- NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has lost 55 pounds.
- He realized he was “getting chubby,” and initially only aimed to lose 20 pounds.
- He started to eat healthily, and said “the weight just fell off.”
NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, has shared how he lost 55 pounds over the last few years.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published on August 31, Shaq revealed that he weighs 351 pounds — which is only six pounds heavier than he was when he won his first NBA championship in 2000.
Shaq realized he “couldn’t even walk up the stairs”
“I was getting chubby and couldn’t even walk up the stairs. I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror,” the 51-year-old said.
He said he was getting “Charles Barkley, a.k.a. fat,” referencing his friend and “NBA on TNT” colleague. Insider previously reported that Barkley himself lost 62 pounds on weight loss drug Mounjaro.
In March, Shaq told People magazine that he’d gained weight from continuing to eat unhealthily after he retired, because he was no longer working it off on the basketball court.
“I didn’t really take it seriously until I looked in the mirror six, seven years after I retired. I looked terrible. I had no definition and basically I was fat. I was really fat,” he said.
Shaq said a healthier diet helped him shed the pounds
Shaq revealed to ET that he had blood work done and switched to a better diet, which is when the pounds began to drop off.
He told ET in December 2022: “A friend of mine called me and said, ‘You’re fat,’ and she gave me this guy’s name, and he did some blood work. I was an athlete, I wasn’t a salad eater. I didn’t pay attention to any of that. I don’t care about none of that.
I didn’t know the difference between a carb and a protein, at 50 years old I never knew. He was saying ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that, more vegetables, my iron’s low.’ And once I just started changing those certain things, it dropped.”
“Plus the supplements I’m taking, and the shakes I’m drinking, the weight just fell off. I’m not at 100 percent ninja mode yet. I’m still 75 percent.”
Shaq sets “crazy goals” for himself
Shaq initially only aimed to lose 20 pounds, but his goal has changed and he’s continued to lose weight since December. “I’m probably gonna get between 315 and 330,” Shaq said.
“And I wanna have a twelve-pack,” he joked, “I probably have a five pack right now so I have seven more packs to go.”
His “crazy goals” for his weight loss would see him returning to the weight he was in 2006 when he helped Miami Heat win their first NBA title in franchise history, his lowest ever weight at 315 pounds.
Experts have previously told Insider that safe and sustainable weight loss comes from eating in a calorie deficit while getting a balance of the three macronutrients — protein, carbs, and fat — as well as enjoying all foods in moderation and not over-restricting. To avoid losing muscle rather than fat, it’s important to resistance train and eat enough protein.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who steadily lose weight, at around one to two pounds per week, are more likely to keep it off.