Michael Phelps liked to say it was a myth that he ate 12,000 calories a day.
“It’s just not true,” Phelps wrote in “No Limits,” one of his autobiographies. “Maybe eight to ten thousand calories per day.”
Phelps’ legendary eating — to fuel training several hours per day, 365 days a year, including Christmas — included frequent stops to eateries in his native Baltimore and, leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a training base at the University of Michigan.
Per Phelps’ other autobiography, “Beneath the Surface,” a typical order at Pete’s Grille in Baltimore: “Start with three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayonnaise; add one omelet, a bowl of grits and three slices of French toast with powdered sugar; then wash down with three chocolate chip pancakes.”
He ate out like a family of four but still couldn’t crack 200 pounds. Before the Beijing Olympics, a broadcast crew visited a Chinese restaurant, a deli and a diner to get the lowdown on his chowing down.
“I don’t cook — at all,” Phelps said in the NBC TV profile. “I was told that I was supposed to eat between eight and 10,000 calories a day. I just sort of try to cram whatever I can into my body. It’s pretty much whatever I feel like eating, I’m going to eat.”
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