LOOK: Ex-Chargers C Nick Hardwick drops 85 pounds within 6 months

Hardwick hardly looks like a former NFL player. (USATSI, Twitter)

When Nick Hardwick spent his days snapping the ball to Philip Rivers and protecting his quarterback from the destruction of 300-pound defensive linemen, he was only able to do so by counteracting their strength with his own weight. Hardwick, throughout his NFL career, weighed nearly 300 pounds. 

"I was disgusting," Hardwick told Monday Morning Quarterback.

Today, Hardwick is no longer a professional football player. He retired this past February, which means that for the first time in a while, he doesn't have to purposely bulk up. Today, Hardwick weighs 225 pounds, though according to reports he once dipped as low as 208 pounds. 

"I wanted a magazine six-pack, to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club," Hardwick told MMQB. "That’s never gonna happen, but I might as well try."

When Hardwick got injured in the opening game of the 2014 season, he knew it was the end of his 11-year NFL career, so he already began his weight-loss regimen. After a career spent eating an insane amount of food, Hardwick began eating like a normal person again for the first time since before his college football days.

According to MMQB, when Hardwick played at Purdue, he would eat two Jimmy John's sandwiches, one for breakfast and one for lunch, two pounds of ground beef inside of tortillas for dinner, and then he'd drink a 700-calorie protein shake at night. And, oh yeah, he'd wake up at 3 a.m. just so he could have another one of those shakes. Though his eating routine changed once he entered the NFL, he was still piling on the calories. 

He's no longer doing that. And now, this is what he looks like:

Hardwick is hardly the only former offensive lineman to slim down during retirement. Matt Birk, who played center in the NFL for 14 years, lost 75 pounds after retiring from the league in 2013.

And Alan Faneca -- a guard in the NFL for 13 years -- dropped 70 pounds and looked like this in 2014:

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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