Big Larry is slimming down.

Since his senior season at Kentucky ended, Lions third-round pick Larry Warford has been working to reshape his body.

And thanks to offseason training with former Pro Bowl offensive guard LeCharles Bentley and a new diet, Warford has reduced his body fat from 28 percent to 24 percent.

"It's the best thing I've done," Warford said Friday after the first day of the Lions rookie minicamp.

"I have so much more energy, just from the diet itself. It's helping me be more explosive and taking a lot of wear off my body."

Growing up, Warford's nickname was always "Big Larry." In great detail, he explained Friday that in eighth grade there were two boys bigger than him — Chano and Herman — but other than that, he's always stood out for his size.

The diet isn't quite like the Atkins Diet, Warford said, but it involves cutting carbohydrates and increasing his intake of protein.

And although losing weight wasn't Warford's primary goal, it has been one of the benefits of the new regimen.

Before the diet and training, he weighed 343 pounds. He slipped to as low as 328 pounds this spring, but was listed at 6-foot-3, 333 pounds for the weekend camp and has the look of a typical NFL guard.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said one thing that stands out about Warford's body is his low center of gravity.

"He's got really good balance for a big man," Schwartz said. "He's a bottom-heavy guy, and it keeps his balance right in there. It makes it hard for people to knock him off balance; it's hard to run around him. He's just got natural balance and natural power."

Those are all attributes that stood out to the Lions staff when they coached Warford at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in January. Schwartz knew a big man needed big clothes, too.

"We had a pretty good idea what size shorts he wore and everything else," Schwartz said.

And just as the Senior Bowl experience helped the Lions learn about Warford, it also accelerated his learning curve with the team.