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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    What do most skaters eat?

    I've heard Johnny say he ate just a very little bit of meat, I've heard of Alissa being a vegan or vegetarian and I've heard it was hard for Yuna to stop eating some of her favorite choices. Does anyone know any specifics?

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    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    You mean during the competitive season, right? I believe their diets are less strict off-season. They probably avoid carbs (bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, etc.) to stay lean.

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    I think there is a wide range here. I know Alissa's mom told me she is very careful what she eats...I know after reading Frozen Teardrop there are specific diets that can do many things, like delay puberty till one is 26. I have heard rumors about what certain Chineese skaters are allowed to eat but that is only hearsay. I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    Chris on the see-food diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    I think there is a wide range here. I know Alissa's mom told me she is very careful what she eats...I know after reading Frozen Teardrop there are specific diets that can do many things, like delay puberty till one is 26. I have heard rumors about what certain Chineese skaters are allowed to eat but that is only hearsay. I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    Chris on the see-food diet.
    I would imagine that one of the things cut out would be fats, especially animal fats. It's partly the balance of body fat that triggers puberty in girls, at least. I also wonder whether Chinese trainers have researched foods that are typically produced with hormones (in the U.S., often that's dairy foods and chicken) and forbid those to their skaters. Dairy isn't a food usually eaten in China to begin with, of course. Among Western skaters, a vegan diet such as Alissa's cuts out both dairy and chicken (along with other meats and even fish. And even eggs!). So all those foods are out of the picture. That's not entirely a bad thing, considering how such foods are mass-produced, as long as the missing nutrients are compensated for in other ways. A vegan like Alissa might actually eat quite a few powerhouse foods rich in fats, such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. If you're eating vegan, such foods give nutrition that would otherwise be lacking and don't make too much trouble with weight gain.

    I apologize for blending two different concepts here. What Alissa eats, the vegan diet, is stringent but need not be extreme (though body types differ, and some people simply can't tolerate an all plant-based diet--they get sick without at least some animal protein). If you look at Alissa, she's thin but not painfully so. Her face is full, and her skin and hair seem lustrous. Anyone who has met her personally, please feel free to chime in here!) She also looks as if she's a normal grownup, not some child in a state of arrested development. (I'm trying very hard to avoid getting clinical here, which would be an invasion of her privacy. My point is that she looks healthy and strong.)

    On the other hand, some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown. I have no idea what's done to them, but it's been painful to watch Pang and Tong skate, much as I love them. Shen and Zhao seem all right to my inexpert eye, but Pang and Tong seem as though their every mouthful is carefully doled out.

    The sad thing is that the years of development taken away from a girl can't be given back. It's not as though they stop the body clock and then resume it again when the child retires. The growth plates in the bones are screwed up, bone density may become abnormal, and the person's predestined adult height may never be reached. It's an eating disorder imposed from outside. Shame on any coaching system, east, west, or on Mars, that depends on that for success.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-25-2012 at 01:16 PM.

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    Article from before 2012 Four Continents - Meagan Duhamel credits vegan diet for good health: http://www.news1130.com/sports/artic...or-good-health

    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    I believe at Champs Camp (for the USFS skaters with Grand Prix assignments), proper nutrition usually is one of the topics covered and sports nutritionists are available for private consultations.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-25-2012 at 01:23 PM.

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    So someone on a vegan diet would just be eating fruits and veg throughout the day and their main source of protein only comes from nuts? Would they eat nuts for every meal then? I would think that might get boring after awhile.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    On the other hand, some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown. I have no idea what's done to them, but it's been painful to watch Pang and Tong skate, much as I love them. Shen and Zhao seem all right to my inexpert eye, but Pang and Tong seem as though their every mouthful is carefully doled out.
    I agree about these two couples, but I read an interview with Zhao once where his description of their diet was painful. I remember as it consisting of lettuce leaves. Obviously there's something wrong with that recollection, but they were definitely hungry for more than gold.

    I didn't know Alissa was a vegan.

    Alexeifan, vegans get a lot of their protein from beans, and you can do a lot with beans - hummus, veggie burgers, tofu and tempeh, add them to sauces, etc.

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    Olympia- I agree, Alissa looks very healthy yet lean.

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    The biggest strongest land animals are vegans - elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, yaks, mooses, horses, etc.

    From the little I know about what the Chinese skaters eat while competing abroad, it doesn't sound anything like described here. Their main issue is not being used to or liking the Western food, so they pack instant noodles with them, which is pretty poor nutrition. Tong, upon taking a rest this season, joked that he would not be so hungry now because when they traveled to compete, the Chinese team had someone prepared Chinese food for the skaters but being the number two team, they, like good Chinese siblings, would respectfully defer to elder S/Z and look after the younger Z/Z so they often had less to eat after the other Pairs.

    As far as I know, skaters have very different eating habits, influenced by nationality and personal preferences. The serious ones sooner or later learn the importance of proper and optimal nutrition.

