Alright guys, I’ve shown you how to train and look like an Olympian, now it’s time to eat like one. One thing is for sure, Olympians don’t limit their food intake, and they focus on nutrition and the quality of their nutrients. Some athletes are required to eat an intense diet depending on their sport. Some may need to consume over 5,000 calories a day and some may need to stay at a low weight (like ski jumpers) which would require them to take in a lot less calories than the average athlete.
So, depending on the sport, Olympians do not need a diet substantially different from the basic diet recommended for both you and me. This means a diet with essential vitamins and minerals and appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. Food is what fuels an Olympic athlete so it’s important they are giving their bodies top grade nutrients so they can perform at their best. Athletes look at food as necessary fuel for their bodies. They believe that if they put junk in, they get junk out.
You may assume that Olympic athletes are able to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound due to the amount of training they do, but that’s not the case. Fueling their bodies correctly is just as important as their training. Make sure you always fuel before, during and after, for optimum performance.
You may not be headed to London to compete for your Country but here are some strategies to take from Olympic athletes and their diets.
-Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. If you track what you eat in a day compared to how often you got hungry in that same day, I’m sure more of you than not are victims of bored eating. Try distracting yourself to avoid snacking to kill time. Put on a catchy tune, pick up a book or a magazine or get up and walk around for a few minutes. Focusing on something else will help your phantom hunger pains go away.
-Chow down at breakfast. Don’t start the day on an empty tank. Replenish your energy stores to ensure adequate fuel for training or your everyday workouts. Have both carbohydrate and protein in your breakfast. Protein will help maintain your glucose levels throughout the morning and stave off hunger, while carbohydrates will provide needed energy. Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast to start your day and many athletes turn to this for an easy morning meal. The slow digesting oats will help fuel your day longer. For added protein add in some peanut butter or almond butter and some fresh fruit for sweetness.
-Prepare your own meals as much as possible. Many athletes could double as chefs, as many of them have learned exactly what they need for nutrients and the best way to cook them. Using fresh ingredients gives you more control and the ability to make a healthy and delicious meal without the extra calories of a restaurant meal. Restaurants often cook with added oils and sauces that increase calories. The more you prepare your meals, the better you’ll become.
Alright folks, when you’re sitting on your couch watching the Olympic Games, don’t just sit and wonder, get up and get healthy and start making changes. It’s never too late!
Nutrition | Diet | Health