Healthy Hollywood: Is An Olympic Diet Right For Me?

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet and health questions.

Want to know how celebrities are getting their fabulous post-baby bodies? And, if their diet plan is right for you? Is there a downside to the latest diet trend? Keri is here to help!

This week’s question…

“What are some diet habits that Olympians have, and should I as a non-Olympian be incorporating any of their habits into my diet?” ~ Mallory F., Augusta, GA

Keri says…

You may not be an Olympic athlete, but that doesn’t mean your body doesn’t deserve to perform at its best! Olympians know better than anyone that our bodies are “machines” and only reach peak performance with the right fuel. Olympic athletes are no doubt impressive, but let’s be honest---so are you. You want to master your meetings, dominate your dry cleaning, and triumph over your travels. So here are some Olympic-style eating tips that will make you feel like and be a real winner.

Power Up The Protein: The U.S. ski and snowboard teams report eating three well-balanced meals and two snacks a day (you know I am down with that.) This is a great policy to live by. Although you shouldn’t be eating as much as the pros hitting the slopes, eating consistently throughout the day provides your body with consistent energy, can help you avoid hunger pangs, and can help you make better food choices later in the day. These teams are diligent about incorporating complex carbohydrates and protein into every meal and snack (we’re talkin’ whole grain breads, quinoa, lentils, chicken, hummus and peanut butter…yummm). Skipping the protein in snacks is a mistake that people often make-- protein is what keeps you satisfied. Ever wonder why an hour after you eat those pretzels you’re heading back to the vending machine for round two? You skipped the protein! Try eating some apple slices with peanut butter, or celery with hummus. Your growling stomach will thank you.

Amp Up The Plants: Another food trend that’s been all the chatter around the Athlete’s Village is vegetarianism. It has been a long-standing rumor that going meatless can negatively impact your energy and health. Well, leave it to Olympians to set the record straight. By being a responsible vegetarian you can get all the energy (and nutrients) you need to perform at your best. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go full-on vegetarian to reap the benefits of a plant based diet. Going meatless one meal a day or even one day a week gives you an opportunity to increase your plant-based protein and amp up your veggies. Meats can be replaced with beans, nuts, yogurt, and high protein grains (barley, quinoa). So take a page from these Olympians’ books and try some meatless meals.

Resist Temptation: It’s important to mention that although Olympians have impressive dedication (and impressive bodies) they are not exempt from temptation. There has been a lot of talk about the food available in Athlete’s Village in Sochi (burgers, fries, frappes and beer). Not to mention the fact that these hotspots are open 24/7 during the games---talk about convenient. Some will give in to these grease-tastic foods (I mean, we’re all human right?) But most Olympians performing at that level know that quality outweighs convenience, so they come prepped with meals and snacks from home. This type of preparation is a lesson to live by. If you find yourself starving and surrounded by poor food choices often, remember — make the best choice available (but it’s always a good idea to come prepared from home.) It might not be your usual wild salmon and steamed spinach, but a fast-food salad topped with grilled chicken may be your best choice. You might not take the gold, but at least you’ll be on the podium.

-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman

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