Yes, Olympic Athletes Cheat on Their Diets Too

They’re not above indulging in a little pizza and ice cream every once in a while.

Last Slice

Last Slice

Last slice of greasy take out pizza.

Photo by: Patrick Heagney

Patrick Heagney

Maybe this will make us all feel a little bit less guilty about cheating on our diets every once in a while, when the comfort-food urge strikes. Olympic athletes — those paragons of health, who often must stick to a strict nutritional regimen for optimal sport performance — enjoy cheat meals, too.

We know this because both the Boston Globe and Time magazine apparently asked a host of U.S. Olympic athletes about their go-to cheat-day foods — I guess because we all want to know it’s not just us and that even the strong are weak?

Or maybe it’s about not weakness, but rather balance. That’s the perspective offered by the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team’s Hilary Knight, who enjoys occasionally indulging in cheeseburgers, fries and cheese curds: “We’re these crazy athletes with these athlete bodies and stuff, but it’s just important to feed the other side of it, and if there’s a piece of cake there, have the piece of cake,” she told the Globe. “You earned it. You only live once.”

Words to live (and eat) by!

So, now that we know we’re good with the cheat-eating, here, for additional inspiration, are a bunch of other U.S. Olympic athletes’ favorite-food guilty pleasures, as unearthed by the Globe and Time:

Aja Evans (Bobsledder): Pizza, hot dogs, sushi and, right after a race, her favorite European chocolate bar and “sour apple rings,” she told the Globe.

Brianna Decker (Hockey player): Ice cream (chocolate chip cookie dough, coffee, java chip)

Gus Kenworthy (Freestyle skier): Ice cream

Liz Stephen (Cross-country skier): Carrot cake, gummy bears

Elana Meyers Taylor (Bobsledder): Red velvet cake, wings, cheese fries

Jamie Greubel Poser (Bobsledder): Key lime pie, creme brulee, chicken wings (with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce)

Sadie Bjornsen (Cross-country skier): Nachos (especially her “secret love” tortilla chips) and the occasional brownie or cookie

Jason Brown (Figure skater): “Some type of horrible greasy, buttery pasta,” he told Time.

Jacqueline Wiles (Alpine skier): Pistachio gelato

Julia Mancuso (Alpine skier): Macaroni and cheese

Jessie Diggins (Cross-country skier): Dark chocolate

Ashley Wagner (Figure skater): Chicken Tenders

Matt Hamilton (Curler): Cheeseburger and Beer

Alex Shibutani (Figure skater): Fried chicken sandwiches

Meghan Duggan (Hockey player): Homemade muffin or scone

Nathan Chen (Figure skater): Brownies

Hailey Langland (Snowboarder): “Anything deep-fried”

Karen Chen (Figure skater): Chocolate

Mariah Bell (Figure skater): A donut

Aaron Blunck (Freestyle skier): Sushi

John Daly (Skeleton racer): Cheesecake

Troy Terry (Hockey player): Pizza

Bryan Fletcher (Nordic Combined skier): Pizza

Matt Antoine (Skeleton racer): Pizza

Maddie Mastro (Snowboarder): Pizza

Devin Logan (Freestyle skier): Pizza and ice cream

Sarah Hendrickson (Ski jumper): Ice cream

Adam Rippon (Figure skater): Ice cream

Kiley McKinnon (Freestyle skier): Ice cream

Maggie Voisin (Freestyle skier): Ice cream

Amanda Kessel (Hockey player): Ice cream

Brittany Bowe (Speed skater): Hot fudge sundae

Photo: iStock

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Breakfast Like an Olympic Athlete

Here’s how some members of Team USA like to start the day.

Thanksgiving Diet Cheat Sheet Infographic

This Thanksgiving, you may find a newly vegan nephew rubbing elbows with a last-minute gluten-free guest at the dinner table. Whether you've done your homework, or it's a surprise, here's a guide for problem-solving on the big day.

Thanksgiving Special Diet Cheat Sheet

This Thanksgiving, you may find a newly vegan nephew rubbing elbows with a last-minute gluten-free guest at the dinner table. Whether you've done your homework, or it's a surprise, here's a guide for problem-solving on the big day.

A Cotton Candy Frappuccino? Yes, and a Red Velvet Cake One Too

In honor of the Frappuccino’s 20th anniversary (I know, it doesn’t look a day over 19), Starbucks is debuting six new fan-recipe-inspired flavors.

Yes, Martha Stewart Has Experienced a Thanksgiving Dinner Disaster Too

The first Thanksgiving Martha hosted did not go as planned. At all.

Diet 101: The Military Diet

A nutrition expert weighs in on the Military Diet.

Diet 101: The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet (a.k.a. the Hunter-Gatherer or Caveman diet) has been around for 40 years and has recently resurfaced with a vengeance. But should we be reverting back to what caveman ate thousands of years ago? Here’s the need-to-know about the oldest diet around.

Diet 101: The Bulletproof Diet

Are butter and coffee the answer to weight loss? According to Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof Diet, these two foods along with a laundry list of “bulletproof” foods are how you can shed pounds and reclaim your energy.