Weight Loss Tips for Athletes

Athletes need to keep their condition in tip-top shape. Most of them are continuously on the lookout for the best weight loss tips. These can help them maintain their condition without affecting their performance in a negative way. Some weight loss tips for athletes will tell them to go on a specific diet. Others will follow a certain meal plan but this seldom works or if it does, it’s very hard to maintain.

The best weight loss tips, not only for athletes but for all those who wish to lose weight in general, are those that are simple, doable and easy to follow and maintain.

Cardiovascular Exercise

One of the weight loss tips that are completely doable for athletes is to do cardiovascular exercise.

When an athlete goes out of shape, running can help burn some calories and make you lose weight. This should not be a problem for any dedicated athlete as running is part of most athletes’ regular workout. One thing that athletes need to remember, though, is that they shouldn’t be running to burn calories when they are close to a competition but rather during the offseason or training period. Running for 20 to 30 minutes every day, most preferably in the morning, can help athletes lose weight and get back in shape faster.

Weight Training

Another one of the few simple weight loss tips for athletes is to do weight training. Any athlete can stop training for strength on a regular basis, perhaps when a competition isn’t too near. When it comes to losing weight, however, every trainer must make sure that his athlete loses only the extra weight and not the strength. It is therefore mandatory that training is continued while trying to lose weight. Some of the exercise training activities an athlete could do are push ups, pull ups, ab crunches, arm curls, and squats.

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Lastly, like most weight loss tips found in magazines, books and over the internet, a change in diet is required for you to be able to lose weight. We are not talking about sudden change here. Rather, changes should be slow and gradual, being modified as you progress with your weight loss track. An athlete needs proteins for the muscles so this is one thing that shouldn’t be cut off from his diet. You may decrease the quantity of protein being consumed, though, if deemed necessary. Any changes in the diet of an athlete should be consulted with an expert dietician. This will ensure that the athlete’s performance in future competitions will not be affected.

Nutrition and The Professional Athlete

The physical driving force of all human beings is energy; energy is obtained from nutrition, and nutrition is obtained by food consumption. Although food consumption is universal in all living creatures, the amount and the specific food that needs to be consumed varies from person to person. Because each body has particular demands based on the usual activity of that given body, a person’s food intake may not be the same as the food intake of that of the other.

Professional athletes are individuals who make a living out of playing a certain sport, e.g, basketball, football, baseball and swimming. These people require more carbohydrates than the average person because their everyday activities demand more energy. Simple carbohydrates are found in nuts and grain products. Also, complex carbohydrates found in rice, pasta, and potatoes are a great source of energy and should, therefore, be included in any athlete’s nutrition; however, simple carbohydrates contain minimum amounts of carbohydrates and thus should be considered to be taken as quick snacks or fixes.

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Nutrition Extras

Since sugar is converted to glycogen, the stored sugar of the body, sweets should also be included in an athlete’s nutrition. Like simple carbohydrates, glycogen are quick fixes. They are used by the body when energy from conventional sources are not immediately available. Thus, munching on a candy bar when low in energy should only be considered during small activity breaks. 

Because athletes perspire more, fluid and electrolyte loss is a more common problem for them than the average person. Thus, having steady but sufficient amounts of fluid and electrolyte should always be kept in mind. This will help avoid dehydration and other common human metabolic compromise.

Water and commercial sports drink like Gatorade™ don’t only help rehydrate the body, but replace lost electrolytes as well. Potassium is an essential electrolyte used in various internal bodily function such as muscle contraction. It is the only electrolyte that cannot be reabsorbed by the kidneys. Having large doses of potassium-rich foods such as bananas and avocado should also be part of any athletes nutrition or diet plan.