He said he cut out bread, late-night Oreos, and cakes, switching to eating “fruit, protein shakes, salads, fish, chicken and asparagus or other vegetables” in “very small portions.”
O’Neal also told Men’s Journal he had lost his motivation for fitness after experiencing a number of personal losses in 2020, including his sister, Ayesha Harrison-Jex, and good friend and former Lakers teammate, Kobe Bryant.
“My sister passed away before Kobe. And then Kobe passed away and then I had 28 other people pass away.  was a really bad year and I didn’t want to do anything. So, when you don’t want to do anything, but you need to stay out of trouble, there’s two things you can do, eat and Netflix,” he said.
When O’Neal shifted focus to fitness, he said he “just started to eat better” and began to “make better decisions.”
“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,” he explained.
In addition to tweaking his diet habits, the 15-time All-Star also adopted a strict gym routine.
“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,” O’Neal said.
“Next thing I’ll try is jogging.”
O’Neal also took another shot at his Barkley: “An hour a day will keep the Charles Barkley belly away,” he said.
— This story originally appeared on The New York Post and has been republished with permission