Well let’s face it… we will never need to eat exactly like an Olympian unless we’re training like one, because their calorie needs are probably higher than what we need. However, an Olympian’s diet, for the most part, is ideal believe it or not, but it boils down to making good nutritional decisions. For an Olympian, healthy eating is a lifestyle. They view food as a fuel, rather than an obsession.
Key components to an Olympian’s diet:
- Don’t skip meals. This includes breakfast! It’s important to eat healthy and regularly. In doing so, you are providing your body with the energy and nutrients that are needed for optimal health and weight maintenance.
- Variety, variety, variety! Don’t allow yourself to get into a rut, which may end up causing you to snack on your junk food of choice. If you have a craving for chips, cookies, or chocolate, allow yourself to indulge. If you constantly pass on temptation, then the day you do take a bit of the cookie you may end up eating the entire bag because you had restricted yourself for so long. Eating cookies on occasion isn’t the worst thing in the world.
- Pick nutrient dense foods. Try to avoid empty calories. You want to provide yourself with nutrient packed foods. This will provide you with vitamins, minerals, and you’ll find them more filling and satisfying.
- Limit fat, but do not avoid it. The right kind of fat is important for optimal health. Try to minimize the amount of trans and saturated fats you eat and eat more mono-unsaturated fats.
- Choose whole-wheat, whole-grain. Whole grains provide you with fiber, which is great for your health!
- Go lean with your protein! Try to minimize the amount of red and high fat (i.e. pork) meats you eat and switch to more lean sources, such as fish, chicken, and turkey.
- Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol in moderation (one drink a day) has been shown to provide you with some health benefits. However, excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to take a toll on your body and health.
- Fill up on fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are the original fast food! They are easy to carry with you and are the true definition of a nutrient-dense food.
- Include dairy. Pick low-fat or fat-free dairy choices.
Eating like an Olympian boils down to eating healthy and making it your way of life, not just a fad to drop a few pounds.