Skier Eileen Gu Opens Up About TikTok Diets And Her Own Eating Habits

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Fatima Araos

Eileen Gu is all about healthy eating but has a warning against fad diets, particularly those on TikTok. The 18-year-old Chinese-American freestyle skier is a Beijing 2022 medal favorite and has a budding career in modeling as well, and she naturally has to keep fit for both jobs. In an interview with The New York Times, she said, “Diet is something I definitely think about as an athlete and a model. In both of my jobs, my body does the work.”

Keep scrolling to read her views on dieting.

Struggles With Eating

Instagram | Eileen Gu

Gu says she’s “naturally very lean.” Although one would think that is ideal for an Olympic athlete and model, she admits she used to have struggles with eating. “Being skinny isn’t really that great if it’s compromising your strength,” she said in her interview. “I just wasn’t eating enough, or I wasn’t eating the right way. I was counting calories and thinking about food all the time.”

It didn’t help that she got lured into TikTok diet trends at the start of the pandemic. See the details below.

Influenced By TikTok

Instagram | Eileen Gu

Said trends detailed what TikTokers ate every day, which Gu said were “all disorders!” Some of them were almost starving themselves (one was actually subsisting on one piece of bread a day) and the athlete began to think she was eating too much compared to them. “It wasn’t even so much that I wanted to look like those girls, but I realized later that I was truly being influenced by them,” she said.

It’s astounding that young women would actually try to one-up each other with unhealthy diets, but such is the competitive culture among teenage girls.

Diet Change

Wikimedia

Fortunately, the freeski sensation, who’s competing for China in the upcoming Winter Olympics, realized there was something wrong with those diet trends. After her sponsor Red Bull hired a nutritionist for her, Gu started a healthier diet. “I definitely eat more now — I’m 5-foot-8 and 120 pounds — and I’m eating about 2,000 calories a day. It’s really a maintenance level for me, and then sometimes I need to eat more,” she said.

While training in Austria recently, the X Games gold medalist had a blood test which turned out great.

Happier And Healthier

Wikimedia

If you’re wondering what she eats exactly, she says she keeps “everything in balance,” specifically “red meat three days a week, and then…fish or plant protein.” After her diet change, Gu noted that nothing changed in terms of her weight and appearance. “I look the exact same. The numbers on the scale are the exact same. But I feel so much happier and healthier. Today I spent four hours on the halfpipe. It was closed for training, so I couldn’t take the lift and had to hike up each time. That’s pretty tiring. But I felt great.”

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