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Video: bodybuilder lives on 1,199 calories a day

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When he is the final stretch run for a bodybuilding contest, Brian Mooney of Team DC lives on 1,199 calories a day. That's the equivalent of a Big Mac, medium fries and large Coke as his entire food intake. Plus 1/2 a liter of water.

"I can get crabby and irritable," said Mooney, as his partner of 15 years, Bryce Desy nodded. The ultra-strict diet is necessary to bring out the maximum muscle definition, though Mooney admits it's not a particularly healthy sport to be taken to such extremes for a long period of time.

Here is all he has been eating daily in the run-up to the contest:

  • Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup yogurt, protein shake.
  • Lunch: Chicken breast, spinach
  • Midday: Can of tuna in water
  • Dinner: Chicken breast, spinach, protein shake.

On that diet, I wouldn't be just crabby, I would be homicidal, Yet I found Mooney, a U.S. Air employee, to be anything but irritable as we talked during the registration session. The 5-foot-7 Mooney detailed his diet program, which he started in January, where he goes from 170 pounds to 210, then cuts down to about 172.

Competing in the 45-49 age range, Mooney, 47, shrugged when the athletes were told there would be no weigh-in. Yet he still cooperated in stripping down and allowing me to get some pictures, since shooting a bodybuilder with clothes sort of defeats the purpose.

What Mooney has to eat for an entire day is what many would call lunch. Desy generally shares a similar diet, though he did joke that sometimes "he's eating chicken breast and I go get tacos." Mooney said he's looking forward to a nice plate of lasagna when the contest is over; I know a nice Italian place in Rudolfplatz.

Mooney hits some poses the day before the contest (click image for larger view):

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