved a wide range of food, including tuna sandwiches, flapjacks, beef jerky and fruit.
“At the gym, I'd have 2 or 3 litres of cranberry juice with carb powder/BCAAs. Halfway through the session, I’d have a litre protein shake. After the session a litre of coconut water.”
This was standard procedure for Eddie in the gym due to his training intensity — he needed to stay hydrated otherwise he’d be risking a bad injury. After his session, Eddie would complete lots of intense stretching and some hot and cold treatments for his recovery. Typically, he’d be snacking throughout this on beef jerky or nuts to keep the calories coming in.
This takes us to around 10 pm where Eddie was lucky enough to be cooked an evening meal by his supportive wife. “I'm lucky to have my amazing wife who would cook me a big dinner that’s super high calories. If I had a curry, she’d put 2 or 3 packs of bacon in it to add the calories or she’d cook chips in beef drippings.”
Feeling slightly sick? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one — but we’re not even done yet. For dessert, Eddie would tackle the other half of his cheesecake and then a whole litre of ice cream. This would be rounded off with some protein bars and a litre protein shakes for a pre-sleep meal.
That was my life. 24/7, 365 days a year. I was putting in well over 100 hours into everything.”
Eating like a boxer
It should come as no surprise that Eddie has had to change his diet with the switch to boxing training. The old diet wasn’t going to help cut the weight nor make him anywhere near fit enough to fight 3-minute boxing round — let alone 12 rounds.
A man with Eddie’s muscle mass and weight is going to be burning a lot of calories — especially when he was competing for strongman. A university study gives us an insight into how many calories he would burn just sitting still for 12 hours.
“I did a test with a university when I was at my biggest and if I was to just sit still in a chair for 12 hours my body would use up 4900 calories. That gives you an idea of how much food I needed to function, let alone the day to day. I bet at this weight it’s about 2,500ish.”
This explains why Eddie had to eat all that food to be that big. Now, he eats closer to a much more reasonable 6,000 calories — reasonable for a beast at least. This massive drop in food has seen a drastic physical change for him, but it’s also been beneficial for his mental wellbeing, too.
“Not having to constantly have something in my hand or going into my mouth is a big relief.”
For the first time in his life, he has a nutritionist. This is to help Eddie eat the best types of food to prepare for a fight and it’s working for him.
“Even though I'm eating less I've got a lot more energy because I am eating more functional food, more sustainable, slower releasing foods. Lots more fruit and vegetables.”
Eddie’s take-home message
Eddie’s determination for eating properly no matter the goal shows his dedication and this is an attitude he carries to every aspect of his life.
At the end of the day, a lot of people who come second or third — they’ve always got an excuse. I didn’t want to be that guy standing on the second-place podium saying I didn’t win because I was filming Game of Thrones for 5 months.
It’s this attitude and willingness for sacrifice that makes Eddie stand out from the rest. He’s shown in the past he’s got what it takes to win and we’re excited to see him bring the same winning mentality to this next challenge.
Isaac is a brand communications apprentice with a passion for all things fitness. He has always had a passion for football, playing at a high youth level and enjoying 4 years of competitive kickboxing. Over recent years Isaac has dedicated himself to continually improving in the gym, enjoying both functional fitness and bodybuilding styles of workouts. He strongly believes that you should always have balance and likes to spend his time at the weekends socialising with his friends.