Former Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas is the latest retired football player to lose a ton of weight, dropping 50 pounds in the first nine months of his retirement.
While many former athletes struggle with weight gain after their careers, some lose a ton of weight, and in many cases, are now nearly unrecognizable.
One common theme among many of these players is the position they played. Most of the players below were offensive linemen, suggesting those players do more to push their body weight to an extreme, developing dangerous habits like consuming massive numbers of calories to maintain their playing sizes.
Below is a look at 20 players who lost a ton of weight after their careers ended.
10-time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas is regarded as one of the best offensive linemen ever. He spent most of his career playing at 310 pounds and said he was “more eager to lose weight than almost anything in retirement.”
Source: NFL Network
He is now an analyst for the NFL Network and it it took less than nine months after his final NFL game to lose 50 pounds. When asked how he did it, he chuckled and said, “You just don’t eat until you feel like you’re gonna throw up at every meal and all of a sudden the weight falls right off.”
Source: NFL Network
Will Montgomery was a 305-pound offensive lineman with a size 42 waist who played for 5 teams in 9 seasons.
Montgomery now weighs 225 pounds — his lowest weight since high school — and has a 34-inch waist. He did it by cutting out sugars, no longer eating pasta and bread, and drinking more red wine and less beer (Montgomery is on the left).
Source: Washington Post
David Carter was a 300-pound defensive lineman for the Cardinals and Cowboys.
Carter lost 40 pounds in 6 weeks after becoming a vegan and is now a model.
Brad Culpepper (No. 77) was a 275-pound defensive tackle for three different teams and retired after the 2000 season.
Here is Brad Culpepper with his wife on the show “Survivor.” He says it was pretty easy to lose 80 pounds because he simply stopped eating all the extra food needed to maintain his playing weight.
Mike Golic played for 3 teams in 8 seasons, most famously as a defensive tackle for the dominant Eagles’ defence of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was listed at 280 pounds during his career.
Golic is now a host on ESPN Radio and has slimmed down considerably.
Alan Faneca was a 320-pound offensive lineman for the Steelers, Jets, and Cardinals, and he last played in 2010.
Alan Faneca has lost 105 pounds since he stopped playing, and he completed his first marathon in 2014.
Nick Hardwick was a 300-pound center for the San Diego Chargers who retired after the 2014 season. He said he had to eat “lots of ice cream, burritos, pizza” and “whatever else [he] could get [his] hands on” in order to maintain his size.
After retiring, he lost 85 pounds in four months by reducing his calories, using intermittent fasting, and yoga.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Jeff Saturday was a 295-pound center who spent most of his career with the Colts and retired after the 2012 season.
Jeff Saturday, left, now weighs 238 pounds and runs a program to help former players learn about healthy lifestyles.
Jordan Gross was a 3-time Pro Bowler as a 300-pound offensive lineman with the Panthers.
Just seven months after retiring following the 2013 season, Gross looked a lot closer to 200 pounds when he visited training camp.
Antone Davis (No. 78) was a 330-pound offensive lineman and grew to 475 pounds after he stopped playing in 1997.
Antone Davis was recently a runner-up on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” where he lost more than 200 pounds.
In the 1960s, Lions defensive lineman Roger Brown (No. 76) was the first 300-pound player to get regular playing time in the NFL.
After he retired, he ballooned to nearly 450 pounds before a health scare convinced him to start losing weight. He (No. 76) is now 227 pounds.
Nate Newton (No. 61), a 320-pound offensive lineman, played most of his 14-year career with the Cowboys before retiring in 1999 and growing to nearly 400 pounds in retirement.
He was able to get down to 220 pounds in 2010 after surgery to remove 75% of his stomach.
Source: Dallas Morning-News
JaMarcus Russell struggled with his weight with the Raiders and even more before attempting to get back into the NFL.
In 2013, JaMarcus Russell lost 51 pounds hoping for another shot in the NFL.
Tom Nalen was a 290-pound center for the Denver Broncos, last playing in 2007.
A skinnier Nalen was recently inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame and credited continuing to work out after his retirement for the weight loss.
LenDale White weighed as much as 260 pounds as a running back for the Titans.
Prior to his last season in the NFL, LenDale White lost 30 pounds, a result he credited to giving up tequila.
Matt Birk was a 310-pound center for the Vikings and Ravens who retired in 2012.
After retiring, Matt Birk lost 75 pounds after joining Body By ViSalus, a company dedicated to ending obesity, and Birk is now a model.
Mark Schlereth was a 290-pound offensive lineman for Washington and Denver and last played in 2000.
Mark Schlereth is now a slimmed-down commentator on Fox Sports.
David Pollack weighed as much as 297 pounds as a defensive lineman in college, and he last played in the NFL in 2006 as a 260-pound linebacker for the Bengals.
After a career-ending injury, Pollack is now a 220-pound college football commentator for ESPN. Pollack says he just got smarter about what he eats and when he eats it.
Damien Woody was a 320-pound offensive lineman for the Lions, Patriots, and Jets.
After seeing his weight go up to 388 pounds in retirement, Woody also went on “The Biggest Loser,” and lost 110 pounds.
Current Redskins lineman Tony Bergstrom hasn’t lost the weight yet, but he already has a plan to lose 50 of his 305 pounds when he retires.
Bergstrom told WaPo: “I have the diet plan already written out. Offensive linemen go one of two ways: You either balloon up or you shrink to nothing. I’d rather shrink to nothing. Three months later, you’ll see a whole different person. I’ll come walking in and you’ll be like, I don’t know who that is.”
Source: Washington Post
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