Has LeBron James Lost Weight This Offseason?
Has LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland sparked weight loss?
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes James has shed some pounds by cutting carbohydrates from his diet.
Update: Aug. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Windhorst was indeed correct about James losing weight this summer. He recently reported that James has lost more than 10 pounds since the end of the NBA Finals by reducing his carb intake.
Here’s another look at the slimmer James:
—End of Update—
On one hand, we’re not that far removed from the NBA season. On the other hand, James’ face looks noticeably thinner.
What do you think?
«LeBron was probably, coming off his wedding and everything, he was probably in quote-unquote the worst shape he’s been in a while [at the end of the 2013 season]. He was obviously fine, but he got off to a slow start last season. His back was bothering him early on. He and Dwyane Wade both have gone to this sort of, I don’t know if LeBron is terming it paleo, but he’s basically gone without carbs.»
And while the NBA lists The King at 250 pounds (at 6’8″, no less), Windhorst estimates that he’s «actually been in the mid-260s and sometimes over 270 in his career.»
He added that James «doesn’t like talking about it,» and that he «has been a little self-conscious about [his weight] in recent years.»
The star athlete’s hard work has definitely paid off, however, as he was just named the fittest athlete in the world by Sports Illustrated.
As the Los Angeles Lakers head into the All-Star break, some are worried that superstar LeBron James has put on significant weight.
James, who is listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, may have added size while he was sidelined with his groin injury from December 27 until January 29. It is not unusual for a player to struggle with their weight while recovering, but this would be fairly unprecedented for the three-time NBA champion.
While all of the analysts on the Hoop Collective podcast said that James looks bigger than they have ever seen him, Brian Windhorst gave precise details when discussing the superstar’s unique size (via ESPN):
“He got injured midway through the season. He couldn’t do his normal workouts. Normally, he is able to build into great shape… He’s just off. The word on the street is that LeBron is 280 right now… I mean, he carries it well.”
NBA trainer Travelle Gaines, who has worked with several top players around the league including Jimmy Butler, told HoopsHype that James looks like he weighs closer to 260 pounds.
“LeBron has the best sports performance around him,” said Gaines. “He is always going to be in the top shape.”
Regardless, this would not be the first time that some have questioned his weight. For comparison, the common belief is that James weighed between 275 and 280 pounds during his final few seasons with the Miami Heat.
But then in August 2014, Windhorst reported that the four-time NBA MVP had cut out carbs to slim down before the 2014-15 season. In fact, James had previously cut out everything except for meat, fish, vegetables and fruit for 67 days to drop approximately 30 pounds.
LeBron James’ Cheat Day Diet
In 2014, James posted a picture in which he looked noticeably slimmer, which sparked rumors that the NBA player had switched up his diet.
According to Business Insider, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported James was on a diet on a podcast with Grantland‘s Bill Simmons. Windhorst didn’t confirm how he knew about James’ diet, but the well-connected sportswriter has been covering the NBA player since his days as a high school freshman in 1999.
He said James was probably in «the worst shape he’s been in in a while» at the start of the 2013-14 season, and he got off to a «slow start» that season. That season came after he won the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat in June 2013 and got married to longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson.
James himself poked fun at his diet with an Instagram post, and he opened up about it to reporters about a month later.
«I had no sugars, no dairy, I had no carbs,» the father of three explained during an event to unveil his «LeBron 12» sneakers, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
During that time, James ate meals like lobster salad with asparagus and mango chutney, as well as an arugula salad with chicken, fruit, and nuts, topped with olive oil and lemon vinaigrette dressing.
He was so dedicated to his diet, he didn’t eat the dessert a resort made for him when he was on vacation in Greece.
Some outlets reported his diet was a low-carb one, while others said it was paleo, probably due to the fact that James’ former Miami Heat teammate Ray Allen started a paleo diet in 2013.
NBA games run for 48 minutes, but that doesn’t count when the clock is stopped for fouls and timeouts, or when games go into overtime. That’s a lot of active time, and that means athletes need a lot of calories before the big game.
In 2016, James spoke with Business Insider about how he fuels up before game time. «Before competition for me would be like a chicken breast and maybe a little pasta. The carbs help because you’re going out and playing a lot of minutes,» he said.
Comparing himself to swimmer Michael Phelps, who is known to eat massive omelets, stacks of pancakes, and full-size pizzas during training, James said he’ll «wait for that after the game. I can’t do that before the game.»