Phil Mickelson’s recent 10-pound weight loss was due to the low carb Paleo diet. Mickelson, who wants to lose an additional 10 pounds, overhauled his diet and fitness regimen after failing to win a single golf tournament last year.
“Phil’s basically following a Paleo diet, which is gluten-free, no sugars and no processed foods,” Mickelson’s trainer, Sean Cochran, told Golf Digest Jan. 6. “I think it’s how we were designed to eat.
Sean said the Paleo diet’s emphasis on whole foods makes sense. “You have to wonder how a Twinkie can have a five-year shelf life. That can’t be good for your performance.”
Mickelson, 44, also stepped up his workout routine, and now lifts weights for an hour, four days a week. “Phil’s putting a large amount of due diligence and focus into this routine,” said Cochran. “He’s about halfway to his [weight loss] goals.”
Mickelson’s fitness goals are to lose a total of 20 pounds and increase his ball speed by 10 miles per hour. Cochran said Phil’s new diet and workout plan has significantly improved his health and appearance.
“He looks more athletic,” said Cochran. “He’s standing taller, carrying himself better. If I was a betting man, I’d say he’ll come out hot in 2015.”
Mickelson joins a growing number of professional athletes who are embracing the weight loss and health benefits of the low-carb Paleo diet, which emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, alcohol and processed foods.
NBA superstar LeBron James credited a low-carb ketogenic-style Paleo diet for his recent 25-pound weight loss, Celebrity Health reported. James, who has since regained some weight, followed his strict diet for 67 days to test his willpower.
“I had no sugar, no dairy, no carbs,” said LeBron. “All I ate was meat, fish, veggies and fruit. That’s it. For 67 straight days.”
James said his diet consisted entirely of meat, fish, vegetables and some low-sugar fruit. The 6-foot-8 LeBron, whose reportedly weighed 275 pounds last season, now weighs about 250 pounds and feels quicker on his feet.
Ketosis expert Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State University, told Sports Illustrated more athletes are favoring low carb, high-fat diets such as the Paleo and ketogenic plans to lose weight fast and dramatically change their body fat composition.
Because athletes have historically followed high-carb, low-fat diets, Dr. Volek said the recent shift toward low carb, high-fat diets represents a major paradigm shift.
“This is the world turned upside down,” said Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. “It is the completely opposite paradigm.”
Obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity, said low carb, high-fat diets such as the ketogenic and Paleo plans accelerate weight loss and prevents diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.