Could You Eat Like an Olympian?

Olympic athletes are strong, determined and hardworking individuals who need a diet that fits those characteristics. Yet, you may be surprised to learn what they eat, despite their idolized body images.

If you’re inspired to live your life like an Olympic athlete, you must be physically active. Yes, you can curb your calorie intake in relation to how many you will burn in a day, but the diets themselves are specifically tailored for high intensity training. So, what does a typical Olympic athlete eat in a day?

The 60-30-10 Breakdown

The average Olympian follows these guidelines, with minor adjustments made as necessary:

  • 60% carbohydrates: A healthy mix of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains
  • 30% protein: Lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and eggs
  • 10% fats: Olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado

Most diets restrict you to these food groups, so it might not seem too difficult to eat like an Olympian at first glance. However, do you know how many calories a professional swimmer burns during practice? Depending on the level of intensity, you can burn thousands of calories in a single day. So, you need to consume much more than the average 2,000 – 2,500 recommended daily intake of calories to see the best results.

The Michael Phelps Meal Plan

When Michael Phelps was training for and competing in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he consumed a 12,000 calorie diet on a daily basis, which included:

  • Fried egg sandwiches
  • Oatmeal with blueberries
  • A 5-egg omelet
  • French toast
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Ham and cheese sandwiches
  • Pasta
  • An extra-large pepperoni pizza

This is an extreme example, but one that shows why certain Olympian diets might not be the best choice for everyone. The major takeaway? Try the 60-30-10 method, but be sure to incorporate some level of physical activity as well. At North Haven Health & Racquet, you and your friends can play court sports or participate in group fitness classes.