U.S. swimmer Scott Weltz says that he’s a “greasy cheeseburger kind of guy.” Distance swimmer Conor Dwyer says he “loves brownie sundaes.” Gold medalist Missy Franklin likes “big sundaes topped with Gummi bears.” What’s wrong with this picture?
A number of Olympic athletes have said in interviews that they often eat what we would consider “junk food.” Yet, these high fat, high sugar foods certainly don’t show. Most would consider athletes at the Olympic level as great examples of fit, healthy people. So how can they eat junk food and get away with it, when you and I can’t?
It’s really a numbers game – one that you and I just can’t compete in. A typical Olympic swimmer trains 5 hours each day, six days per week too. And, they consume 7,000 – 10,000 calories per day during peak training. That’s a lot of calories! These athlete have to be “eating machines” in order to consume enough!
Several years ago, I worked with a woman who was an Olympic swimmer. She worked out in the early morning before work and then again in the evenings after work. We used to laugh each morning when she brought in a large mixing bowl, a box of cereal and a quart of milk. That was her breakfast – the entire box of cereal and the entire quart of milk! She would then have a midmorning “meal,” a huge lunch and another meal in the afternoon. Yet, she was skinny as a rail! How can they get away with it?
First, they are incredibly efficient at burning the calories they consume. The same is not true for you and me.
Second, they consume 5-7 times the number of calories that you or I should consume each day. Think about it this way: If an Olympic athlete eats an entire bag of M and M’s, for example, it’s equivalent to you or I eating 5 or 6 individual M and M candies. If they eat a chocolate sundae, it’s the same as you or I eating 3-5 bites of the same sundae.
So, the lesson here is to ignore the marketing hype and remember that you and I are not Olympic athletes. We simply can’t get away with consuming whatever we want whenever we want.
Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
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You may also want to read: All You SHOULD Eat, Childhood Obesity: Education is Essential, What You Eat First Matters