The tall, skinny guy? That’s LeBron James. (Mike Chritton / AP)

When a man sees his 30th birthday staring him down at the end of the year, sometimes he decides it’s time to take stock of things.

For LeBron James, that meant looking at his diet and his game and deciding to shed a few pounds. Still, the photos he posted to Instagram are surprising, given that he hasn’t exactly been hiding all summer. The weight loss, suddenly apparent, is attributable to the elimination of carbohydrates, according to ESPN LeBron Whisperer Brian Windhorst.

James was joking about the difference, writing on Instagram: “Between this diet and @djstephfloss had me like this earlier today #RunningWithTheWinners TO edition. Hahaha! #RWTW #CrossCountry #ItsALifeStyle #StriveForGreatness.”

There’s no way to know how much James, who stands 6-8, weighed last season, although it seems safe to say that it was north of the 250 pounds at which the Miami Heat listed him. Here’s how he looked last February:

(Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

“I’ve heard he’s estimated about 10 or 12 pounds down now,” Windhorst told Bill Simmons on his Grandland podcast. “I guess he has cut out carbs. Last year Ray Allen — as if Ray Allen needed anything to help with his body — he went paleo in the offseason. … And Ray Allen came to training camp and he was the only Heat guy who was in better shape at the start of last training camp than at the end of the [2013] season because those guys enjoyed their second championship. Wade and LeBron especially. LeBron was probably, coming off his wedding and everything, he was probably in quote-unquote ‘the worst shape he’s been in a while.’ He was obviously fine, but he got off to a slow start last season. His back was bothering him early on. He and Dwyane Wade both have gone to this sort of, I don’t know if LeBron is terming it ‘paleo,’ but he’s basically gone without carbs.”