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How to diet like an Olympic athlete according to a top nutritionist

Take inspiration from your favourite athletes

Updated: July 26, 2021
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With the Tokyo Olympics in full swing, we are feeling inspired to get in shape and start following a more healthy and balanced diet. Fresh Fitness Food nutritionist Georgia Bellas, who has helped to shape the nutrition plans for Team GB's own Mohamed Sbihi and Zoe Smith, shares her top tips with HELLO! on how to fuel your body like an Olympian.

RELATED: Meet the Olympic athletes going for gold on Team GB

athlete diet© Photo: iStock

There are easy ways to fuel your body like an Olympic athlete

Don't skip breakfast

A healthy breakfast helps to kick off your metabolism and controls appetite throughout the day, as well as helping to curb cravings. Start your day with a rich protein source such as eggs, Greek yoghurt or turkey and pair this with a wholegrain source of carbohydrates such as steel-cut oats or quinoa.

Make sure you fuel your body before workouts

Just like a car will not run on an empty tank, neither will our bodies. It is important to not only eat enough food so that your body has the energy to perform, but also to eat the right foods. Lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates for sustained energy release, and healthy fats are key factors in any well-balanced diet. Further, it is important to provide your body with both an adequate amount of carbohydrates, such as brown rice, sweet potato or quinoa, and protein sources such as chicken, beef or turkey, pre and post-workout in order to give yourself the best chance at optimal performance and recovery.

mo© Photo: Getty Images

Fresh Fitness Food provided in-depth nutritional support for Team GB’s Moe Sbihi

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

By providing your body with the right nutrition, you will not only be able to handle harder workouts and recover faster, but you will also be providing your body with the energy it needs to function well both in and out of the gym.

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Fuel regularly

Eating four to six meals a day will not only keep your metabolism active, but it will also give you the energy you need to bust out an intense training session, no matter what time of day you choose to train. Adequate nutrition is needed to prevent glycogen depletion, muscle damage and to enhance muscle recovery. For example, if your body does not have enough stored muscle glycogen or fat sources to use as fuel, it will turn to muscle as a fuel source. A decrease in muscle mass will not only increase your body’s likelihood of storing fat, but it will also affect your basal metabolic rate, meaning that you will be burning less energy throughout the day.

zoe© Photo: Getty Images

Fresh Fitness Food also supported Zoe Smith

Make sure you add variety to your diet

Providing your body with the right types of macronutrients is vital, but variety in your food will also make sure that you are getting the micronutrients it needs to stay healthy, recover quickly and prevent injury. Calcium-rich foods such as yoghurt and milk are important for maintaining healthy bones, and magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds will support optimal muscle recovery. 

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