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The Insane Vegan Diet of a 300-pound NFL Defensive Lineman

The Insane Vegan Diet of a 300-pound NFL Defensive Lineman: Instagram


Just a year ago, NFL defensive lineman David Carter weighed 285 pounds and was trying to get back to 300 by augmenting his diet with ice cream shakes and entire gallons of milk.

After discovering that dairy might be contributing to his worsening tendonitis, Carter became a vegan and hasn’t looked back. He lost 40 pounds in the month immediately after the change, which is not typically a good thing for someone in his profession. But the athlete was also performing better and noticing the pain from his condition lessening. Today, Carter is at 300 pounds and has been officially signed to the Chicago Bears.

“People ask me if I want to get a steak and I tell them I actually don’t eat that, or any meat or dairy,“ Carter told GQ. "They’re usually thinking, ‘Wait, you’re supposed to be small and weak.’ But of course they can’t say that when they’re looking at me.”



So how does one maintain–let alone gain–the kind of weight Carter needs with a vegan diet? The answer is by consuming 10,000 calories a day. For Carter, that means eating every two hours: he consumes five meals a day plus four 20-ounce shakes between them. He substitutes cannellini beans and sunflower seeds for dairy in his shakes; Throughout the day, he gets his protein from nuts, beans, whole grains and supplements like spirulina and hemp protein. Variations of these foods get Carter to the 1.2 grams of protein per pound per day he needs.

This is what a day of food looks like for him:

Oatmeal with hemp protein, bananas and berries

20 ounce smoothie made with cannellini beans, banana, strawberries, and spirulina

Brown rice and black beans topped with avocado and cashew cheese

Another 20 ounce smoothie

Another lunch
More of the brown rice and black bean combo

Another 20 ounce smoothie

Couscous with onion and garlic, and spinach salad with bell peppers

Another 20 ounce smoothie

Here’s some photographic evidence from the athlete’s Instagram feed:

Carrot + Orange. One of my favorite combinations. #WhatVegansDrink #StainlessSteelStraw #SayNoToPlastic

A photo posted by David Carter (@the300poundvegan) on

And he does yoga, too, by the way.


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