Physical Activity

6 Weight-Loss Dos and Don’ts for Athletes

Athletes looking for a competitive advantage frequently try to reduce weight in the hopes of improving their strength and speed with their altered body composition. Unfortunately, many athletes attempt to attain this aim in ways that put their entire performance and immunological function in jeopardy.

A sports nutrition dietician offers advice on how to lose weight safely and effectively while maintaining peak athletic performance.

  1. Focus on lean protein : Before you put that pasta onto your plate, make sure it’s accompanied with a lean protein like chicken or fish. A well-balanced diet with a slightly increased protein intake at each meal will result in more calorie loss during digestion. Blood sugar levels are also stabilised when protein is combined with healthy fats and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. As a consequence, you will feel fuller for longer periods of time.
  2. Remove added sugar : For a week, keep track of what you eat. It’s possible that you’re ingesting more added sugar than you realise. Do you consume canned fruit, granola bars, sugared cereal, or fruit juice? Do you use sweet condiments like ketchup or maple syrup on your food? These meals aren’t the greatest choice for a weight-conscious athlete since they’re high in sugar, which has little nutritional benefit, and calories, which can lead to fat accumulation when consumed in excess. Make sure you’re just removing added sugar from your diet, not the vital nutrients you get from food.
  3. Keep track of when and why you eat : It’s considerably more essential to figure out a link between when and why you eat each day than it is to figure out how many calories you’ve ingested. Weight reduction is more psychological than calorie intake for most athletes. Weight loss is sometimes difficult to achieve due to emotional eating and incorrect nutrition timing. These practises, when combined, can contribute to a lack of fullness and a dip in blood sugar, as well as a slowing of metabolism over time. You may achieve long-term success without the extra stress of calorie tracking if you embrace behaviour and habit modification.
  4. Don’t lose weight during the season : It’s all about the timing. During the peak of your season, avoid drastic changes in weight and body composition. A change in composition might affect your speed, strength, swing, and body alignment, depending on your activity. In the heat of competition, changing something that has been fine-tuned over years is too dangerous. In the off-season or when your exercise needs are the lowest, gradually modify your nutrition.
  5. Don’t forget to refuel : For an athlete, recovery nourishment is one of the most essential meals of the day. It’s important to refuel between 30 to 60 minutes of activity. Refueling properly can help you lose body fat while maintaining lean muscle and speeding up your recovery. Your cells may utilise nutrients as fuel instead of storing them during that brief post-exercise time, and it will be much simpler to manage intake at your next meal if you aren’t hungry after a strenuous workout.
  6. Don’t weigh yourself daily : The least effective approach for an athlete to measure weight reduction while exercising is to get on the scale every day. Changes in hydration, glycogen storage, menstrual cycle patterns, and bowel movements might cause the scale to read radically different values from day to day. You may feel a mistaken feeling of failure and disappointment as a result of this erroneous weight reflection.

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