- Shaquille O’Neal told GQ he revamped his diet after he realized he had gained belly fat.
- O’Neal said he reduced his daily carb and fat intake and now eats more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
- O’Neal said his new diet and training routine has helped him lose weight and stay healthy.
In a recent interview with GQ, Shaquille O’Neal said he revamped his diet and started using the elliptical after he realized his belly fat had ballooned over his pants.
“I was waking up and going to work, chilling, eating whatever. I wasn’t paying attention. I looked down one day, I was like, ‘Damn,’ My belly was way over my belt,” he told the outlet.
O’Neal joked that he had, “Charles Barkley Over The Belt Syndrome” referencing the physique of his former NBA rival and his current “Inside the NBA on TNT” co-host.
The 50-year-old Hall of Famer previously told Men’s Journal he lost 30 lbs at the start of 2021 after his doctor asked him if he wanted to die during a check-up.
“When they hit you with that three-letter word that starts with D and ends with E, it changes stuff up,” O’Neal told GQ.
O’Neal said he started a strict new diet and fitness routine to help him
and stay healthy after 50. He said he uses the elliptical and cut down on fat and carbs while increasing his daily intake of fruit, vegetables, and lean protein.
O’Neal said he eats five meals per day, and they almost all include fruit or vegetables
O’Neal said he includes fruit in the first three meals of his day. For breakfast, he eats fruit, and then three turkey sausages and about four or five egg whites.
The retired NBA star said his second meal is just fruit, followed up by more fruit and a shake or smoothie for his third meal. He previously told Men’s Health that his smoothie recipe is made up of blueberries, bananas, and peanut butter. His recipe is similar to Tom Brady’s favorite smoothie recipe, but Brady uses almond butter instead of peanut butter and includes whey protein and walnuts for a total of 34 grams of protein.
The four-time NBA Champion told GQ his fourth meal is just a salad, and his fifth meal is only lean chicken, fish, or steak. O’Neal previously told Men’s Health that his go-to fish of choice is salmon, which is now his favorite dinner meal overall.
While O’Neal said he cut back on fats, carbs, and included more fruit in his diet to lose weight, experts say about 25-30% of a person’s daily diet should be made up of fruit, according to WebMD. Carbs are also great fuel for quick energy for workouts, and healthy fats, like olive oil, are a key part of a heart-healthy diet and have anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants.