LeBron James weighs about 250 pounds now and is much more agile after his dramatic weight loss on a low carb ketogenic-style Paleo diet.
“I haven’t been in this weight class,” James told CNN’s Rachel Nichols (see video clip). “I’m in the 250-ish range. A lot lighter than I’ve been playing at the last few years, but I feel good.”
James also joked that he frequently dreamed the Cookie Monster was chasing him because he missed his favorite high carb snacks so much.
“I had the Cookie Monster chasing me a few times in my dreams,” laughed James, who said giving up pancakes, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for 67 days straight was the hardest part of his extreme diet.
James followed a strict low carb ketogenic-style Paleo diet, with no cheat days. His daily menu for 67 days consisted entirely of meat, fish, vegetables and low-sugar fruit.
“I’ll tell you what I couldn’t have,” he said. “No carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no refined sugar. [All I ate was] meat, fish, veggies, fruit.”
LeBron probably meant no refined carbs or sugar, since fruit (and most vegetables) do contain carbs and sugar.
Was Self-Conscious About His Weight
LeBron wouldn’t reveal exactly how much weight he lost, but has since regained a few pounds and looks fuller than he did in August, when he made headlines after unveiling his shocking weight loss. However, James is still much leaner than he was last season.
The 6-foot-8 LeBron listed his weight at 250 pounds last year, but was actually closer to 270 pounds, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst revealed on a radio interview.
“He has actually been in the mid-260s and sometimes over 270 in his career,” said Windhorst, who enjoys unprecedented access to LeBron. “He doesn’t like talking about it. He has been a little self-conscious about that in recent years.”
Windhorst said LeBron was inspired by the dramatic transformation of his former Miami Heat teammate Ray Allen, who got in incredible condition after switching to the low carb Paleo diet in the summer of 2013.
Allen, 39, came back from the summer break in significantly better shape than he was the previous year after adopting a low-carb, sugar-free Paleo diet. The lanky 6-foot-5 Ray said he quickly lost 10 pounds after going Paleo.
While weight loss was not Allen’s goal when he went Paleo, he said the diet gave him better stamina and dramatically improved his post-workout recovery. Ray’s health turnaround also motivated his Miami Heat teammate Dwayne Wade to adopt the Paleo diet.
As James looks ahead to the 2014-2015 NBA season, he’s ready to dominate, saying his weight loss has made him much more dangerous on the basketball court.
When asked if he was quicker on his feet now, James said he definitely is. “I am,” he said. “And that’s not such a good thing for the competition.”
Weight Loss ‘Had Nothing To Do With Basketball’
That said, LeBron insisted his weight loss had nothing to do with basketball, but more about proving to himself that he has the self-discipline and willpower to achieve any goal he sets for himself.
“It had nothing to do with basketball,” James said at the Cleveland Cavaliers media day. “Stop the speculation on why I did it. Every summer I challenge myself to do something different that’s outside the box. I stopped eating candy last summer, just no candy the whole summer. Just challenge myself to see if I could do it.
“So I decided to do this particular diet this summer for two months, it had nothing to do with basketball. Nothing at all. Once I set out a goal, I like to accomplish it. In the process, I lost some weight and the stories came out that I did it for basketball. But it did make me quicker, so it will help our team.”
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