From basketball stars like Kobe Bryant to golf pros like Phil Mickelson, the popular Paleo diet has become the choice for athletes seeking energy, health, and weight loss. But does the low-carb caveman diet really provide the right nutrition for a winning performance on the basketball court or golf course?
Yes, Mickelson’s pro-Paleo trainer Sean Cochran told CBS Sports.
“Phil’s basically following a paleo diet, which is gluten-free, no sugars and no processed foods. I think it’s how we were designed to eat. You have to wonder how a Twinkie can have a five year shelf life. That can’t be good for your performance.”
As for Kobe, he’s often credited with creating the Paleo diet craze among athletes. He first switched to the caveman diet when he injured his Achilles, reported Yahoo! Sports.
The diet, including bacon, was instigated by Los Angeles Lakers strength and conditioning coach. He emphasizes that the quality of Paleo diet food is important.
“Contrary to what people might think, we actually want our players to eat as much grass fed butter and bacon as we can get into them. Will that sky-rocket cholesterol? No, just look into the science on it.”
Team nutritionist Dr. Cate Shanahan guided Kobe through the process of shifting to a low-carb diet. The Paleo plan that he and the Lakers use allows the body to burn fats for energy.
Even experienced Lakers trainer Gary Vitti has become a bacon believer.
“We’ve turned the whole [dietary] pyramid upside down, that’s what we’ve done. I went 25 years without having whole milk or a stick of butter in my refrigerator. I didn’t eat bacon. No fatty meat.
“We’ve flipped that upside down. Now 50% to 60% of our calories are coming from fat. It’s the source of the fats that’s important.”
As for Kobe, he admits making the shift took time. But the Lakers trusted their team nutritionist.
“We trust Dr. Cate implicitly. I’ve seen great results from it from when I started doing it last year. Watching your sugar intake, making sure you’re eating healthy fats. You’ve got to find a balance in that system. It’s worked well for me.”
When it comes to whether the Paleo diet really works for significant weight loss, LeBron James has become the poster guy for that view, as the Inquisitr reported. He used the caveman diet and obeyed the principles strictly to take off the pounds.
“I had no sugars, no dairy, I had no carbs. All I ate was meat, fish, veggies and fruit. That’s it. For 67 straight days.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]