After a season where he struggled with injuries and a career-low QBR, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spent much of his offseason focusing on improvement. Wilson’s first concentration was diet.
“Just trying to really focus on trying to eat really, really well and have great nutrition. I think it’s critical,” Wilson told ESPN.com. “[Eating well] allows you to wake up feeling good, feeling strong. It allows you to excel throughout the day and have tons of strength and energy. So I think it’s really important for me. And I love food. I’m from the South, Virginia. So for me, I have to be really conscientious of what I eat. And also, my dad had diabetes. So I try to really pay attention to what I eat and try to do a really good job of that.”
Though he had always eaten consciously since entering the NFL in 2012, last year’s injuries prompted Wilson to make a change to ensure his health for the upcoming season.
Seeking to slim down and increase mobility, Wilson visited the office of celebrity nutritionist Dr. Philip Goglia for a diet overhaul. Originally consuming about 2,700 calories a day, Wilson received a 4,800-calorie-a-day plan from Goglia that included nine different meal times. Though more than doubling Wilson’s caloric intake seems counterintuitive to his desire to lose weight, Goglia explained that a metabolism isn’t fast or slow, but hot and cold. In order to generate heat to burn fat, one must consume more calories, units of heat. For an elite athlete with a lot of muscle, this caloric need is even greater, thus Wilson’s new multi-meal diet.
The quarterback’s plan is designed to aid the athlete from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to sleep: pre-breakfast of a tablespoon of almond butter and a tablespoon of jam, breakfast of two cups of cooked oatmeal, six whole eggs, fruit, and chicken breast, a morning snack of fruit and almonds, lunch of eight ounces of protein with a yam or a cup of rice or a potato and a vegetable, a second snack of fruit and 12 almonds, an afternoon snack of fruit, 12 almonds and whey protein, dinner of fish or steak and vegetables or salad, and a bedtime snack of fruit and a tablespoon of molasses or shredded wheat, applesauce, almond butter and jam.
The diet omits inflammatory foods, like yeast, mold, gluten and dairy, though the later is a struggle for Wilson.”I love cheese — hence Wisconsin,” Wilson, a Badgers alum, said. “I love cheese, so that’s always something that you’ve got to be careful of.” Once a week, however, Goglio lets Wilson indulge. “Date night,” Wilson said. “Ciara and I get to eat pretty good.”
When starting Goglia’s plan, Wilson weighed over 225 pounds with 16 percent body fat. The player’s numbers have since dropped to 214 pounds and 10 percent body fat, numeric signs of improvement that will motivate Wilson to continue the diet. After a summer of regulated eating paired with increased conditioning without worry of injury, Wilson expects to enter the 2017 season better than ever.