‘I Want to Take My Shirt off on Instagram One Last Time’: Shaquille O’Neal Reveals Why He Decided to Lose Weight —See Before and After Pic

·3 min read

Shaquille O’Neal went on a low-carb diet and discussed his weight-loss recently with Men’s Journal. The basketball champion was motivated to lose weight when he saw a picture of a fit 70-year-old man on Instagram.

O’Neal had several people close to him pass away within a short period, including his sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex and good friend Kobe Bryant.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal makes a new friend at the Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson, Nevada, in an Instagram post on Oct. 8, 2021. (Photo: Shaquille O’Neal/ Instagram)

The 15-time All-Star said he comforted himself through eating and binging Netflix. He talked about his love of sandwiches being his main downfall. The former Los Angeles Laker would eat sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and often for a snack, too. Additionally, when he began having sleeping problems that led to bouts of insomnia, he would make a sandwich.

Video screenshots of Shaquille O’Neal source:IG/shaq
Video screenshots of Shaquille O’Neal source:IG/shaq

“I just started to eat better and to make better decisions,” he said. “My problem is, I’ve always been a sandwich guy. Sandwich for lunch, sandwich for dinner, sandwich for snack. And when all of that was going on last year, I couldn’t sleep. So, I’d wake up at three in the morning and make a sandwich, five in the morning and make a sandwich. But I was starting to look old and I didn’t want to. So I said to myself, ‘I want to take my shirt off on Instagram one last time.’ “

The 49-year-old said seeing a picture of a 70-year-old muscular man on social media motivated him to change his eating habits. He eliminated lemon Oreos and instead ate fruit, salads, chicken, fish, vegetables and protein shakes for six months during his weight-loss journey.

“I saw this 70-year-old guy on there, and he had muscles everywhere,” said O’Neal. “So I just decided to switch it up. No more bread, no more late-night lemon Oreos, no more Entenmann’s cakes, none of that. I’ve been doing this for six months and just eating fruit, protein shakes, salads, fish, chicken and asparagus or other vegetables.”

O’Neal posted a video of himself working on his new body after his weight-loss. He included a caption with the video, joking that he was coming for Cody Rhodes, and flexing his muscles.

“Always watching, always training – @allelitewrestling @aewontntMARCH 3rd #thecrossroads@tonyrkhan im@coming for you @americannightmarecody @ms_cargill.”

The Hall of Famer also began working out. O’Neal does about 20 minutes of cardio exercise and 30 to 45 minutes of weight training.

“I do 20 minutes of cardio, I’ll do some chest, bis, tris, sit-ups, back and then I’m gone. Thirty to 45 minutes a day, plus cardio––so about an hour a day. I still got the bad hips and the achy joints, so I can’t be jumping and running around. Next thing I’ll try is jogging.”

O’Neal said that he sleeps better as a result and also has more energy overall.

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