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Hugh Thornton’s offseason work included losing a lot of weight

NFL: Indianapolis Colts-Training Camp USA TODAY Sports

When Hugh Thornton reported to training camp last year, he weighed 340 pounds. This year, he reported to camp weighing just 313 pounds.

So how’d he lose 27 pounds this offseason, and why’d he do it?

“I don’t know how many of you guys have been big, but being big is not an easy job, Thornton said. “So I just wanted to slim down a little bit so that it’s easier on the joints, longevity in the league, just to feel healthier.”

He did it by revamping his diet.

“I got a personal chef, met with our nutritionist that the organization set us up with, and they got me on a good plan,” Thornton added. “I’ve been eating right, had little meals throughout the day, and just helped to improve my sleep at night, and obviously my weight and how I feel and look.”

He’s had to cut out a lot of buttery Jamaican food, which he said is the biggest loss to cut out of his diet because he ate a lot of it and enjoyed it, but he says that “every now and again” he still gets a Jamaican meal.

It was totally his decision and not the team’s, as Thornton thought that it’s something he needed to do for longevity purposes and also for performance reasons. Though he dropped a lot of weight, he said his lean weight hasn’t changed.

“My lean weight has stayed the same,” he clarified. “It has gone up at times and gone down, obviously losing all that weight, but I’m not too much different from where I was last year, just lighter.”

He doesn’t expect this to have any negative impact in his on-field performance, then, as he’s still just as strong as he was in the past. The weight loss is intended to help him to stay on the field and to improve his longevity in the NFL, something he could use after struggling with injuries in his first few seasons with the Colts.

Ultimately, he knows that it’s going to be a battle to win a spot with the Colts. He got a tattoo this offseason of a lion that covers his whole back, one that took 27 hours to do, because a lion is an apex predator and it’s time to hunt. He realizes that there are intriguing young guys that have been brought in to compete, but he’s just trying to do whatever he can to carve out a role. He feels he’s been improving every day of training camp so far and he said the coaches feel the same, so he’s looking to win the starting right guard position. Regardless, though, his ultimate goal is on winning and he’ll do whatever he can to help the Colts achieve that.

“Obviously every player wants to be a starter,” Thornton said, “but I’m here to help the Colts win a world championship. So whatever they need me to do, I’m here to fill that role.”