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Wanna Eat Like an Olympian? It Means 6,000 Calories Worth of Pizza, Beer and Ice Cream -- Every Day!

In Life by Kim Muraro , on Monday, July 30, 2012, 5:21 AM (PDT)
olympic athlete diets
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Of Course, It Also Means You Have to Train Like an Olympic Athlete

Can you imagine: a diet so dense with every junk food imaginable that it tallies up to 6,000 calories a day? All the pizza, beer, ice cream, pancakes and mashed potatoes you could want? That's the reality for some Olympic athletes, who train so intensely they need that many calories to keep their bodies going.

Read: Chelsea Kane's 'DWTS' Doughnut Diet

The reason? Unlike "regular" people, who are told to eat 2,000 calories or less each day, Olympic caliber athletes burn 15 to 20 calories per minute, and train four to five hours per day, reports TheWeek.com.

Doing the math on that, 20 calories burned every minute, for five hours a day, would mean 6,000 calories burned. And that means a whole lot of food necessary to keep the athlete going for another day of training.

Read: Buzzkill of the Year: Diet Soda Is Making Us Fat [POLL]

During the 2008 Olympics, gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps revealed his 4,000-calorie training breakfast, which included three fried egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three pieces of French toast and three chocolate chip pancakes. Remember, that breakfast alone is more than twice the calories most people are supposed to consume in an entire day.

The NYTimes.com points out a typical Olympian dinner might resemble an episode of Man v. Food: a pound (!) of pasta with olive oil (800 calories), a whole cheese pizza (2,000 calories) and a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (1,000 calories), plus beer (at 150 calories per bottle) to wash it all down.

The Times article also answers the question people have about the choice of food the athletes eat, as in, why don't they get those massive numbers of calories from healthier fare?

Read: Catwoman's Vegan? Anne Hathaway's 'Dark Knight' Diet

"You can only eat so much oatmeal and tofu," says Dr. Michael Joyner, a Mayo Clinic researcher who studies endurance athletes. At 150 calories per bowl, Phelps would have to eat more than 26 bowls of oatmeal -- in one sitting -- to get the breakfast calories he needs to train.

Bottom line: unless we want to train like Olympic athletes, we mere mortals can't afford to get our junk food on like they do.

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