- Associated Press - Friday, March 1, 2013

AVONDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a new drink of choice: Carrot juice.

OK, so maybe it’s not his favorite thing to drink, but he did partake with the orange liquid, along with prune juice, during a detox diet that helped him lose 15 or 20 pounds during the offseason.

“It’s not great, but it’s better than prune juice,” Earnhardt said from Phoenix International Raceway on Friday.

For years, Earnhardt had eaten pretty much what he wanted, including pizza and wings and all kinds of unhealthy stuff.

He decided to change things up when he noticed his race suit getting a little snug.

“Really what it’s about for me is just trying to maintain my weight so I don’t have to keep my driver suits altered throughout the season,” he said. “Last year I was like, `Ma, they’re shrinking, something is wrong with the washer.’”

Earnhardt started counting calories to keep his weight down and went through a 15-day detox diet that included eight days of drinking prune juice and seven more of drinking carrot juice.

“I was surprised I was able to make it,” he said. “It was like just fish, chicken and raw, steamed vegetables, and there was two days were you just ate vegetables and fruit. That was pretty tough for me to not have any meat, but the older you get, the more you do have to kind of maintain a healthy weight.”

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