Arguably, the biggest story coming out of the Cavaliers Summer League showing in Vegas wasn't the surprisingly disappointing performance from Dion Waiters. It wasn't the surprisingly awesome performance from Tyler Zeller. Nor was it the freak injury to the reigning Rookie-of-the-Year, Kyrie Irving. Oh no, despite all these other news-worthy events happening to the cornerstones of this team, the biggest story of this summer was the unexpected weight loss of Samardo Samuels, a man fighting for a roster spot behind both Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao. That said, it certainly was an impressive transformation. Samardo appeared to have lost somewhere around 30 pounds in 3 months. Even more impressive is how Samardo described his weight loss routine. He simply "turned to turkey and chicken breasts instead of fried foods".
That's it. No more fried food and then boom, 30 pounds lighter in 3 months. Of course, Samardo then clarified in later interviews that he both cleaned up his diet AND starting hitting the gym harder, which makes much more sense. But what if he really did just cut out fried foods from his diet? Personally, I think it's a much funnier, awesome story, if Samardo simply had to remove onion rings from his diet to get into such amazing shape. That said, let's run with that thought. How many deep-fried Twinkees and how many pounds of french fries would one have to be eating to be able to lose that much weight in such a short time?
Let's turn to my old friend Mathematics to find out!
Alright, we'll get the boring stuff out of the way first. As anyone who has fought the battle of the bulge might know, to lose one pound of fat, you must consume 3,500 calories less than you expend per day. Using my super scientific method of "looking at him and pulling a number out of my ass", I would estimate that Samardo lost somewhere around 30 pounds in the three months between the end of the regular season and the beginning of Summer League. With that sound analysis out of the way, we can then estimate that Samardo must have created a caloric deficit of around 105,000 calories over that time period to lose that much weight. From there, I simply need to divide that by an estimated 90 days, to come up with Samardo's daily caloric deficit of 1,167 calories.
I'll pause for anyone who has ever dieted to pick their jaw up off the floor.
You see, the recommend daily caloric intake for a man is something close to 2,200 calories a day, depending on their height and activity level. That means that, if Samardo's weight loss came purely from cutting out fried food, he was eating half a day's worth of calories in fried junk alone. That would be on top of everything he had to eat to survive. Can you imagine that? No? Still having a hard time with it? Well, let's do some more math then!
This would mean that, in addition to everything else he had to eat to keep his 6'9" body running, Samardo would have to eat the following, each day, to have maintained his previous weight:
You're reading that correctly. In order to maintain his previous weight, Samardo was eating the equivalent of close to four Gorditas of fried food in excess, per day. That's insane. All in all, to have lost that amount of weight in the time he did, Samardo had to cut out 207 large orders of McDonald's French Fries over the summer or 70 pounds of potatoes! 70 pounds! That's an elementary school aged child made of fried potatoes! Every three months! That's 280 pounds per year! That's a middle-aged basketball blogger every year!
In all fairness to Samardo, what he did in that amount of time is amazing. As a guy who has struggled with his weight off and on for years, it's flat out inspiring to see what one can do when they put their nose to the grindstone and give it their all. Hopefully Chris Grant and company will be able to find a roster spot for you so we can see what your newly skinny ass can do out on the hardwood.
Just stay away from the calamari at Lola after games, okay?