It takes a lot of work to transform into one of the most well-known professional athletes of all time, but LeBron James has done just that. The Lakers star is in his 16th professional season and thriving.
Off the court, the 34-year-old is busy with charitable organizations like the LeBron James Family Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children’s Defense Fund, and After-School All-Stars, plus spending time with his wife and three children.
How does he have enough energy for all of this? Well, by eating more than enough quality, healthy food. James has to eat a ton each day to replace the calories he burns on the court. Let’s look at his insane diet.
Cooking for LeBron James
Like most pro athletes, James uses the services of professional chefs like Glenn Lyman who specializes in serving healthy meals. Lyman’s technique for cooking for athletes is to replace the traditional ingredients in family-favorite home-cooked meals with healthier versions. This way the athlete can eat comfort foods yet maintain a rigorous training regimen.
When Charlotte Magazine asked James what sort of meals he likes to eat, Lyman reported that James isn’t a picky eater. The chef said the NBA star has to consume so many calories a day that he would pretty much eat anything Lyman put in front of him.
James is a big breakfast lover. According to Lyman, James can’t help but devour stacks of his whole-grain French toast. For dinner, he doesn’t serve a lot of red meat; he prefers leaner proteins like chicken, turkey, shrimp, and salmon — with a little Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream for dessert!
But cooking for high-profile athletes like James isn’t all fun and games. Lyman told Sports Illustrated about a time when he was given the “amazing challenge” of having just three hours’ notice to shop for, cook, and serve dinner to over 20 TV and film executives in James’ home.
Could anyone handle James’ diet?
Like other NBA stars, James has occasionally made headlines for his sudden weight loss. In 2014, he surprised fans with an offseason transformation after cutting out all sugar, carbs, and dairy for 67 days. He even turned down a birthday cake offered to him at a vacation resort in Greece because he was off sugars. Now that’s determination.
While “regular people” like the rest of us could technically eat as many calories as James does in a day, it would be detrimental to our overall health unless we burn the same amount of calories. Pro athletes have little to no body fat and experience intense exercise sessions while in season.
This diet works well for James
Last year with the Lakers was the first time James missed the playoffs since 2005. This was largely thanks to a groin injury that sidelined him for a good chunk of the season. With such a successful career, it’s clear that James has his diet figured out.
The 34-year-old is one of the oldest players left and has a lot to prove to critics who thought he should have retired instead of going to Los Angeles. We don’t know what he’ll do next, but we do know he’ll be well-fed and probably enjoying each Taco Tuesday that comes around.