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LeBron James has lost a bunch of weight this offseason after going on a low-carb diet.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed some more details about LeBron’s weight-loss program on a podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons on Tuesday.
Windhorst says LeBron is losing weight for two reasons: 1) he entered last season in the “the worst shape he’s been in in a while,” and 2) he has become a bit self-conscious about his weight in recent years.
After the Heat won their second straight NBA title, in 2013, LeBron enjoyed his summer (his first summer off since 2011 because of the London Olympics in 2012) and got married.
I’ve heard he’s estimated about 10 or 12 pounds down now. I guess he has cut out carbs. Last year Ray Allen — as if Ray Allen needed anything to help with his body — he went paleo in the offseason. … And Ray Allen came to training camp and he was the only Heat guy who was in better shape at the start of last training camp than at the end of the  season because those guys enjoyed their second championship. Wade and LeBron especially. LeBron was probably, coming off his wedding and everything, he was probably in quote-unquote ‘the worst shape he’s been in a while.’ 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.
It’s important to note LeBron in his “worst shape” is still one of the best athletes in the NBA. And even in November of last year he averaged 26 points, six assists, and six rebounds per game.
The slight dip in physical conditioning was enough to make him lose 10 pounds in six weeks, though.
The other thing that motivated LeBron’s weight loss, according to Windhorst, is his self-consciousness at people thinking he weighs over 270 pounds. From Windhorst:
He has actually been in the mid-260s and sometimes over 270 in his career. He doesn’t like talking about it. I don’t even know what they list him at. I think they might list him at 250. He has been a little self-conscious about that in recent years, so I think there’s a secondary reason as well.
The NBA lists him at 250 pounds. Considering LeBron is 6-foot-8 and completely ripped, that number seems low.
LeBron was just named the fittest athlete in the world by Sports Illustrated. He’s a once-in-a-generation athletic freak. Now he’s just going to be a slightly trimmer once-in-a-generation athletic freak.