As the undisputed face of the NFL's lone Wisconsin-based franchise, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a figure beloved by die-hard "Cheeseheads" nationwide.
But as the two-time NFL MVP works to lengthen his already prestigious career, he's been forced to commit a bit of betrayal.
In an ESPN feature published Monday, Rodgers announced that in an effort to lose weight and stay healthy entering the later years of his career, he has cut all dairy products from his diet.
"I just wanted to get healthier," Rodgers told ESPN. "I've done a lot of research and talked with Adam Korzun, our [team] nutritionist, and some other friends around the league about how I can extend my career and how I can be and feel healthier."
Rodgers' newfound efforts are by no means arbitrary, as the 32-year-old had a minor knee procedure after the team's epic overtime playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals in January.
As a whole, the 2015 season saw Rodgers have his lowest completion percentage (60.7), yards per pass attempt (6.7) and passer rating (92.7) since earning the team's starting job in 2008, meaning that one can't blame Rodgers for wanting to make some changes.
And according to the ESPN piece, the new efforts have paid off so far. Rodgers' estimated weight of "218-ish" pounds is his lowest since replacing Brett Favre as the Packers' starter. Rodgers claims to have reached as heavy as 230 pounds before making the dietary adjustment.
"I would like [to] play between 218 and 220. I think that's how I can extend my career if I can eat a little bit better," he told ESPN. "Because it carries over not just in the offseason, but what you're eating the night before the game and what you're eating in the morning and the afternoon -- if it's a night game -- just how that it affects your performance."
Rodgers' career has already seen him begin to enter the short list of "greatest of all-time" contenders – his career passer rating of 104.1 is the highest of any NFL quarterback in history, as is his career TD:INT ratio of 3.95 – and he cited one other popular G.O.A.T. candidate as inspiration for his new nutrition method.
"To be honest, Tom Brady is an influencer there because of the stuff he talks about, and how healthy he is," Rodgers told ESPN, referencing Brady's famous nutrition habits that have allowed him to remain among the league's best quarterbacks into his late 30s. "The more where you are aware of what you put in your body and how it affects your performance, the better opportunities you have. And that's what I'm trying to do.”
Rodgers, who has claimed that he wants to play approximately six to eight more years in the NFL, will begin his 12th season – and ninth as a starter – this fall.