Published By: Darielle Britto

Science-backed weight loss tips for athletes

Here are some healthy ways to lose weight

Athletes need to be careful when losing weight to avoid performance issues and muscle loss. Implementing science-backed weight loss methods tailored for athletes could help you achieve optimal results. These methods include calorie reduction and consuming adequate amounts of protein to safeguard muscle mass. Here are some science-backed weight loss methods tailored for athletes.

Stay clead of fad diets

Excessively reducing calorie intake poses risks to training, recovery, and overall health, potentially causing injury, illness, and overtraining. It could even disrupt reproductive function, weaken bones. It could also have adverse effects on hormones and metabolism. Athletes aspiring to lower body fat should target a gradual daily calorie reduction of 300–500, ensuring they do not fall below 13.5 calories per pound of fat-free mass per day. If you are uncertain about fat-free mass or how to go about it, seek expert advice. This will help ensure you take a well-informed and healthy approach to achieving you weight goals without damaging your athletic performance and overall well-being.

Reduce body fat in the off-season

Losing body fat while aiming for peak fitness can be challenging. Cutting calories to shed fat can affect training if done in an unhealthy manner. It is best to focus on fat loss during the off-season or lighter training periods to manage your weight goals in a healthy way. Losing weight gradually without trying to rush into it could help reduce muscle loss and improve sports performance.

Consume a good amount of protein

The consumption of increased protein offers several benefits, particularly if you are looking to reduce fat. High-protein diets can help you feel full for longer and help you burn more calories during the digestion process. Furthermore, protein intake is instrumental in preventing muscle loss during weight loss endeavours. Research shows the importance of consuming protein at least two to three times a day. This strategic dietary approach is particularly valuable for athletes looking to retain muscle mass while achieving fat loss. A diet rich in protein could also help improve your overall health and achieve your fitness goals.

Explore strength training

When attempting to lose fat, you many end up losing muscle as well if you do it improperly. To avoid this, it is important to consume enough protein, as well as add strength training into your fitness routine. Studies have found this combination of protein intake and strength training has its benefits. However, it is best to consult with an expert before adding extra to your workout routine in order to avoid overtraining or injuries.

Take the gradual approach

Once you have achieved your desired body fat percentage, it can be tempting to increase your food intake. However, that might not be the approach if you want to sustain the results you have achieved. Escalating calorie consumption can cause your body to adapt its metabolism and hormone levels, which could potentially result in a rapid resurgence of fat. A more effective strategy involves a gradual increase in calories. This gradual approach can help in the restoration of hormone levels and metabolism. As a result, this could diminish the likelihood of regaining previously lost weight. This way could increase your chances of maintaining your attained body fat percentage.

While these strategies could help you achieve your weight loss goals, it is always best for athletes to talk about their weight loss goals and strategies with their coach or dietitian.