New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia reported to spring training Monday in Tampa telling everyone who would listen about his off-season weight loss, which the 6-foot-7 ace said totaled 25 pounds. How’d he do it?
No more Cap’n Crunch.
“I used to eat that stuff by the box,” he said.
Sugar is the second leading ingredient in Cap'n Crunch -- roughly 40 percent of the content, depending on the variety. Assuming that Sabathia actually ate a whole box every day as he claimed, nixing the Cap'n Crunch would've saved him from consuming more than 2,000 calories and nearly a full cup of sugar a day.
Despite Sabathia’s size –- he’s listed at 290 pounds and admits he has played well above that -– he has been very durable, but he needed surgery this winter to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Weighing more than 300 pounds might not have been the primary cause of the injury, but the stress of carrying that weight could have contributed to it.
After surgery, Sabathia aggressively rehabbed his knee. He changed his diet, ridding it of the sugary kids’ cereal he so craved. He did his usual weight training and added a double dose of cardio each day. And in the three and a half months since the Yankees season ended, he lost 25 pounds.
But Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who had heard about Sabathia’s new regimen, seemed disappointed upon setting eyes on his star pitcher.
"He obviously has worked very hard to rehab his knee and he's lost some weight, but he's still around 300 pounds,'' Cashman said. "Clearly, he's a tremendous athlete and he can handle it, but it has to be managed so it doesn't become a problem. I just think 30 pounds would have been a lot more noticeable.''
Sabathia isn't the first professional athlete to try a new approach to eating.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose hired a personal chef before this season to fight his weakness for candy and fast food, and has increased his scoring average by four points from last season.
Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder became a vegetarian in 2008 and tied for the National League lead in RBIs in 2009.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez became a vegan in 2007 and caught 99 passes that season, the second highest total in his 14-year NFL career.
NBA star Caron Butler once lost 11 pounds during the summer by kicking his six-Mountain-Dew-per-day habit.
Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony gave up meat and soda for a good chunk of January.
It remains to be seen how much Sabathia gains from his reported weight loss, but he seemed ecstatic with his accomplishment.
“I’m actually what it says on the back of my card,” he joked.