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Michael Phelps Diet

The Olympic gold medalist consumes up to 12,000 calories each day.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

When we think of the 2008 Summer Olympic games, two words come to mind: Michael Phelps. This machine-of-a-swimmer dazzled us all with his superhuman abilities in the swimming pool, his boyish and All-American charm and of course, that body! What it takes to look and eat like Michael Phelps is no small feat. In fact, this world-record Olympic star has professed that his life consists of training, eating and sleeping. That's it.

What this young man does not do is diet. But his eating regimen is as closely monitored as is the speed at which he sails from end-to-end of the pool. Packing in about 10,000 to 12,000 calories a day, Phelps chows down on what most us would love to consider as 'diet' food: fried egg sandwiches, pizza, and pasta.

Similar to stars like Mariah Carey and Rachael Ray whose fabulous and healthy figures have garnered enough attention to propel their eating styles into non-formal diets, The Michael Phelps Diet is a style of eating that has captivated us because of its sheer volume of food.

The science behind Phelps' way of eating looks something like this: He expends thousands and thousands of calories a day through swimming workouts and his resistance training. In order to keep his muscles fueled, he must consume the right foods in order to keep, recover and repair those overworked muscles and to give his body the nourishment to get up the next day and do it all over again. Most of his calories are coming from carbs, which is the body's primary fuel for energy.

No one recommends doing the Michael Phelps diet unless of course, you're 6-foot-4-inch and spend most of your day enduring grueling workouts. But for those of you who are conditioned athletes and desire to emulate the magic of Phelps, you can easily do a very scaled-down version of what this champion eats. And for those of you who aren't, you must simply embrace the twinge of jealousy you feel at the food-freedom this superstar enjoys every day that he is training.

PRO
  • The Michael Phelps way of eating does not contain refined sugars
  • It provides fuel in the form of carbs, protein and fat for someone who expends an enormous amount of calories
  • Endorses an active lifestyle
CON
  • Too many calories for the average person to consume in one day
  • Eating this way for most of us would be dangerous to our health
  • Does not contain many vegetables or fresh fruit
  • Daily time commitment to eat this much takes effort
  • Phelps is the spokesperson for Frosted Flakes cereal
  • His victory meal was from McDonald's
DIET and NUTRITION

Phelps consumes 10,000-12,000 calories each day when he is training. Most males his size and age consume about 2,500-3,000.

The focus of his diet is getting in calories in the form of carbohydrates that his body can digest and use quickly. The bread and pasta, which are staples of every one of Phelps' meals, are refined carbohydrates, giving Phelps the quick energy he needs to swim and endure his grueling training schedule.

A typical daily meal plan in the life of Michael Phelps, looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.
  • Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise on white bread and 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.
  • Dinner: One pound of pasta and an entire pizza and another 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.
EXERCISE

Michael Phelps way of eating may make us all green with envy, but eating two pounds of pasta in one day doesn't come without effort. Phelps works pretty darn hard for those calories. While he is training, he spends 6 days each week working out harder than most of us can ever imagine.

Clocking in 50 miles of swimming each week in combination with a few hours of resistance and weight training on dry land, his physique and ability are a result of a very closely-watched and disciplined training schedule.

CONCLUSION

He is truly a boy wonder, but the road to the victorious fame that Michael Phelps is now savoring, is a life-long journey of hard work. In addition to the attention he has received from his world-record 8 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, his diet has also received its time in the spotlight.

Filled with thousands of carb-heavy calories, Michael Phelps must eat this way in order to fuel his champion body and training schedule. But for the rest of us, his diet would send us to the cardiologist. You're better off to sticking to a healthy diet filled with veggies, fruit, lean protein, heart-healthy fats and whole grain carbohydrates if you want to live until the next summer Olympic games and witness Phelps do it all over again.

Common Misspellings

Mike Phelps, Micheal Phelps, Michael Felps, Michael Phelp


Related Diets: Dr. Gott's No Flour No Sugar Diet, McDonalds Diet, Sugar Busters!


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(Page 1 of 1, 13 total comments)

Guy

I believe this. I am a swimmer myself and i know that one of the first things i want to do when i get out of the water is eat... a lot. He needs to take in 12,000 calories a day if he's training for 30 hours a week or his body would shut down. This is also by no means junk food, either. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and pasta is a great source of carbs which the body uses for energy. Yeah he eats a whole pizza but its not the greasy pizza you pick from Papa John's on the corner. He knows what he's doing. He's an Olympic athlete for pete's sake. The greatest at that. And there's no way he eats that much without being monitored.

posted Aug 15th, 2011 9:08 pm


Rhys Hart

It tasted crap

posted Mar 11th, 2011 6:13 am


mike kent

I also tried this "diet" and gained 50 pounds in just one month! Amazing, really, but I needed to lose that much. Can I sue him? I joined Weight Watchers recently though and am losing it, at $15 a week, about a pund a week. So in a year, I will be back to where I began at this rate. And then it might take another year to lose the weight I want to lose. See y'all in just two years!

posted Feb 25th, 2011 11:24 am


jobbi

i like the taste of jobi

posted Nov 8th, 2010 12:46 pm


lkjhaesfkjsdfhdskjfbdshfk

michael phelps is an alien

posted Oct 12th, 2010 10:09 am


Ken

I'm not disagreeing with the fact that Phelps is probably unique in his nutritional needs. However, there is something VERY abnormal about him; no normal person who ate that much simple carbohydrates for breakfast would have energy to perform a grueling workout afterwords. For 99.9% of the population (even if you're an incredible athlete), eating so much food would make you EXHAUSTED....Blood sugar that is not used as energy is quickly stored as fat; the result is a spike in insulin levels and extreme fatigue would set in. The alleged argument here is that he immediately runs to the pool and spends up all the fuel from 20 egg sandwiches. Maybe for him, his digestive tracks store simple sugars in the bloodstream for hours as energy, but that's not how most human bodies work. Most serious athletes consume complex carbohydrates that breakdown steadily and supply the body with a steady (non-spiked) level for hours. So I hate to call BS on this diet but unless Phelps either (a) is an alien, (b) has a digestive system that works unlike most humans, or (c) has breakfast and then passes out for 3 hours from diabetic shock before his workout, I'm calling BS. However, an interesting side note: This diet wouldn't be all that crazy if Phelps was on some crazy designer steroid that keeps him energized all day and allows his body to absorb food differently (which is the case with alot of steroids). Most athletes nowadays do steroids, they just hide it very well. So if he's doing roids I wouldn't be shocked...especially in light of this diet.

posted Sep 30th, 2010 8:06 pm


jon

"Personally I dont believe this diet, its complete b*****t to consider a guy would consume this junk food let alone the greatest swimmer"

Not sure what you mean by junk food. He seems to be eating rather basic foods: pasta, bread, eggs. The mayo seems to be simply for additional calories which he clearly needs. Anybody who has played competitive sport throughout a season knows how much your body needs food after a practice or game, let alone the kind of training Phelps goes through.

posted Aug 19th, 2010 12:36 pm


harro

At his workout intensity, Phelps needs way more energy than most of us do. Cholesterol is also vital to the human body, (it's a protein transporting non-anabolic steroid). It's when it's in excess that things start to go wrong.

I swim very competitively (though not nearly at the same level), and I have a similar, if scaled down diet.

posted May 26th, 2010 10:55 am


Billy

With all that food going in, how much time is he spending on the can crapping it all out? His regimen must actually be training, eating, sleeping and crapping, that's it!

posted Aug 8th, 2009 9:59 pm


SCOTT MCGREGOR

Well u need fuel to fire up an athlete we all aware of this. Personally I dont believe this diet, its complete b*****t to consider a guy would consume this junk food let alone the greatest swimmer

Ok so Phelps needs carbs and fats to maintain his rigorous training, doesnt take away fact that he his eating a meal allowance that will kill him. Hello hasnt his camp heard of cholestrol, bye Phelps nice watching you

posted Aug 1st, 2009 8:27 am


Carl

Oh man, I wonder how long Phelps is going to live. I imagine he'll have a few overuse injuries when he gets older. Fifty miles of swimming a week? On the bright side, what this does demonstrate is that it really doesn't matter what you eat. If you are active enough all those calories are going to be used to keep you going. That isn't to say you won't have a massive heart attack when you're forty, which I suspect Phelps will if he keeps that regimen up for more than a few more years. I totally dig the breakfast man, even the grits. I could eat that much without a doubt. That's why I weigh 370 pounds now. :)

posted Jan 3rd, 2009 10:43 pm


Ariana Maharaj

Quite informative. Excellent layout.

posted Oct 16th, 2008 9:04 pm


Schnotty

I tried this diet WITHOUT the swimming and now I weigh 319 pounds. I want my money back... I need it to clean out my colon.

posted Sep 12th, 2008 7:23 am



   
 

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