Matthew McConaughey lost 50 pounds on an extreme low-calorie diet to play an HIV patient in the film “Dallas Buyers Club."
The 6-foot-tall McConaughey slimmed down from 185 pounds to 135 pounds by eating two small meals a day and doing intense cardio workouts.
“I ate a lot of fish, but only five ounces of it, and then a cup of vegetables,” McConaughey told Access Hollywood Sept. 20. “That would be twice a day."
Matthew, 43, started off doing rigorous cardio exercise in a desperate bid to shed weight quickly, but scaled back on working out once he realized the weight came off due simply to his near-starvation diet.
“I started off doing a lot of exercise, burning 1,800 calories a day,” he said. “I had to do that for two weeks. My goal was to lose four pounds a week.
"So I was doing that for the first two weeks, lost eight pounds, and then I had a week where I had an injury and I couldn’t exercise, and I stayed on the same diet but I lost the same amount of weight. I was like, 'Oh, well. Let me see if I can do this without exercise.' And I lost the same amount of weight."
McConaughey, a longtime fitness fanatic who has frequently been photographed working out shirtless outdoors, said the extreme weight loss was grueling but manageable.
Like McConaughey, co-star Jared Leto lost 30 pounds in four weeks by undergoing a month-long fast. The 5-foot-9 Leto basically starved himself down to 116 pounds from his usual 146 pounds to look the part of a transsexual AIDs patient.
For their dedication and commitment, both McConaughey and Leto are receiving early rave reviews for their stirring performances.