  10. #10
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    I remember reading that Yagudin would forego food on the day of competition so he'd be lighter for his jumps.

    And as I've said on this forum before, I believe it was Brooke Castile who said the best thing about retirement was that Ben Okolski isn't around to yell at her when she eats.

    I am just guessing, but it seems skaters don't eat a lot.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I would imagine that one of the things cut out would be fats, especially animal fats. It's partly the balance of body fat that triggers puberty in girls, at least. I also wonder whether Chinese trainers have researched foods that are typically produced with hormones (in the U.S., often that's dairy foods and chicken) and forbid those to their skaters. Dairy isn't a food usually eaten in China to begin with, of course.

    Some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown. I have no idea what's done to them, but it's been painful to watch Pang and Tong skate, much as I love them. Shen and Zhao seem all right to my inexpert eye, but Pang and Tong seem as though their every mouthful is carefully doled out.

    The sad thing is that the years of development taken away from a girl can't be given back. It's not as though they stop the body clock and then resume it again when the child retires. The growth plates in the bones are screwed up, bone density may become abnormal, and the person's predestined adult height may never be reached. It's an eating disorder imposed from outside. Shame on any coaching system, east, west, or on Mars, that depends on that for success.
    I'm going to have to disagree with your negative assessment of people utilizing those diets for success. The point of athletic competition is to use your body in whatever way it takes to win and if someone is only using natural means to achieve those goals, then they can not be faulted for it. They may be "messing up" their bodies but that is not for us to pass judgement over; for the most driven people those are the kinds of sacrifices that are worth it for personal satisfaction.

    My issue is if the Chinese government is forcing kids into doing it (yes). Everyone deserves to have a choice and everyone deserves to be informed. The other issue, of course, is if they are receiving injections to delay growth. That would fall under the category of unfair drug usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    I'm going to have to disagree with your negative assessment of people utilizing those diets for success. The point of athletic competition is to use your body in whatever way it takes to win and if someone is only using natural means to achieve those goals, then they can not be faulted for it. They may be "messing up" their bodies but that is not for us to pass judgement over; for the most driven people those are the kinds of sacrifices that are worth it for personal satisfaction.

    My issue is if the Chinese government is forcing kids into doing it (yes). Everyone deserves to have a choice and everyone deserves to be informed. The other issue, of course, is if they are receiving injections to delay growth. That would fall under the category of unfair drug usage.
    BOP, that is my issue with it as well. If you look back at what I said, I reserved my disapproval for that kind of coerced starvation. I don't love that athletes go on crazy diets in any country, but as you say, some people are driven and use all sorts of weird (hopefully natural) methods to keep themselves at the top of the heap. I don't love it, but it's not my call. But if it's part of a training regime imposed by an institution (and the implication is "Who cares what happens to these kids, because we have plenty more where they came from"), then I think indignation is a suitable response.

    As a by-the-way, what I said about potential bad effects of stringent diets in adolescence is, alas, true whether or not we pass judgment on the people using them. I can't rescind those details, because I didn't make up the laws of nature. Fortunately, (a) the extreme effects don't happen to everyone and (b) many athletes don't starve to extreme craziness.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-25-2012 at 05:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown.
    "Orientals are clearly the most neotenized human race....Homo Sapiens are more neotenized than Homo Erectus, Homo Erectus was more neotenized than Australopithicus...Mongoloid races are explained in terms of being the most extreme pedomorphic humans....the phenomenon of neoteny, whereby an infantile or childlike body form is preserved in adult life." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

    "Neoteny is seen as crucial for the development of species-typical capacities that depend upon a long period of attachment to caregivers for the opportunities to engage in and develop their capacity for emotional communication." It might have something to do with evolution or "natural selection": Selection by culture (e.g., pedomorphic features might have a survival advantage in an extended-family society) or selection by sexual appeal ("In a cross-cultural study, more neotenized female faces were the most attractive to men while less neotenized female faces were the least attractive to men, regardless of the females' actual age....A difference in the preferences of Asian and White judges with Asian judges preferring women with "less mature faces" and smaller mouths than the White judges.)

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    An article from International Adult Figure Skating about Perseverance and Muscular Endurance in Figure Skating

    This type of endurance is muscular endurance. In figure skating, you need to be able to continue at a moderate to intense level of activity for 2, 3, or 4 minutes, interspersed by several bouts of explosive movements such as jumps spins, or lifts.

    This type of muscular endurance is called power endurance. In order to maintain the same amount of power with each effort (not dying in the last 30 seconds of your program), a certain level of power endurance is required. That’s why at the elite Senior and Junior levels, bonus marks are given for jumps done in the last half of the program.

    Athletes like baseball pitchers, wrestlers, hurdlers and fencers must also produce these kinds of powerful movements and repeat them several times with little or no rest. Muscular endurance training helps athletes to cope with fatigue and to tolerate high levels of lactic acid. This is unlike the kind of muscular endurance required by middle distance runners, who maintain the same steady pace throughout the race.

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