Dieting with Apolo Ohno
You wouldn't know it to look at him now, but even Apolo Ohno sometimes has to watch his weight.
The American Olympic short-track speed-skater put on some pounds during his stint on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2007, according to this New York Times account. To get in shape for the Olympics, Ohno had to lose nearly 17 pounds, going from almost 159 pounds to 142. Ohno, 27, is 5 feet 8 inches tall.
(Here's People magazine's take on Ohno's weight loss.)
According to trainer John Schaeffer, Ohno shed pounds during training by eating lots of fish such as salmon (which contains healthful fats) and tons of fruit and vegetables. On race day morning and the night before, he "gorged on brown rice pasta prepared with coconut oil and essential fats," the NYT reports. Schaeffer prepared his meals, boosting flavor with spices. (The article doesn't mention whether Ohno used dietary supplements to round things out or boost performance, though Ohno has developed a line of supplements.) Of course, Ohno was burning plenty of calories between meals. He lost about a pound a week over three months.
Ohno and I have very little in common, physique-wise. As I attempt my own weight loss, though, I'm interested to see how a person whose career depends on his body's being at its optimal weight goes about getting there. He lost his weight at about the pace I'd like to lose mine -- maybe a pound a week. But I can't see myself following anything close to the regimen he followed, and I hope I don't need to to meet my own goal.
Ohno chose to eat mostly foods containing healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates. That doesn't sound all that different from the Atkins Diet approach, which I write about in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column. But as I note in that column, scientific understanding of what makes for great diet advice can shift over time.
In the end, I think there might not be one best diet that suits everyone's needs and personality. We should learn to trust our own instincts and choose an approach we're likely to stick with for the long haul.
And, while we're at it, most of us ought to resign ourselves to the fact that we're not likely to achieve Ohno's 2.8-percent body fat level. I'll be blogging about that soon.
We're tweeting! You can follow the Post's Local Living writers, including Jennifer, at @wposthome/local-living. And keep track of my "Me Minus 10" effort to lose 10 pounds before I turn 50 at twitter.com/jhuget.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Me Minus 10 , Nutrition and Fitness
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