File image of Neeraj Chopra©TSTIME
Neeraj Chopra is a pioneer in Indian sports. At the Tokyo Olympics, he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in track and field in the quadrennial extravaganza. His honors list also includes medals at the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the Diamond League and also at the Asian Games. Chopra, 24, has now become the banner of Indian athletics, but even he struggled with fitness and nutrition after the Olympics. However, he has corrected the course and is taking the right steps in that direction.
“After the Olympics, I lost control and (gained weight). Now I’m in control, but during training it happens automatically, you don’t feel like eating unhealthy. I know if I eat a paratha or something, the coach will make me pay for it during training the next day. Only if you control yourself can you get good results,” he told The Singapore Time.
He further provided a detailed list of food items he prefers and avoids. “Yes, no chai. We sometimes eat in Indian restaurants. But it is mostly cooked food, salad and fruits. Then you also have to eat non-vegetarian food – chicken, fish and eggs. It is a sports center, so they prepare food that is best for athletes. You have a lot of options, like yogurt and berries,” he said.
He added that he avoids sweet at all costs. “When we were in Turkey, sweets like baklava were so good, but I couldn’t have them. If I really craved it, I would only have one piece in a week or two. Sweets were kept on the counter every day. Don’t know if they were kept there to test the athletes. They kept so many kinds of candy that it’s a huge challenge for athletes to stay away. Me and the coach don’t even look at them when we walk by. Because if we can maybe we can pick up a few,” he said.
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