How do world-class athletes reach the pinnacle of their sport? In addition to natural talent, they work exceptionally hard and are often strict with their eating and workout regimes. As normal, everyday people, we look at the physical shape these athletes are in and it’s natural for us to think, “how do I get that body?” One way is by following a strict diet, but it’s sometimes more strict than you would think. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes peek at the daily diets of some of the most famous and well-respected athletes in the world today.
He is one of the most impressive athletes of our time. At 6’3” and 194 lbs. and the most toned body you could ever imagine, one would think he eats a very strict diet. It’s in fact the opposite for Mr. Phelps. Here’s a preview of what a normal meal day looks like for this swim superstar. Yes, all of this food, not just some.
Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.
Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo on white bread. Energy drinks.
Dinner: One pound of pasta. An entire pizza. More energy drinks.
The only reason Mr. Phelps is not obese from his diet is because he works out for hours on end each and every day. His body needs to have enough calories to burn off during his workouts or else he will lose weight due to the intensity and energy demands of his training sessions. On a typical day, he consumes 12,000 calories. Not a diet recommended for the average person! Health Canada estimates that an average male needs 2350-3300 calories per day depending on age and fitness level, while women need 1800-2400 calories depending on the same factors.
The renowned #1 pound-for-pound MMA fighter Rhonda Rousey stands 5’5” and weights 134 lbs. She did not get to where she is by eating pizza every day. Ms. Rousey has a strict diet and an intense workout schedule that she follows religiously. Here is a look into Ms. Rousey’s daily meal plan.
Breakfast: Homemade Chia Bowl: 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 2 tablespoons oats, agave nectar, 1 tablespoon almond butter, ¼ cup raisins, and cinnamon. She makes her coffee using a French press, adds grass-fed butter, raw coconut oil, and stevia and then blends it up before topping it with cinnamon.
Lunch: Egg Scramble on Bread – scrambles 2 eggs with red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, avocado, mushrooms, and turkey bacon, the scramble goes on Ezekiel bread with grass-fed butter.
Dinner: Turkey Chili – 6 ounces ground turkey, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, avocado, hemp seeds, ¼ cup beans, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper.
Possibly one of the most famous basketball stars of our time, LeBron James stands 6’6” and weighs 249 lbs. Mr. James has been known to go on something called the “LeBron diet” where he cuts out sugar, carbs and dairy completely. This method for losing weight is incredibly unhealthy and discouraged by nutritionists. Mr. James has a team of people making sure he stays healthy during the “LeBron diet.” Here’s a look into a daily diet for Mr. James when he is not on the “LeBron diet.”
Breakfast: Egg sandwich with 100% whole-grain muffin, avocado and salsa, and a smoothie made with fresh or frozen fruit and low-fat Greek yogurt
Lunch: Turkey sandwich on 100% whole-grain or sprouted wheat bread. Add healthy toppings like spinach, avocado, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, and yellow mustard. Paired with a side salad or fresh fruit salad.
Dinner: Chicken tacos on soft whole wheat tortilla wraps. Pair with guacamole, peppers, and salsa, but stay away from Mexican food staples like sour cream and cheese.
What can you learn from the diets of these famous athletes? What connection do you think whole, nutrient-rich foods have to athletic excellence? What is your favourite pre-workout snack or meal?