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Scott Quinn, of South Buffalo, has spent the last 16 weeks on a tough diet and pushed himself to the max in the gym. That’s what it takes when you want to become Mr. Buffalo.

Quinn, 23, a Lake Shore High School grad who works in collections, is among dozens of competitors who will compete at 7 tonight at the Mr./Ms. Buffalo Championships, in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

For tickets and more info, visit mrmsbuffalocontest.com.

Q. How does your diet change when preparing for a competition?

A. My trainer has me on this carb manipulation track right now where I’m off carbs up until about three days before the show.

Q. What are you eating instead?

A. I’m eating fish, some fruit and dark greens. Fruit is straight cantaloupe, six times a day.

Q. What are your go-to foods in the days and hours beforehand?

A. Three days before the competition it’ll be nothing but carbs – just going to be sticking with Mini-Wheats and, maybe, if I’m lucky, a sweet potato – and chicken.

That’s the time with no water where you’ve got to [gradually] completely dehydrate your body, where it gives you the appearance of thinner skin and more vascularity, more muscle definition.

Q. What is the food you look most forward to eating after the competition is over?

A. I’ve been planning a trip to Golden Corral for about six months, whatever they’ve got there. I also definitely want to go to the Chop House afterward and get a nice big old filet.

Q. Your favorite protein?

A. Either steak or fish, any kind of seafood. I do a protein shake once a day, Isolate, that I get at Vitamin World.

Q. Your favorite beverage?

A. Water, ice cold water.

Q. The foods you avoid at all costs?

A. Anything with simple sugars, candy, cakes, any baked goods. That’s like holiday treats,like once a year.

Or bread. Bread’s real fattening, too.

Q. The food that’s hardest to resist?

A. Anything with chocolate.

– Scott Scanlon