Famous athletes are at peak physical condition. No matter the sport, athletes demonstrate the beauty and grace inherent in strictly physical endeavors. However, their unending endurance and immense strength don’t come from exercise alone. All top athletes stick to strict diets to keep their bodies in prime performance shape, and these diets range from understandable to completely bizarre.
Many interested in fitness may want to emulate their favorite athletes by exercising and eating just like them. However, for many fitness enthusiasts, this is inadvisable. Learn more about appropriate nutrition for your body while reading about the insane diets of famous athletes.
Venus and Serena Williams
The tennis sisters are world renowned for their power on and off the court, but not many people know what keeps these two fueled and ready. Due to an autoimmune disorder, the Williams sisters are committed to a raw vegan diet — which means absolutely nothing cooked and no animal products.
While Venus and Serena might have the resources to keep themselves healthy on the raw vegan diet, you might need to think twice before you start eating like these tennis stars. First, it is extremely difficult to get the sheer calories necessary to keep your body in proper working order, not to mention it’s almost impossible to get the right amount of nutrients like vitamins B12 and D, iron, and zinc. When your body doesn’t have enough energy from consumed calories, crucial systems shut down. The raw diet can work but it is tricky to manage; be sure to educate yourself about nutrition before starting any risky diet.
Laffit Pincay, Jr.
Unless you’re a devoted audience member at the race tracks, it’s unlikely you’ve heard of Laffit Pincay, Jr., but you really should get to know him. Generally regarded as the best jockey of all time — and definitely, the winningest, with more than 9,530 wins under his belt — Pincay had to keep a jockey’s small physique to stay agile on his horses. Like many jockeys, Pincay consumed a mere 800 calories a day to retain his slight jockey build an ideal riding weight of 117 pounds. Though Pincay neither confirms nor denies it, rumor says that for much of his career he would only eat one peanut per day.
It goes without saying that a diet of this sort is not suitable for anyone, including jockeys. Though the sport does require immense devotion and obsessive discipline, denying the body necessary energy to keep vital systems running is sure to impact performance, both physical and mental.
Even if your goal is to lose weight, limiting your caloric intake so severely is sure to cause both short-term and long-term damage to crucial parts of your body. If you want to look trim like a jockey, instead of trying to maintain their impossible diets, craft an exercise plan that encourages muscle growth and cardio fitness.
Ryan Lochte, Chad Ochocinco, Usain Bolt and Others
Too many award-winning athletes have come out of the closet as addicted to fast food. While some only indulge in the unhealthy dietary choices during high-activity times, others are pledged to their high-fat, high-sodium, high-risk fast foods for every meal of every day.
Swimmer Ryan Lochte consumed between 8,000 and 10,000 calories of McDonald’s while competing in the Beijing Olympics, and runner Usain Bolt was unimpressed with his British food options during the London Olympics, so he feasted primarily on Chicken McNuggets. Football receiver Chad Ochocinco loves his McDonalds diet so much that the fast food chain invited him to work for them for a day.
It may be tempting to throw all you know about nutrition out the window and start picking up Big Macs for every meal, but it’s important to remember just how much these athletes train in order to burn up all these calories. Unless you are exercising like an Olympic athlete — doing circuits for at least 10 hours a day — you probably don’t have the metabolism to stay healthy on three meals of fast food.
Though it can be okay to cheat every once and a while to indulge in your favorite fast food snack, most of your meals should be balanced to include the nutrients you need — and keep out the fats and sodium you don’t.