Off-season is when most athletes tend to slack a little before heading into pre-season training and diet. However pre-season photographs of Lebron James went viral on the internet after he Tweeted the pics of himself and his dramatic off-season weight loss.
The media and fans went wild wanting to know the secret to his weight loss, so they could replicate the results. Lebron jokes in interviews that he “lost a couple of pounds” off-season, describing what he calls a very strict 67 day diet, though he plans to put some of the weight back on for protection immediately prior to the season.
Lebron James’ strict off-season weight loss resulted of a variation of the paleo, primal, or atkins type diet. On the diet he reports to have eaten lots of meat, fish, veggies and fruit coupled with eliminating sugar, dairy, grains and processed foods. While he admits it was hard to give up pancakes, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, and dreaming of being chased by the cookie monster, the results clearly speak for themselves: This diet works for weight loss.
In a nutshell, whole foods and not much else. The plan is very restrictive and as such shouldn’t be followed for a long period of time due to its restrictive nature. This isn’t your average paleo plan, this is strict paleo diet. Some paleo aficionado’s allow ‘paleo pancakes’ and “paleo bread’ but the Lebron James plan is ultra clean with no processed or refined carbohydrates, including the paleo style products.
The main components of the plan were meat, fish, veggies and fruit. Though James claims to have eaten no carbs during this diet clearly with the addition of vegetables and fruit he was eating carbs. As with paleo and primal it’s not no carbs, it’s eating the right carbs. Nixing the donuts and processed foods and saying yes to what nature intended us to eat.
If you want to train or look like an athlete, you need to train and eat like an athlete. When it comes to athletes and food imagine it like the gas you put into your car. If you have a beat up 20 year old Toyota Camry, you might not car what gas you put into the car right? However if you have a brand new Corvette Stingray you want to drive to optimum performance you put premium fuel in the tank. The same with your body, if you want it moving and working at peak performance you need to put the best fuel in the tank. That fuel is natural, unprocessed, and high nutrient density foods.
Excess weight can have a dramatic negative impact on performance, so only time will tell if Lebron James can keep the weight off, and if it improves his performance on court.
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