The diet that got David Haye back shredded to chase the heavyweight title is not what you'd expect 5 years ago

The diet that got David Haye back shredded to chase the heavyweight title is not what you'd expect

David Haye is a monster of a man.

The two-weight world champion weighs over 16 stone and stands at 6ft 3ins tall.

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But actually he's not massive for a heavyweight boxer, with fighters like world champion Tyson Fury tipping the scales at 17st 8lbs (although he was 3 stone 3lbs overweight at the Klitschko press conference recently).

However, the Londoner has added around a stone to his frame since the days he conquered the WBA heavyweight division before his three-and-a-half year hiatus from boxing.

He is fighting his way back through the ranks, with a possible all-British world title match up with IBF champ Anthony Joshua in his sights next year.

Haye knocked out Kosovan heavyweight Arnold Gjergjaj in the second round at the weekend - and weighed in 3lbs short of a career high 16st 3lbs and 5oz that he was on his comeback against Mark De Mori.

Surprisingly Haye's extra size has come from eating a meat-free, non-dairy vegan diet.

HayeVegan

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The former cruiserweight gave up eating animal products during his lengthy injury lay-off to aid recovery, but he says he found it gave him performance benefits.

"I've not had cheese or milk for the last two years and I've felt the benefits from that," he told animal welfare charity PETA.

"Since cutting out meat I've felt healthier - cleaner, lighter. My skin, my nails and hair, I stopped getting dandruff, there are loads of really positive effects I got from that.

"I woke up brighter and fresher in the mornings. I don't feel as drowsy.

"I remember after a meal I would just want to crash out and go to sleep. But now I can eat and feel more awake and my energy levels felt better."

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With a man of Haye's size he would have to take in a huge amount of calories to sustain his training volume for heavyweight boxing - as well as a significant amount of protein.

But with protein packed eggs, meat and dairy permanently off the menu, he has had to look for alternative sources from plants to get his spectrum of amino acids (the building blocks of protein).

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Before he was reportedly eating 24 eggs whites and four tins of sardines per day, but now he says it's all from natural plant sources.

"I get a lot of my protein from plant-based protein powders.

"I've had to develop my own plant-based proteins from quinoa, brown rice and yellow pea which gives you a nice spectrum of plant-based protein.

"I try and get at least 200g of protein per day from that source alone, minus everything else - that's just from three shakes.

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"It seems to be working so far. I've put on good lean muscle. I feel strong, healthy and no injuries so it's so far, so good."

His nutritionist Aidan Goggins has him eating five meals a day to keep him strong, healthy and injury free.

Interestingly he also eats something called 'sirt-rich' foods, which activate proteins in the body called 'sirtuins' which regulate key biological process in the body including ageing, cell death, inflammation and metabolism and apparently protect cells from dying when under stress (from things like training).

These include foods like celery, turmeric, chillies, walnuts, apples and red onions.

The benefits of this, according to this 80/10/10 in London video, are better muscle function and muscle adaptation which gave Haye better recovery from training and increased muscle mass.

Haye's meal plan is like nothing we've seen before and certainly not the kind you'd expect a heavyweight boxer to consume.

But it clearly works for Haye in performance, health and body composition terms.

This is what he eats during the day, according to 80/10/10 in London.

Breakfast