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Recently retired Joe Thomas reveals simple way he lost 50 pounds in a matter of months

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What do recently retired NFL offensive linemen like the Browns’ Joe Thomas and mothers of newborn babies have in common?

If you guessed “they end up wanting to lose a lot of weight they gained out of necessity,” move to the front of the line and get your gold star.

Thomas, whose streak of 167 consecutive games came to an end last season due to injury, decided that rather than try to come back at age 33 after a season in which he played for a team that had as many wins playing professional football as did the peanut vendor in the stadium, he would instead hang up his cleats for good, letting Hall of Fame voters sort out whether 10 Pro Bowls and six first-team All-Pro selections make him worthy of enshrinement.

When he retired, the over-300-pound behemoth of the gridiron, who had to be that heavy to have the laws of physics on his side when standing between similarly-sized men and the Browns’ quarterback corps, had one big priority he told NFL Network about last week.

“I was more eager to lose weight than almost anything in retirement,” Thomas said.

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Thomas, looking pretty good for his age and 50 pounds lighter than his playing weight, appeared on “Inside Training Camp Live” on Monday.

Host Adam Siciliano noticed immediately and asked Thomas how he went from dropping LBs as in linebackers and went to dropping LBs as in pounds.

Thomas, laughing, said “You just don’t eat until you feel like you’re gonna throw up at every meal and all of a sudden the weight falls right off.”

Metabolism is a funny thing like that.

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As a rule of thumb, in order to put on weight, someone needs to eat 18-19 calories per pound of body weight they’ve already got; even fat cells need energy in order to remain alive. Muscle tissue, which offensive linemen build in abundance in the weight room to be strong enough to block oncoming defenders, is even more metabolically active.

Thomas’ listed playing weight was 312 pounds, meaning he needed close to 6,000 calories a day in order to bulk up. And that’s a conservative estimate; Michael Phelps, the swimmer, weighs just 194 pounds, but says he routinely ate 7,000 calories when training for the Olympics because as a guy who is essentially all muscle and who exercised on a superhuman level, he needed nearly double what the average person would eat just to keep from losing it.

Consider a big meal even by fast food standards. A Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large fries, and a 32-ounce Coke at McDonald’s has 1,570 calories and will leave you feeling like you just ate an anvil.

Imagine doing it four times a day, every day.

Suddenly, Thomas’ comment about “you don’t eat until you feel like you’re gonna throw up” makes perfect sense.

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In March, Will Brinson asked Thomas what his go-to calorie bomb was during his playing days.

“I used to drink two glasses of whole milk and a sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies before bed just to get enough calories in the day to maintain weight,” Thomas replied.

Which means that Thomas’ retirement just left one sadly disappointed Girl Scout who’s not leading her troop in cookie sales anymore; the human cost of pro football is real, folks.

Thomas looks better and better every day. He might just have a bright future as a photogenic television personality, as he’s been on “NFL Total Access” and “Inside Training Camp Live” on NFL Network and seems well-suited for a job somewhere in a broadcast booth or on a studio show.

And the tailor at the Hall of Fame might have to re-think the size of the jacket Thomas will get at his induction ceremony someday.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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