- Eli Manning told Insider he lost 10 pounds in retirement by not “gorging” himself.
- Manning said he used to eat more food to maintain his weight, but now he eats and exercises like a “normal person”.
- Many former NFL players lost a lot of weight in retirement by not having to eat several large meals a day, which Manning called “a big commitment.”
Eli Manning has lost some weight in retirement, simply because he no longer has to play football.
Speaking to Insider on Tuesday to promote his partnership with Quaker Oats and the Quaker Hunger Clock food insecurity initiative, Manning estimated he’s lost about 10 pounds since retiring from the NFL.
“I probably lost 10 pounds if I had to guess, something in that area,” Manning told Insider. “And not on purpose, without trying, but don’t care too much about [weight].”
Casual fans don’t often think quarterbacks need to keep weight like, say, offensive linemen, but Manning said his diet during his playing days was to “gorge” himself.
“For me, it was more about keeping weight off,” Manning said. “And so I was eating, with my oatmeal and my shakes and my protein shakes and huge, huge lunches, big dinners, just trying to get lots of healthy foods.
“And so I guess since I’ve been playing football, I probably don’t feed myself as much anymore, but I also don’t exert as much energy in training, in workouts and in lifting and just as much.”
Manning played with the New York Giants from 2004 to 2019. His NFL.com profile lists him at 6-foot-5 and 218 pounds.
Manning, who said he ate oatmeal almost every morning for 15 years (making the Quaker partnership a natural fit), said he now lives — and eats — like a “normal person.” He said he still tries to eat healthy and train every day, but certainly not with the same intensity.
Manning joins the ranks of former NFL players who have lost weight by changing their diet. Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas, for example, played at 310 pounds and lost 50 pounds less than a year after retiring.
“You just don’t eat until you feel like you’re going to vomit with every meal and all of a sudden the weight drops right off,” Thomas said on NFL Network.
Indeed, Manning said he saw the “big commitment” it took for linemen to maintain their weight.
“You kind of have your second breakfast at nine in the morning. You would have a big snack at three. You would have your second dinner at eight,” Manning said. “And it’s just that they had a plan and a system to keep their size, keep their strength throughout the season. And that was a big commitment on their part.”
In the spirit of overeating, Manning told Insider he’s happy to support the Quaker campaign, which aims to raise $500,000 for Feeding America in the Super Bowl to help fight food insecurity. The society will match all donations up to a total of $250,000.
“I believe that life circumstances should never be a barrier to good nutrition,” Manning said.