Charles Barkley Weight Loss Story (His Secrets Uncovered)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 1, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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Charles Barkley is a pundit on NBA on TNT and a former professional player who played 16 seasons in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets.

He is known by his moniker “the round mound of rebound” and “the prince of pizza” due to his weight. But in 2022, he surprised many when he appeared slimmer than before.

With a small team at Total Shape, we decided to examine his lifestyle and see the changes he made to his diet and workout routine to achieve this weight loss.

Here’s what we found.

How Did Charles Barkley Lose Weight?

Portrait of Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley lost weight with intermittent fasting, eating only one meal once a day.

In "The Steam Room" podcast, Charles Barkley shared his intermittent fasting routine, eating only between 5 pm and 8 pm.

Despite occasional slip-ups, humorously captured by his TNT co-stars, Barkley remains committed to this regime.

Motivated by his love for golf and a desire to improve his game, he adopted this approach after acknowledging weight gain post-hip surgery in 2016.

Barkley's journey, marked by both dedication and light-hearted moments, reflects his determination to enhance his health and golf performance.

“I've been doing the intermittent fasting thing where I've been eating one time a day. I'm down 52 (pounds), but I gained 94 when I got my new hips. I just got to get in better shape.”

- Charles Barkley

Charles on Weight Watchers

In a 2012 report by DeadSpin, Charles admitted to being part of the Weight Watchers program that offers informational support on dieting, exercise, cooking, and fitness, as well as live coaching sessions [1].

Barkley lost 27 pounds through the program by weeding out junk foods like cookies and pizza and adopting asparagus, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Barkley's journey underscores the importance of community and support in weight loss. Programs like Weight Watchers provide a supportive network that can be crucial for maintaining motivation and accountability.

However, he was unable to sustain it and subsequently gained back his lost weight, much to his dismay.

This challenge of sustaining weight loss is not uncommon. In my practice, I've worked with clients who faced similar setbacks. It's a journey of ups and downs, and I always emphasize the importance of resilience and adapting strategies to find what works best in the long term.

Charles Barkley Stats

  • Born: February 20, 1963
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Starting Weight: n/a
  • Total pound Loss: 50 lbs

What’s His Exercise Routine?

Man jogging outdoors

There’s little information about Charles’ exercise routine. He has been more vocal about his intermittent fasting than any specific workout.

In my professional experience, clients often prioritize dietary changes like intermittent fasting over-exercise. However, incorporating simple exercises, particularly a mix of cardio and strength training tailored to individual needs, can greatly enhance weight loss.

While Charles Barkley's exact workout routine is unclear, it's likely to include weight lifting and moderate cardio, as suggested by Shaquille O’Neal's account of seeing him on a treadmill.

My experience aligns with research by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports indicating that moderate cardio, especially in a fasted state, can boost fat oxidation, though it's more effective short term [2].

For sustained performance and muscle building, combining this with pre-exercise nutrition is advisable.

Did He Have Surgery?

Surgical equipment on table

No, Barkley did not have any surgery to lose pounds.

This underscores the long-term health risks, benefits, and safety of non-surgical weight loss methods like intermittent fasting and diet modification.

In my coaching experience, I've witnessed similar transformations where diet and exercise, bolstered by peer support, lead to significant results.

This approach, as seen in Barkley's journey post-hip surgery, offers a sustainable and health-conscious alternative to surgical weight loss methods.

Charles’ Supplements

Barkley has not publicly said anything about supplements he has used to lose weight.

In my experience working with clients, the judicious use of supplements like protein powders and fat burners can be quite effective.

While Barkley hasn't confirmed their use, I've seen how these supplements, when used correctly, can complement a weight loss regimen, especially for those who are active and need that extra support.

Here’s why.

Besides helping you burn fat while engaging in moderate exercises, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition asserts that burners also help suppress appetite [3].

We suspect this is at least part of the reason why Barley can go for long hours without food.


How Much Did Prime Charles Barkley Weigh?

Prime Charles Barkley weighed around 250 pounds when he played for the NBA, which is generally healthy given his 6’6 height.

Who Helped Charles Barkley Lose Weight?

Moses Malone helped Charles Barkley lose pounds while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. In an interview with Pivot Podcast, Barkley revealed that Moses Malone made him lose 10 pounds at a time. He consequently lost 50 pounds and became a starter.


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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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