How to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely as an Athlete

For athletes looking to lose weight quickly, nutrition plays a much more vital role than exercise. Eating six small meals or snacks a day, each containing carbohydrates, proteins and fats, is beneficial to keep blood sugar stable and prevent the athlete from being too hungry. After weighing, it is important to refuel with a meal rich in carbohydrates and proteins, along with plenty of water and a sports drink. Exercise should be focused on performance development first and foremost, as training only to burn extra calories can lead to overtraining or eating more calories.

For BJJ and other mat-side weighting sports, athletes should focus on year-round nutrition strategies to maintain a weight close to the desired competition weight. A 2-week weight loss study in boxers found that those who spread their daily calorie diet into 6 meals instead of 2, lost 46% less muscle mass. Estimating daily energy consumption and expenditure can help athletes create a personalized fat loss plan. Protein intake should be 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 20 percent of total calories, to help preserve muscle mass and metabolic rate.

Losing water weight may be easier than losing fat, but this should be a last resort. Eating less than your resting metabolic rate (weight x 10 calories per pound) is not recommended. To improve workouts, feed your body like professional athletes do by consuming proteins and carbohydrates. This way, your “training weight” and “competition weight” are similar, as are your strength and endurance levels.

Once the athlete has set a goal of total daily caloric intake, she should determine the calorie distribution for a weight loss diet.

Scotty Lancour
Scotty Lancour

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