As we embark upon the 2008 Beijing Olympics, we marvel at the way these conditioned athletes have taken care of their bodies and health as if it were a fine piece of exquisite art. But it might be comforting to know that even some of your favorite Olympiads honor their sweet tooths every now and then.
Swimmer Katie Hoff, 19 of Maryland, loves Hostess 100-calorie mini muffin packs. Their controlled portions and their yummy three flavors of banana, blueberry, and cinnamon coffee cake make this gold-medal hopeful feel like she’s indulging in something she shouldn’t even though they only pack a soft 100 calorie punch. And after a few hours of racing laps in the pool, I’d imagine those 100 calories are well-deserved.
In addition to a post-workout snack, Katie has a splurge day to avoid having feelings of diet deprivation breaking her focused concentration. Many successful diets make room for a day when you can eat your favorite dishes, just not to the point of being stuffed. The Cheat to Lose and The Crack the Fat Loss Code are just two popular diet programs that have a cheat day built in to their weekly dieting cycle. Weight Watchers even gives each person 10 “flex” points each week to use how they like. For Katie, once a week, she splits a slice of Oreo cheesecake with a friend and leaves any trace of leftover guilt on her napkin.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, these athletes are noshing on a disciplined diet of good carbohydrates, lean proteins and quality fats. To return some fuel to a fatigued body, Jessica Mendoza, an Olympic softball player who also won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, refuels with a banana, peanut butter and berry smoothie. The combination of carbs, protein and fat gives back to Jessica’s body after hours of working hard in her position as an outfielder.
So as we all watch these world-class athletes from our cushy couches, we can steal a few of their secrets on how to live a fit and healthy life.
Stop by the DietsInReview.com throughout the 2008 Beijing Olympics to learn more about fitness and nutrition from our esteemed U.S. Olympics team.