Shaq revealed the surprising pre-game meal he ate in his prime


When Shaquille O’Neal dominated the paint on his way to four championships in 19 NBA seasons, his appetite was like the 7-foot-2 Hall of Famer: huge.

“Every day before the games, I had two club sandwiches, fries and a pineapple soda,” he says. In the last episode of Men’s healthGym & Refrigerator Series, O’Neal explains how his diet has changed as he’s grown from an ever-prominent TV analyst, pitchman, and DJ.

The first stop is Shaq’s gymnasium, where he knocks out 1,000-pound leg presses – as a warm-up – in a space adorned with photos of his playing career, a giant wooden Superman logo, and worn jerseys. in his day on five different NBA teams. … As well as those worn by other legends, including Karl Malone and Wayne Gretzky.

It is in the kitchen, however, that Shaq recounts how his life has changed since the days when he was known as Diesel. His pre-game routine, he says, included no stretching, little training and eating whatever he wanted, including those two sandos clubs before each game. And Shaq wasn’t the only one with high-calorie pre-game eating habits: his TNT co-host Charles Barkley said his own pre-game meal included two McDonald’s Filet-o sandwiches. -Fish with fries.

But as he neared his forties, Shaq realized that even though he is Superman, his health is not bulletproof. During a recent visit to the doctor, his doctor asked Big Fella a big question: “Do you want to die?” “

Response from Shaq: No. So he traded in clubs for salmon with lemon, lean chicken, and meatloaf for lunch. His breakfast consists of four scrambled eggs with two pieces of turkey sausage. It might sound like a lot, but remember: Shaq is 7 feet 2 inches tall.

But for the key to this diet – “the toughest diet I’ve ever been on,” he says – the man once known as Big Aristotle quotes ordinary Aristotle: “Excellence is not just one habit. You are what you do over and over.

So O’Neal tries to stick to his plan 90 percent of the time, filling his plate with lean protein and his blender with banana, peanut butter, and blueberry smoothies. He has two goals: to live longer and to stay shirtless on the occasion of his 50th birthday next March.

“My goal at 50 is to take my shirt off once, show the ladies how good I am and put it back on,” he says.

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