“My goal is to be able to take my shirt off one last time for Instagram,” the former NBA star told PEOPLE at the Oreo Dunk Challenge on Wednesday, as part of the #OREODunkSweepstakes. “I want to show my six-pack — I’m close — I have a four-pack now, so probably by the end of May I’ll be able to take my shirt off.”
The Basketball Hall of Famer — who stars alongside Christina Aguilera in the new Oreo campaign — has been sticking to a diet of “a lot of chicken, a lot of fish and a lot of salad” for three weeks now. “I eat six small meals a day because I’m working out everyday,” he says. “I do 30 minutes cardio and then I do weights, chest, arms, back. I need to start doing legs — my legs are still kind of weak from playing, so I haven’t really done legs.”
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O’Neal has cut out soda, bread and his beloved sandwiches. He’s even eliminated his favorite cheats days at McDonald’s or Waffle House entirely from his diet. “I’m trying to get big and bulky and strong like a body builder almost,” he says. “When I take my shirt off I want you to see muscles everywhere.”
Luckily, the self-proclaimed “simple eater” isn’t tempted to over-indulge on date nights with his girlfriend, Laticia Rolle, because, “I don’t eat out at all,” he says. “I’d rather stay home and relax.”
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And no, he doesn’t cook — or make Rolle cook for him.
“She can cook but I don’t let her cook because I’m on the King and Queen thing. When we first met, she wanted to cook for me and I said, ‘Do you think the Queen of England cooks her own meals?’ She said, ‘No.’ So we don’t have to either,” he explains. “She works very hard, I don’t want to wear her out. It’s hard for a woman in America so I don’t want her to work all day and have to come home and cook for me. We’re blessed enough where we can have a chef.”
O’Neal recently made headlines for his size when Olympic gymnast Simone Biles shared a photo of the pair posing next to each other. With O’Neal standing at 7’1″ and Biles at 4’9″, the contrast was mesmerizing. “She’s awesome,” O’Neal said of meeting the fellow athlete. “Good-looking girl, too. Really awesome.”