How To Lose Weight Fast ❤5 Science-Based Ways for Athletes to Lose Weight

Published on May 8, 2017

How To Lose Weight Fast ❤5 Science-Based Ways for Athletes to Lose Weight

Humans need a certain amount of body fat to maintain basic functions.

However, a higher body fat percentage can negatively affect performance in athletes.

While there’s no shortage of weight loss advice on the internet, athletes need to approach weight loss with care.

Failing to do so can negatively affect training and lead to loss of precious muscle.

An inappropriate diet can also make the difference between winning the race and not even qualifying.

These 5 weight loss tips are specifically for athletes. They use the latest science-based recommendations to lower body fat while maintaining sports performance.

1. Lose Fat During the Off-Season

It’s very difficult to decrease body fat and reach peak fitness at the same time.

That’s because to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories. This can make training feel more difficult and prevent you from performing at your best.

For this reason, it’s best to lose fat in the off-season, when you are not about to compete. If that’s not possible, the next best option is to lose fat during less-intense training periods.

Another reason to attempt fat loss in the off-season is that it will give you more time to reach your body fat percentage goal.

This is good because losing weight at a slower rate decreases the likelihood of muscle loss. It also seems to support better sports performance .

Most research agrees that weight loss of 1 lb (0.5 kg) per week is ideal .

2. Avoid Crash Diets

If you cut calories too drastically, your nutrient intake may not support proper training and recovery.

This can increase the risk of injury, illness and over-training syndrome .

The latest sports nutrition guidelines also warn against eating too few calories and reaching a dangerously low body fat percentage.

That’s because both can disrupt reproductive function and diminish bone health .

The lowest safe recommended body fat percentage is 5% in males and 12% in females. However, these levels are not necessarily best for all athletes, so discuss what’s best for you with your coach and sports dietitian .

Cutting calories too quickly can also negatively affect hormones and metabolism.

To decrease body fat, athletes should eat about 300–500 fewer calories per day but avoid eating less than 13.5 calories per lb (30 kcal/kg) of fat-free mass per day.

If you don’t know how much fat-free mass you have, get your body composition estimated with either a skin fold test or bio-electrical impedance analysis (BIA).

You can also get your body composition measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or underwater weighing. These are more accurate, but also tend to be more expensive and harder to come by.

3. Eat Less Added Sugar and More Fiber

Low-carb diets providing less than 35–40% of calories from carbs seem very effective at promoting fat loss .

However, restricting carbs too dramatically is not always best for athletes. That’s because it can negatively affect training and sports performance.

Aim for a carb intake that’s 40% of your daily calories to maximize fat loss. However, consume no less than 1.4–1.8 grams of carbs per lb (3–4 g/kg) each day .

Cutting out added sugars is the healthiest way to reduce your total carb intake.

To do so, check labels and minimize foods that contain added glucose, sucrose, fructose or any other sugars ending in -ose.

Also, avoid cane juice, dextrin, maltodextrin, barley malt, caramel, fruit juice concentrate, fruit juice crystals and any type of syrup.

Instead, increase your intake of vegetables high in fiber. These will help keep you fuller for longer, making you feel more satisfied .

4. Eat More Protein

5. Spread Protein Intake Throughout the Day

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