Three U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes reveal their ideal cheat day.

A necessary part of physical training is eating to fuel your body. No matter what we do inside the gym’s four walls, if we don’t eat healthy, we won’t achieve the physical and healthful results we want.

However, sometimes it’s OK to enjoy foods that may not be considered “healthy” or “good for us.” In fact, even Team USA athletes have “cheat days.” 24Life asked three U.S. Olympic and Paralympic medalists what an ideal day of cheat meals would look like. (Spoiler: All include delicious and decadent desserts.)

What does your ideal cheat day consist of?

U.S. Olympic silver medalist (freestyle skiing), five-time X Games medalist, Team 24 athlete

“If I could have an entire cheat day, it wouldn’t change that much [from a normal day]. I would still have eggs and bacon and stuff for breakfast, which is not really such a cheat; it’s kind of what I have anyway. And then, for lunch, I’d probably have a sandwich. I don’t really eat that much bread, so I would definitely do that. And for dinner, I would have pho … and then I would have so much ice cream with everything on it, like chocolate and caramel and whipped cream and sprinkles.”

U.S. Paralympic gold medalist, six-time IPC World Sled Hockey Challenge medalist, 2017 world champion, Purple Heart recipient, Team 24 athlete

“I would eat doughnuts. I would eat chilaquiles, this Mexican dish I really love. I’d go all-out. I’d probably gain 10 pounds easily.”

Two-time (and current) world champion, U.S. Olympic medalist (bronze and silver), international World Cup medal winner, Team 24 athlete

“I’m a huge foodie and I love to eat. So I would get up in the morning and I would have a cup of coffee, but probably a cup of coffee with almond milk and—who knows what else—sugar and caramel sauce … and I’d definitely have French toast, and pancakes, an omelet. You name it, I would have it. After that, I’d probably have to go for a walk. Even though it’s supposed to be a cheat day, you’ve got to walk it off to make more room in your stomach for lunch. For lunch, I’d have a big burger, fries, ice cream, soda. And then I’d probably go for another walk, take a nap. And then finally, I’d finish off the day with some red velvet cake. I don’t even know if I would do dinner, but I’d probably have a nice big steak, steak fries and, I don’t know, maybe even add in a pizza here or there.”

Photo credit: Jennifer Pallian, Unsplash; Tom Casey,