It's become an offseason rite of passage to find out what bizarre sort of diet Russell Wilson's engaging in, and 2017 is no different. Well, it's different in that Wilson is doing a different diet, but nothing has changed in terms of him seeking out odd training methods to improve his overall physical well being.
This time around he is quite literally going to extremes, having turned to a nine-meal, 4,800-calorie diet PER DAY in order to lose weight. That seems weird, but Wilson apparently has dropped 10 pounds according Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.
Wilson and wife Ciara worked with "food coach" Phillip Goglia, who said the Seahawks quarterback "buried himself" in this "epic" diet.
"He was an animal about it," Goglia said. "The f---ing guy buried himself in this, and it's epic to see, because that really validates him as a complete athlete."
The impetus for this diet was Wilson believing he wasn't mobile enough, according to Goglia, although it's entirely possible Wilson simply saw what the Seahawks did (or didn't) do in terms of improving the offensive line this offseason.
"He came in feeling as though he was too heavy and not mobile enough," Goglia said. "And he wanted to get his weight down. He was over 225. He felt as though he needed to be leaner and stronger and more agile. And that's my wheelhouse."
Wilson dealt with injuries throughout the 2016 season, drastically reducing his production in terms of running the ball and limiting the Seahawks offense because it took away one of the most dangerous dimensions. Wilson, if nothing else, is one of the best passers while on the run in the entire NFL.
When he showed up to work with Goglia, he was consuming about 2,700 calories per day, according to Kapadia. Goglia ramped him up to 4,800.
"When you think metabolism, everybody will think fast or slow," Goglia said. "And it's not. Metabolism is ultimately hot or cold. The definition of a calorie is a heat-energy unit. So if calories are heat and metabolism is a function of heat, and if fat is a lipid and only converts to energy in a hot environment, it just makes sense that you have to eat a certain amount of calories to generate enough heat to burn fat. And that's counter-intuitive to every civilian out there.
"Every fat guy will say, 'Food makes you fat. I eat one can of tuna and an apple a day.' And that's why they're fat. Not enough caloric heat. Especially in athletes. Athletic temperatures are huge metabolically. They have a big metabolic load. The more muscle you have, the more food you need. That's the baseline concept."
Counter point: beer. Which, obviously, was not part of Wilson's offseason diet.
What was in the diet? Glad you asked. All items via Kapadia's article, which is worth reading in its entirety:
Meal 1 (Pre-workout semi-breakfast): Tablespoon of almond butter, tablespoon of jam
Meal 2 (Actual breakfast): Two cups of cooked oatmeal, six whole eggs, a fruit, one chicken breast
Meal 3 (Mid-morning snack): A fruit, 12 almonds
Meal 4 (Lunch No. 1): Eight oz. protein (equivalent of two chicken breasts), a yam OR a cup of rice OR a potato AND a vegetable
Meal 5 (Lunch No. 2): Eight oz. protein (equivalent of two chicken breasts), a yam OR a cup of rice OR a potato AND a vegetable
Meal 6 (Mid-afternoon snack): A fruit, 12 almonds
Meal 7 (Late-afternoon snack): A fruit, 12 almonds, whey protein
Meal 8 (Dinner): Fish OR steak AND salad OR vegetables
Meal 9 (Bedtime snack): Fruit and tablespoon of blackstrap molasses (if light workouts the next day) OR "mash" (shredded wheat, applesauce, almond butter and jam -- for heavier workouts the next day)
Some observations (from me).
First, it's kind of unfair to just say "fish" -- Wilson is a multi-millionaire and I would venture to guess the fish dishes he's eating (Goglia said it's mostly "fatty fish like salmon, sea bass, black cod, arctic char") are freaking awesome. Nothing is going to be soaked in butter, but he's probably got some decent chefs who can help make him some pretty good, healthy salmon marinades. Salmon is awesome. A flaky sea bass? Yes, please.
Two, those snacks are terrible! Where are the freaking Cheez-its? Obviously if you're dieting, you're going to limit what sort of garbage you put into your body in between meals. Almonds (all 12 of them) and fruit are nice, filling holdovers.
Three, this is sort of a doable diet from a layman perspective. No one's cooking up the stuff that Tom Brady makes unless you order his cookbook or get the TB12 nutrition plans ordered to your door. Making fish or steak and salad or vegetables? That's an everyman's diet.
And finally, "mash" sounds really gross, although Goglia's description is amusing.
"You crunch all this s--- up in a bowl, eat it and go to bed," Goglia said.
So how is this working for Wilson? According to Kapadia, he's down nine pounds already and has cut six percent of his body fat, which is a crazy amount to shed during the offseason, especially for a guy who has alwasys been in good shape to begin with.
Russell, who is described as a Wisconsin "Badgers alum" and someone who loves cheese, gets one cheat night every two weeks.
"I love cheese -- hence Wisconsin," Wilson said laughing. "I love cheese, so that's always something that you've got to be careful of."
Wilson's planning on playing next year at under 215 pounds, which will be interesting to watch. If he's just as strong and compact but more mobile, he'll be an absolute terror for defenses when he breaks contain in the pocket.