Former San Francisco 49ers star left tackle Joe Staley spoke to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and revealed that he’d lost 50 pounds since retiring earlier this offseason. Former Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas was also a part of the conversation as the linemen discussed their eating habits. The two talked about how they had to consume an insatiable amount of food. For Thomas, here was his daily routine for food:
Think breakfast: four pieces of bacon, four sausage links, eight eggs, three pancakes, and oatmeal with peanut butter, followed by a midmorning protein shake.
Lunch? Perhaps pasta, meatballs, cookies “and maybe a salad, great, whatever” from the team cafeteria.
For dinner, an entire Detroit-style pizza himself, and then follow it with a sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and a bowl of ice cream. And finally, he would slurp down another protein shake before getting into bed.
That is...a ton of food. I’ve seen the players eat lunch after training camp, and their plates are overloaded with pasta and as many carbohydrates as you could imagine, but it’s still hard to fathom eating that much food.
Staley told Kaplan he’s already donated five garbage bags of clothing and bought all new belts since slimming his waist size down from 40 to 36. Staley also told Kaplan he’d lost 50 pounds. There was a handful of offensive lineman that were named. One, Marshal Yanda, said he lost 60 pounds in three months by going from 6,000 calories per day to 2,000.
Kaplan said Staley admitted that he likes the fact that his muscles are getting defined, though he did so sheepishly because it’s Staley:
“As an offensive lineman, you’re always known as this big, humongous, unathletic blob. Offensive linemen get casted in a movie, and they’re always 500 pounds. Then you get the opportunity to be healthy again, and all of the effort you used to put into football, you put into that. It gives you a focus once you retire. It’s a little bit vain, but I’m starting to see abs that I’ve always wanted. And it’s kind of exciting.”
As the article goes on, a couple of the lineman talks about how they were forced to gain weight when they first arrived at college. Staley said he went from 215 pounds to 295 pounds at Central Michigan, where he went from playing tight end to offensive tackle. Staley said he set his alarm for 2 a.m. every day:
“I had these premade weight-gainer shakes; they were probably 2,000 calories each. I’d wake myself up in the middle of the night, down that, go back to bed. I was bloated for four years straight. You know when you overeat after a really nice dinner at an Italian restaurant, you just eat all these courses and leave feeling gross? That’s how I felt the entire time in college.”
The lengths college athletes go through to add weight is somewhat unbelievable when laid out, but it’s necessary for them to make it at the highest level. When Staley shows his face in public next, be prepared for an entirely new version of the Joe you’re used to seeing.