Diet Changes lead to Huge Improvement for NBA Player

I just read the article, “The Real-Life Diet of Victor Oladipo, the Pacers’ Newly-Jacked Franchise Player” about how NBA player Victor Oladipo, (along with an improved workout regimen,) changed his diet over the offseason, and how much his physique and energy levels improved, along with much improved play on the court (he should easily win the NBA’s “Most Improved Player,” award when it’s awarded later this year.

In the offseason he was traded from the Thunder to the Pacers, and everyone (rightly so at the time) assumed that the Thunder had gotten the much better side of the trade, as Oladipo, though a solid player for his first few years in the league, had not shown any signs of the great play he’s been demonstrating this season (including the playoffs where the Pacers are presently going against the Lebron James led Cavaliers, and greatly exceeding expectations in the series).

I’ve always like looking at statistics, especially noting improvements from year to year; a habit from baseball card collecting as a lad (while writing that I was just reminded I had a dream the other night about coming across some Kirby Puckett cards at a baseball card shop).

Of course when I was collecting baseball cards, and saw a dramatic one year increase, especially of the power and cranium variety, it could often be attributed to an assumption of HGH and/or steroids playing a role (looking at you Barry Bonds).


A few months back, when first hearing the buzz about Oladipo’s greatly improved play, I looked up his stats, and couldn’t believe how much he had improved in one year, but there wasn’t really an explanation why he improved so much.  

His head had not doubled in size, so cheating was ruled out, plus in a finesse game  like basketball, roid’s and HGH wouldn’t be much of an advantage anyway for a guard.

After reading that article it’s obvious what a huge impact the improved diet has made on his play.

Even though he’s playing the same amount of minutes per game, you can see a huge statistical improvement in every category, particularly points pers game (PTS) going from 15.9 to 23.1 PPG, and steals, where he doubled his average steals per game (STL) going from 1.2 to 2.4, (where he led the NBA in.)  His shooting percentage went way up as well.  He averaged almost twice the assists and a rebound more per game as well.  Even though he’s only 6′ 4″, undersized in NBA heightology, he almost averaged one block per game (.8) more than double his previous year’s average (.3)


One thing he mentioned in the Q & A about the diet changes that stuck out were a new found appreciation for eating vegetables and fruits:

“Obviously, vegetables have been huge for me. It’s crazy to me because at first, I didn’t really like vegetables and fruits. Now, I can’t go a meal without eating some.”

Here’s some other things he mentioned in regard to food changes from that article, with the most important improvements highlighted for brevity:

“GQ: What was your diet and nutritional routine like in the offseason?

Victor Oladipo: I changed my diet quite a bit. I took out a lot of fried foods and bread, as well as unnecessary starches and wheat. Instead, I put in good carbs like quinoa. After doing strength and conditioning training, I would have two meals for lunch and dinner at the facility. It was perfect because I didn’t have to go anywhere else. I had the meals right there, already prepared. Hydration was also huge for me. I drank a gallon of water a day, and I still do that now. It helps get my metabolism going.

What were some of the general rules you followed and adjusted to while changing your diet?

I think the biggest thing, other than eating healthier foods, was controlling my portions and monitoring the time of day when I ate. I don’t really eat too heavy anymore, and I don’t eat too late, either. Also, I’m from Maryland, so when they told me that I could still get away with eating seafood, that was good for me. [Laughs]. It was all fresh, natural stuff, and basically no fast food. We also took out gluten, all dairy, and other sugars. It was a lot of clean eating.

Though he made some simple changes on the surface, it’s definitely not easy to do, and takes consistent effort and a little bit of time to adjust to.  Seeing such dramatic improvement that can be attained as a result though can be great inspiration.

What really stuck stuck out after reading that (even though it’s a short interview with only a few questions answered about food changes,) he pretty much lays out an ideal plan of action that most anyone could do, and as a result see an immense improvement in energy levels, focus, stamina, etc. all without having to spend any more money on food, or do anything out of the ordinary.

It’s just reducing some unhealthier foods, (fried foods, simple carbs) and increasing some healthier foods (vegetables, lean proteins) in, resulting in better balance nutritionally.

I mention the simplicity of the changes, because with all the seemingly conflicting health information out there, from a variety of sources (much of it questionable,) it’s easy to get frustrated and feel confused about how to go about picking the correct path..but it’s often the simple and obvious changes that can lead to the best results.

#1 Victor Oladipo fan signing out for now : )







26 thoughts on “Diet Changes lead to Huge Improvement for NBA Player

  1. Funny you should write about this today because I’ve been tired lately and made sure I’ve had salad for lunch every day and get back to my fruits, veggies and protein meals:). There’s nothing like clean eating to improve your life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No doubt! There’s such a direct connection between cleaner eating and better energy! It’s so easy to slowly fall into the dirtier eating with the addictive nature of processed foods, but nothing is better incentive for cleaner eating than the side effects of the dirtier food! (I’m reminded of that truth a few times the past few weeks lol).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It always sounds so complicated to people. The reality is just that, eating foods that are natural and less processed just make you feel better. Unfortunately, so many are trained to eat just the junk that it requires work to train themselves into the healthy good foods. Once you do though, the other stuff starts losing it’s appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true how those foods just don’t have the same appeal they once did after going away from them for a while, but most are trained to eat the junk, and because it’s comfortable the healthy foods are avoided. Makes my head spin when I try to rely good information to friends and family but it conflicts with bad information they think is good that they’ve heard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What amazes me is the reality of stories like this over and over again, without creating enough motivation for the majority of our population. I truly believe that PURPOSE and PASSION in life play a major role in determining one’s attitude whether life will be lived under self defined parameters. Great article to share!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is fact, what we eat, we become. It impacts our body and mind. Healthier body is better incentive for better thinking. Your write-up is really enlightening to motivate the readers to eat better diet and do not be lured by the lured of outlook of the eating products.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks kindly! Yeah, you hear about players with poor eating habits, and they always seem to coincidentally break down consistently toward the end of the season (Chris Paul). Food has such a direct impact, it’s surprising more players don’t eat cleaner at that level, as every little advantage can add up!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very well written. Tom Brady and Lebron James are the two greatest athletes at their respective sports in our generation and have very strong opinions on diet and recovery.
    It’s not only amazing how quickly the human body can change and adapt to new situations such as diets, exercise, and sleep, but also its capabilities with the right settings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks kindly, appreciate your well thought out perspective and kind words!

      That’s a great take on the body’s capabilities of adapting within the right settings-really insightful and positively presented; it’s a nice seed planted regarding going outside of the comfort zone, trying new things for improvement, etc.


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