Stop Eating Like An Athlete!

The very first book I ever read on Nutrition was called “Sports Nutrition For Athletes”.

It was a great book, written back in the early 90’s, and it had nutrition recommendations for all types of different sports like swimming, track and field, basketball etc.

I originally was interested in it because I wanted to become a better basketball player in high school, and was looking for any advantage I could get to improve my game and be better than my peers.

In summary, we (being you and me, and other general population people) shouldn’t be eating like an athlete.

Here’s why…

In an interview with NBC Sports, world champion Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps said he ate approximately 12,000 calories per day during the 2008 Summer Olympics. This included a breakfast of three fried egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelet, three pieces of french toast, three pancakes and grits. Lunch was typically a pound of pasta and two sandwiches.

And this is what Phelps looked like in 2008…

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Now to my point… (I have two of them)

Point #1

You and I (as much as we’d like to think we’re awesome athletes)… are not elite athletes.

And the number one thing that separates us from an elite athlete is the amount of calories we burn each day.

For the most part, we’re burning around 1200-2200 calories per day, depending on the individual.

Now imagine eating 12,000 calories each day! You’d be in a surplus of around 10,000 calories! (I know Phelps is an extreme example, but all athletes are on a very high calorie diet to fuel their performance)

We just can’t physically burn that much food off without it storing as body fat.

In peak training phases, Phelps swims a minimum of 80,000 meters per week, which is 80 kilometers!

For general population like you and me, we’re considered extremely active if we get a 45 minute workout in 4-6 times per week. That’s about 3-5 hours of high intensity exercise per week! That’s about 1600-2400 calories burn each week from our workouts.

In comparison, it’s not much. So we need a daily calorie consumption that is consistent with the amount of calories we burn each day. Which will be around 1200 to 2200 depending in the individual.

Point #2

Athletes are carb junkies!! And for good reason. Carbs are the fastest way to get energy into your body. Our amazing human bodies convert carbohydrates into sugars that can be burned for fuel.

So If you need to P.B on a 400 meter freestyle swimming competition, you definitely want carbs the night before, and morning of your competition day, because you’re definitely going to use them when you’re operating at 110% in your 400m swim race!

But for you and I, we’re not competing in swimming or other competitive sports, and if we eat like we are, but don’t burn off those carbs, they don’t get used. In fact they get stored as fuel for later. In the form of fat.

We don’t want to store fuel, because food is everywhere. We’re not hunter/gatherers anymore. We know where our next meal is coming from. Woolworths is stocked full of everything you could ever want in the form of food, ready for you to consume and most of them are open from 7am to 11pm 7 days a week!

There’s no hibernation/starvation period anymore!

So we need to back off the carbs and sugar big time! Because we’re not burning it off fast enough, and it’s piling on around the belly, butt, thighs, arms, and it’s damaging the health of our internal, vital organs causing heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

So what’s the solution? 

A. Become an elite athlete and eat as many carbs as you’re going to burn.

B. Become smarter about what you eat, and how much, so you’re not storing everything you eat as body fat.

If you need help working out exactly how many calories you should be consuming, and what foods are best for you, just hit reply and we can figure it out together.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy-peasy!

Have the best day ever! (And lay off the carbs and sugars!)…

Jai.