PHIL MICKELSON has looked remarkably trim in recent times – a far cry from his former self.
The 51-year-old rolled back the years to win the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island last summer and capture his sixth major.
‘Lefty’ cut a rather portly figure in the mid-2000s – as he has personally acknowledged – but has cleaned up his diet with remarkable results.
After piling on a few too many pounds, the American has put considerable effort into streamlining his physique in recent years.
A diagnosis for psoriatic arthritis in 2010 is partly credited with alerting Mickelson of his need to change.
And he is now fully invested in a six-day fasting routine, during which he subsists on only water and a special coffee blend.
The mixture features Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, almond milk, cinnamon and coconut MCT oil.
Mickelson has become a huge advocate for ‘Coffee For Wellness’, which he talks up regularly on social media, after teaming up with performance consultant Dave Phillips.
Despite being at the top of his game in the mid-2000s, the golfer began to feel his body and his performances decline.
He previously stated: “I wasn’t playing well and I wasn’t feeling good about myself.
“I wasn’t recovering as fast as I wanted to after the rounds and I was feeling tired and not focused towards the end of the round.
“I felt that the first step in getting that back was getting in better shape — getting lighter, and what I’ve noticed is that I’ve recovered faster.”
But the diet plan is not exclusively a weight loss technique, with Mickelson feeling the overwhelming ‘wellness’ benefits too.
I have remarked in 2019: “I didn’t fast to lose weight. I fasted to heal.”
Mickelson is looking as good as he ever has out on course and he has acknowledged that such a change was vital if he was ever going to recover his best form.
And the results also showed as he stormed to victory at Kiawah Island.
Mickelson was named in the field for the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills later this month.
He is scheduled to defend his trophy despite a year of controversy around his support for a rival Saudi Arabian-backed league.
In one Twitter video endorsing the plan last year, Mickelson said: “I haven’t felt good about myself and the way I’ve been playing, and so I haven’t done anything or wanted to be in public.
“The last 10 days I’ve done what I call a hard reset – a change to try to make things better.
“I don’t know if it’s going to help me play better or not, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to try to get my best back.”
Also in 2019, I noted: “I’m going to continue to make it a lifestyle change.
Fasting, if you look at it, it’s a hard reset, but the body gets rid of the bad stuff and covets the good stuff.
“I’m going to continue to eat better, eat less, work out more, just stay committed to it.
“It won’t be as drastic or quick, but I would anticipate over the next one to two years I would continue to tick down a little bit [in weight].”
Performance consultant Phillips has described the fasting routine as fairly common among athletes.
He said: “It’s not a drastic as everybody thinks it is.
“In the performance space, there are a lot of athletes that do this kind of thing.
“Fasting, if you look at it, it’s a hard reset, but the body gets rid of the bad stuff and covets the good stuff.
“The body goes into flight or fight. Sometimes you need to do that.”