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02/19/10 3:39 PM EST

Swisher hopes to gain from weight loss

Yanks outfielder feels stronger after dropping 12 pounds

TAMPA, Fla. -- Nick Swisher lost 12 pounds this offseason. Which is good, because the camera supposedly adds 10.

The result was a thinner, leaner Swisher making a cameo this winter on the Emmy Award-winning comedy "How I Met Your Mother."

"It's the hottest show on TV, I think," Swisher said.

And the weight loss, for Swisher, was relatively easy. Rather than working out longer or harder, Swisher simply altered his diet, eliminating junk food and sticking to high-protein meals -- eggs for breakfast, whole wheat wraps for lunch, yogurt for a snack and chicken for dinner. His cheat meal? A Chipotle burrito, once per week.

The result, Swisher hopes, will be an improvement on the .249 average and 29 homers he amassed after taking over the Yankees' right-field job from the injured Xavier Nady.

"I feel leaner, I feel quicker," Swisher said. "And as weird as it seems, I feel stronger."

Unlike last year, Swisher is entering Spring Training with a clearly-defined role: he is the starting right fielder. Despite the addition of Randy Winn, Swisher will not have to compete for a job.

And the Yankees are happy knowing that they can rely on Swisher to provide some pop from the bottom half of the batting order. Dropping 12 pounds won't stop him from gunning for the short porch in right field.

"I think just in general, it's so exciting to come back here to a team like this," Swisher said, after arriving in Tampa well in advance of the report date for position players. "You know you have an extreme amount of talent in here, and you have the ability to win."

More than many first-time New Yorkers, Swisher has also embraced the celebrity that comes with being a Yankee -- though he is not planning any additional television appearances just yet.

"I'm good for one cameo a year," Swisher said. "I'm a baseball player."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.