Dwight Howard is to the NBA what a prawn is to Christmas.

The 31-year-old has been in the game for a whopping 14 years. He’s currently the center for the Charlotte Hornets.

He also has a real soft spot for eagle-embroidered denim:

Crimes against fashion aside, the man is a freaking powerhouse.

He’s 6 foot 11, weighs 120kg and is fit as a fiddle.

He has racked up a ridiculous number of awards in his time: eight All-NBA selections, the same number of All-Star nods, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, a Slam Dunk title, and an Olympic gold medal.

NBA Powerhouse Dwight Howard Legit Used To Eat 24 Candy Bars A Dayhe is also great in gif-form

What the hell does a dude that big and that athletically-gifted eat to stay on top of his game?

Well, if you remember the headlines from a few months back, you might recall reading a yarn about how he adored candy. He was supposedly obsessed with the stuff. Big time. Like, he’d eat 24 candy bars a day. That’s around 5500 calories, every day, devoted entirely to the consumption of sugary sweets.

But the folk at GQ recently sat down with the sporting superstar to get to the bottom of his eating habits. Was he still munching on Moon Pies every waking hour?

Turns out he has kicked his candy habit to the curb.

“When I first came in the league, it was okay for me to eat whatever I wanted,” he said.

“I realised that that wasn’t really going to help me in the long run, though, and that I had to learn about the right type of diet—the foods that give you more energy.”

In the interview, he explains his addiction to sweet treats:

Everybody likes candy. People love different types of sweets, and what I liked to do was eat candy.

Was it hard to get off of it? Yeah, at first. Now I’m pretty much cool with it. It doesn’t really bother me. I don’t have to have any type of candy in my diet to feel a certain type of way. But there was a point in time when I just loved eating candy.

Skittles, and honey buns, and any chocolate… I had a busload of candy in my pantry. It was just filled with each type of chocolate, each type of honey bun, moon pies, oatmeal pies—all types of snacks. Now my pantry is filled with snacks you wouldn’t dare look at because…they don’t look like they taste good. [Laughs]

NBA Powerhouse Dwight Howard Legit Used To Eat 24 Candy Bars A Day

How he overcame his sugar addiction:

Basically, just trying to remove it from my house, so I wouldn’t get tempted by looking at it. It was tough at first. I’m not going to say it wasn’t, but I just had to take it out of my sight and tell my mind: “This is not good for my body.” That was kind of the process.

On how he felt different once he went cold turkey:

Well, I wasn’t getting tired as fast during games. My body felt different. My face looked a little bit different. I felt all the benefits that happen when you take something bad from your diet. The biggest thing for me in games is fatigue. Usually when you eat candy, you have a good rush. It hits you and it feels great, but then once you crash, you crash. Once I took that out, I was able to play longer.

He now eats as clean as can be, like eggs for breakfast with a bitta salmon, a few little lunches with complex carbs (like a chicken sandwich situation or some fish) and he finishes up his day with a dinner that loads up on everything he loses during a big game.

And that, my friends, is the way the cookie crumbles.

You can read the rest of his GQ interview in full here.

Source: GQ
Image: Getty Images / Leon Halip