The London Olympics have been amazing!
The rivalry between US Swimmer Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte has been amazing, and both have performed beautifully. I truly love the games, not only because I love sport, but because I love the fact that the same countries that can go to war with each other seem to be able to play each other in team sports at the same time. The only way I explain it is that it’s just business. War is business and so is sport, and our economies need both. Hmmm, one of these days we’re going to have to look into that as a global society.
Now, I’m not getting sidetracked here from the title of this post, “I Can Eat Whatever I want Because I Burn So Many Calories.” This title is really about business, linked to whether or not the Olympics should be able to promote junk food, which is sold as “happy meals” for starters, and its impact on you– especially when it’s being sold by top athletes who know so little about nutrition.
Last night, I was watching Piers Morgan interview Ryan Lochte and his father, from London. It was a great Interview between 3 men including classic Piers Morgan, who is so candid, transparent and not afraid to get into emotional subjects or the questions that evoke them. I always appreciate the way he asks the big-elephant-in-the-room question that is on your mind.
Well last night, right before Piers Morgan asked Ryan Lochte about his teeth bling “grill”, and actually tried it on (he literally inserted Ryan Lochte’s bling-studded grill into his mouth), Piers asked Ryan if he can eat whatever he wants because he burns so many calories in the pool. The question then expanded to whether or not he was going to go to McDonald’s after the interview.
Ryan, who is probably not much up on nutrition and health, other than what most people know, and who is just 28 years old, replied…(and I paraphrase), “Yes, I can eat whatever I want really because I burn so many calories.” And this is what this post is really about.
Is this true?
At one point in my book, Switch to Rich, I talk about how you really can eat whatever you want, which is Part 1 of The Great Rule of Eating. However, I don’t do so from a nutritional point of view, but rather, from a psychological one, which is why this is so incredibly important. There is a 2nd part to this Great Rule of Eating, which is “You just can’t eat whatever, and get the results that you want.” So, putting what Ryan, age 28 said into context–chances are pretty good that the negative effects of eating McDonald’s have yet to manifest in this young athlete.
Sure, if you are incredibly fit, the negative effects might take longer to show up. And surely, Ryan Lochte is not eating nothing but McDonald’s. In this article by ABC News that revealed the food secrets of Olympic athletes, Ryan recently said that he gave up junk food for his training. Note that the “recovery meals” he describes are almost 100% nutrient poor–which is something you will really appreciate after reading the guide, “ Wow, I Thought I was Eating Healthy,” which is available for download on nutrientrich.com.
For Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, the recovery meal is grilled chicken breasts with Alfredo sauce, whole-grain spaghetti and a salad with lemon juice and olive oil. Lochte, who recently cut out junk food, candy and soda, has undertaken a rigorous strength-training regimen that involves flipping tractor tires, dragging shipyard chains and tossing beer kegs, Glassman said.
Lochte’s recovery meal has all the important macro-nutrients necessary for recovery.
To understand this, though, you have to understand that all of this messaging, including the quote above, even though it precedes some truly nutrient-rich foods in the article, is not about sound nutrition, in any meaning of the word. It is at once, Olympic business at it’s best, with promotion of one of so many Olympic sponsors that are promoting junk foods to young viewers, who learn by association–and at the same time, it a promotion of one of the biggest myths about anyone being able to eat whatever they want because they burn so many calories through exercise.
Nutrient-poor food, does more than eventually cause you to gain weight, it compromises the machinery of your body, and promotes disease–and it will do so, in spite of the fact that you exercise a lot.
You can eat whatever you want, but you can’t eat whatever and whenever, and get the results that you want.
Here at nutrientrich.com, we are making the point that when you are eating a diet that is rich in macro-nutrients, especially unhealthy forms of these macro-nutrients, which come predominantly from animal sources, while you might grow and perform well in the early days, it won’t end well–and for some it will happen sooner (way sooner) than later, which is why we are such ardent promoters of the More Plant Based Nutrient Rich healthy eating style. This eating style can deliver amazing health for the long term, for everyone–including athletes!
You are not going to learn much about nutrition by listening to young athletes, who are sponsored by junk food providers, on national TV, or from old line “nutrition experts,” who don’t understand the difference between a nutrient- rich and a nutrient-poor food, and instead promote the myth that you can eat whatever you want because you burn so many calories. Ultimately, doing this doesn’t work, and probably hurts the athletes’ performances even when they are young.
To learn more about how nutrient-rich nutrition affects athletic performance, click here.
Enjoy the Olympics with a smile. But, if you really want to eat a happy meal with the stellar finish you are looking for, make sure it’s nutrient rich! 🙂