How Can NFL Players Combat Their Weight Problem?

Wide receiver Amari Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers announced that he dropped 16lbs during the offseason and has plans to be trim at 202lbs at the start of training camp. Later on, Rodgers Tweeted, “Today I’m at 202 and feeling better than ever.” He was disappointed with how he played the season, and with his new weight loss, he hopes to return as a faster player for the 2022 season. Rodgers is only one of the many NFL players who openly admits to having a weight problem. Many of the NFL players are gigantic offensive and defensive linemen weighing in well over 300lbs.

Coaches encourage the weight gain of players who hold their positions because their massive size is added protection for the quarterback. While it may be beneficial for the game, their great girth comes at a high expense – obesity problems. These can continue throughout their career and become a major problem when they finally hang up their cleats.


There is no standard NFL diet – many NFL players have tailored diets that can be carried across to weight control. Good weight loss programs need to be personalized, and that’s certainly the case for NFL players who hope to get their athletic physique back. Current players, like Rodgers, will have to balance their diet between weight loss and performance. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady admits to regularly consuming high quantities of vegetables, fruit, lean meat, and fish — all of which have helped him stay at the top of his game. Diet is the first and most important factor in controlling one’s weight.


While diet is the most important factor in weight control, exercise comes in at #2 for taking control of weight problems, and no one knows this better than NFL running back Eddie Lacy. Lacy had a weight problem during his professional career, weighing in at a whopping 270 pounds when he visited the Seattle Seahawks. But for the 2016 season, he showed up with a great physique! He lost 22 pounds in the offseason by regularly doing P90X workouts. Of course, there are other exercises that NFL players can do, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which can consist of a combination of push-ups, burpees, lunge jumps, and rope jumping. At the end of the day, physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses, thus supporting weight loss.


Combating a weight problem doesn’t have to be done alone. According to the Washington Post, the National Football League has 27 full-time dietitians who put research into play by offering customized diet plans based on an athlete’s individual needs. Two examples are Leslie Bonci, a sports dietitian with the Chiefs, and Stephanie Kolloff-O’Neill, director of performance nutrition with the Buccaneers. They have shared their insights on crucial dietary factors like getting enough lean protein, limiting saturated fat, and replenishing electrolytes. These are essential to any NFL athlete preparing for a 3-hour battle under the hot sun. For NFL players, getting big, like Lacy or Rodgers, is a great advantage on the field. However, life after the field demands a healthy weight and lifestyle to be able to enjoy your winnings and sports accomplishments, like Brady. Try these tips out and find the balance between the demands of the field and your health.

Peer Support

Having a good support network is vital. While some players use a dietician, others rely on support from those a little closer to home. Former Dolphins center Mike Pouncey admitted much of his weight loss motivation comes from involving his twin brother in his endeavors. Of course, not all players have a twin brother or a fellow teammate who can help them along. However, there’s plenty of help at hand from other sources. A Google search for ‘weight loss workshops near me‘ will reveal support networks in most areas of the United States, with people there ready to accompany a former NFL player or anyone wishing to lose weight on their journey. That might be by losing weight at the same time or helping with diet plans and motivation.


Controlling your weight while playing is a challenge, and life after football isn’t easy for players who have bulked up to be effective on the field; there’s a real concern about returning to normal after the game has finished. Hopefully, these tips help footballers from across the US, not just the top level, in their post-football fitness journey.

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