Why is it so hard to lose weight as an athlete?

For most athletes, weight loss has more to do with psychology than caloric intake. Emotional eating and inadequate nutrient timing often make losing weight extremely difficult to achieve. Together, these habits can lead to poor satiety and lower blood sugar, not to mention a gradual decline in metabolism over time. To lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories.

This can make training more difficult and prevent you from performing at your best. For endurance athletes to lose weight, nutrition plays a much more vital role than exercise. Athletes should focus their exercise habits on performance development first and foremost. Training only to burn extra calories leads to eating more calories or overtraining due to lack of fuel, which does not result in fat loss.

You certainly shouldn't eat less than your weight x 10 calories per pound (your resting metabolic rate your body needs to breathe, pump blood, and function). The goal of 13 to 15 calories per pound is still very restrictive for an athlete. That's about 2,000 to 2,200 calories if you weigh ~150 pounds. As an alternative to counting calories, reduce food portions by 20 to 30%, depending on how much time you have to lose weight.

Athletes are incredibly active and generally far exceed the recommended amount of exercise each day. However, some athletes may have stubborn body fat that doesn't go away despite hours of training to achieve that goal. To deliver a consistent message to the athlete, all healthcare professionals must understand the many physiological and environmental factors that influence body weight and energy balance. Table 1 demonstrates the time difference required for a designated weight loss change for an overweight rower using the Hall et al.

Research suggests that exercising while on an accelerated diet does not result in additional weight loss compared to an accelerated diet without exercise. Some muscle loss can be prevented by eating enough protein, avoiding heavy diets, and lifting weights (. The ultimate goal is to identify a healthy body weight that the athlete can maintain for most of the year, while minimizing the amount of weight needed to lose to compete. To better predict weight change in response to changes in energy intake or expenditure, dynamic energy imbalances that occur must be taken into account.

They assume that changing either side of the equation by 3500 kcal (7700 kJ) will always result in an increase or loss of one pound of weight, regardless of all other factors that could change as energy intake or energy expenditure alters. An athlete who is constantly dieting or who is repeatedly gaining and losing weight may be trying to achieve an unrealistic body weight, which can put them at risk for eating disorders. Second, the concept of dynamic energy balance is reviewed, which includes two mathematical models developed to improve predictions of weight loss based on changes in diet and exercise. Track your body weight or body fat percentage in TrainingPeaks and graph your body weight over time with its panel tool Youth sports programs are an optimal time to help young athletes learn to eat to improve health, performance and weight control, applying the basics of energy balance.

While athletes spend large amounts of energy exercising, they may still need to control diet and lifestyle to maintain a competitive body weight. While the promise of rapid weight loss is attractive, dieters who lose weight quickly on a severe diet inevitably regain weight, if not more. The smartest plan is to lose weight slowly and be able to maintain it during fight season, crew or other sport and for the rest of your life. However, if the goal is to change energy balance, either to gain or lose weight, this static energy balance approach no longer applies because weight is changing.

Follow this list of actions one by one until you reach the point where you are losing 0.25 to 1.0 pounds per week of body weight. .

Scotty Lancour
Scotty Lancour

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