Nearly every sport requires some level of fitness that puts athletes ahead of the average human and shows their dedication. Golfers, however, can get by on skill without the same level of fitness. But as Phil Mickelson learned as he got older, they must eventually have good diet and exercise habits.
Phil Mickelson’s fitness journey
Mickelson was never known for his physique or athleticism when he was making a name for himself with every golf competition. As he got older, he began to realize the toll his lifestyle was taking on him.
“I wasn’t playing well and I wasn’t feeling good about myself,” Mickelson told South China Morning Post. “I wasn’t recovering as fast as I wanted to after the rounds and I was feeling tired and not focused towards the end of the round. I felt that the first step in getting that back was getting in better shape — getting lighter, and what I’ve noticed is that I’ve recovered faster.
Mickelson’s weight was not the only struggle he was experiencing, either. In 2010, doctors diagnosed him with psoriatic arthritis that became so painful he had trouble walking on some days.
With his fitness in mind, Mickelson decided to take things into his own hands and try to lose some weight. It might not help his game, necessarily, but it was going to help his body.
What is Mickelson’s diet?
Mickelson tried a few diets over the years. In 2010, he experimented with a vegetarian diet but was quickly put on the Paleo diet, which focuses on lean meats and healthy foods while nixing as much processed food and sugar as possible. This lasted for a while, but Mickelson still fell in and out of shape over the next few years.
Recently, Mickelson tried his hand at a more extreme diet. This one wasn’t a long-term diet meant to cleanse his system, boost his metabolism, and help spur weight loss. Instead, the golfer fasted for six days, living mostly on water and coffee. As a result, he claimed to have lost 15 pounds.
A diet like this isn’t for everybody, but coffee is known to have several benefits. Mickelson appeared to use the fast to kickstart something special. In August 2019, his wife posted a picture of a shirtless Mickelson at the beach looking svelte, with muscles showing on his once-doughy stomach.
What can we learn?
Most of us can’t ever be as physically fit as pro athletes. Mickelson, however, offers a glimpse of a guy who had issues with overeating — he’s more relatable to the average person. While his fast was extreme, he did show that it helped along the way.
Everybody has limits on how they can diet. Mickelson chose an extreme route that was likely possible with his access to personal trainers and other experts. Regardless, his journey is commendable and shows that even international competitors suffer similar struggles.