Gold medalist Allyson Felix crushed the 200 meter race in London this week, catapulting her to one of Team USA’s most beloved athletes. We’ve talked a lot this Olympic season about the nutrition and fitness programs of these world-class athletes, and even cautioned that they aren’t always something to mimic at home due to the intense level at which they train. However, many of them do offer some sound advice that any civilian should take to heart, including Felix.
“Try to think of working out and healthy eating as a lifestyle,” she said in an interview with Shape magazine.
That’s the ticket. It’s not a restriction, it’s not a diet, it’s not “torture” as Gwen Stefani calls it, and it’s not a 28-day plan that you walk away from. It’s a lifestyle. These habits are something you learn at first and then practice inherently. It’s just how you live.
Right now, Felix is undoubtedly in the best shape of her life, and it’s highly unlikely she’s going to fall from that any time soon. Although, she may taper off of the rigorous regimen that helped her prepare for London. It’s reported that Felix is focused on a high-protein diet of about 3,000 calories per day. In our interview with some of the Olympic team’s sports dietitians, we learned that most athletes don’t know how many calories they consume in a day, and that the dietitians can alter their daily calorie count each day based on their training demands.
Her other piece of real-world advice: Put your needs first. In her interview she told of how she “had to sit down with friends and family and tell them I was going to be kind of selfish this year,” in order to properly focus and train for her chance at the Olympics. When those around you know your goals, it’s easier for them to support you. As well, Felix recommends active social time rather than lounging around cocktails and appetizers. Organize a group run, walk, fitness class, or even a swim the next time you and the girls want to get together.
image via Sports Illustrated