Professional athletes spend a majority of their day exercising. Between weight training, cardio, practice, warm-ups, cool-downs and games, the average athlete burns thousands of calories in just eight or nine hours.
So burning all those calories means they can pretty much eat anything they want, right? Not always. Just like us regular bros, athletes have to battle slowing metabolism, cravings for crap food and mistaking hunger for boredom. The difference between pro athletes and us folk though is that packing on a few pounds won’t cost us a job or millions of dollars. Our Wal-Mart vests just get a little more snug.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan did a piece on the struggles of NBA players to eat healthy and deal with cravings. Dr. Mike Roussell, a nutritionist who works with several high profile athletes, explained to Jackie Mac that the pros are just like everyone else when it comes to what they eat. Roussell explained this mental trick he teaches athletes to help combat overeating while maintaining portion control.
To help his athletes avoid putting on weight, he tells them to imagine eating the same exact meal in two hours. If you feel like you couldn’t eat the meal you’re eating right now in two hours, the portions are too big or the foods are too heavy. This doesn’t mean you actually eat a meal every two hours, of course, it’s just a way to use a little foresight for improving your meal decisions in the now.
Roussell’s advice can be applied to anyone, not just athletes. Three slices of pizza at 8am might seem like a good idea but could you eat it again at 10am? If the answer is yes, calm down dude.