Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard became one of the more high-profile NBA players to adopt a vegan diet prior to the season. Lillard wanted to get back to 190 pounds, around his rookie year playing weight, to alleviate the stress his body had to endure after recurring foot and ankle injuries have caused him to miss a handful of games the past two seasons. But as Lillard revealed on the RUN A.M.C. podcast, he is no longer maintaining an all-vegan diet.
As transcribed by Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the weight loss was more than Lillard would’ve liked:
“I did it, but I started to lose a little bit too much weight with all the games and practices and all that,” Lillard said on the podcast. “I had to balance it out, so now I’ve been mixing it up a little bit more, having vegan meals, still mixing it up with other stuff.”
The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year said he has added beef and chicken back into his diet. Lillard said he has stayed away from Wendy’s and he still eats vegan meals regularly.
Lillard went out of his way at the beginning of the season to dismiss critics who claimed the guard’s shooting slump was caused by the diet switch. But, the Blazers guard was seen eating steak when the team visited the Miami Heat about a month ago. At the time, teammate CJ McCollum said Lillard was an “80/20 vegan.”
Lillard is averaging 25 points, 6.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this season, and is in contention for his first All-Star selection since 2015.