Eat Like an NBA Player

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Basketball Player

Most professional athletes are blessed with great genetics—and then there's Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley, whose childhood nickname was "Teddy" in part because he was so plump. And a serious McDonald's addiction sure didn't help. Today he calls his former burger diet "nonsense, if you want a long career." Here's the daily game plan the 6'7" forward follows to keep his weight at 225 pounds.

7 a.m.—Wake-up call
Dudley's no morning sunshine. Still, he isn't setting his alarm so early just to torture himself. If you know you're slow to rise, you need to compensate so you have time for breakfast. That way you'll start your day strong. "Skipping the first meal makes it more likely you'll eat junk later," he says.

8 a.m.—Breakfast
Dudley's typical breakfast includes eggs, plus fruit or oatmeal. "The eggs just seem to keep me full," he says. Makes sense: Dieters who ate eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those who downed a bagel with the same number of calories, found a study in the International Journal of Obesity.

8:45 to 10 a.m.—Workout
The Suns use a full-body strength routine that emphasizes core training. But then Dudley follows that up with high intensity cardiovascular exercise, usually swimming. He wants to keep his heart rate up longer without stressing his joints.

10 a.m. to noon—Basketball practice
This is two hours of trying to figure out how to beat L.A.

12:30 p.m.—Lunch
If you want to lose weight, eat after a workout. Dudley favors a chicken, tuna, or turkey sandwich; the carbs help him restore his energy, and the meat provides the protein he needs to rebuild muscle.

2 p.m.—Nap
Dudley dozes for about two hours to keep his body fresh and prevent paying the cost of lost shut-eye. Rough life, right? Hey, the man knows that if he's sleep deprived, he'll become sluggish and put on weight. Schedule eight hours of sleep a night or you'll run the same risk.

4 p.m.—Snack
Between meals, Dudley eats trail mix or a salad with salmon or baked chicken. (If he wants sweets, he'll instead have a 30-calorie frozen fruit treat or some sweetened yogurt.) "Steve Nash and Grant Hill have been a big influence on me. They showed me that eating good snacks prevents you from overeating."

7 p.m.—Dinner
Pick a protein—Dudley almost always has chicken—and add lettuce, spinach, asparagus, or any other vegetable that has some color. "The fiber will help you feel like you're eating more, without the guilt or worry that it'll slow you down," he says. Try these 30 ways to sneak more fiber into your diet.

11 p.m.—Dessert
When Dudley steps up in the fourth quarter, assume chocolate chip cookies are on his mind. They're his favorite, so he's made a rule: "I can eat one only if we have a road victory. It keeps the bad foods in check." Make your own deal: When you have treats to look forward to, you're less likely to splurge at random.

11:30 p.m.—Road trip, with food
Like all NBA players, Dudley often works a night shift: He plays and then travels to the next city. He knows that a tray of airline surprise is probably unhealthy (and hotel grub's no better), so he packs a meal for the trip. By planning, you can always avoid setbacks.

For more tips from the world's fittest men, visit