Tips for Weight Loss Success
Performance in most sports depends on getting your body weight into an optimum range. While some athletes need to gain weight to get to that range, the need for weight loss is much more common. Weight loss success for athletes can be positively affected by simple and even small changes. If you need to lose weight, aim to optimize your performance weight by following these simple steps:
- Reduce your total caloric intake by 10-20% from what you eat currently. This means reducing Calories (kcals) by 200-250 per day for most athletes. Assisted by your training, this moderate decrease in total caloric intake will limit hunger and promote weight loss while allowing you to remain energetic for training and to recover between sessions.
Each of the following contains approximately 200-250 Calories:
Large flavored 2% latte
½-1 chocolate bar
Small-medium order of French fries
1 regular sized candy bar
2-3 oz. nuts (= 1 large handful)
1 medium bag potato chips
~ 20 oz. regular beer (= 1 ½ bottles beer, or 16 oz. of micro brew)
~16 oz. regular juice
1-2 cups of pasta, white/brown rice
2.5-6 oz. beef/meat
- Keep a food journal, log food online, or use a phone app to track your intake! For many people, food tracking increases awareness of daily intake and limits the amount of mindless-eating.
- Plan ahead of time what you will be eating. Prepare foods in to-go bags or containers to keep in the refrigerator or freezer. This helps you avoid grabbing what’s available later when you get hungry, which may or may not be ideal food for you.
- Try to eat around the same time each day. Your body will expect food at that time and becomes willing to give up unnecessary fat stores needed during starvation times (or long periods with no food). It is also important to eat consistent amounts of food throughout the day, keeping your energy levels up so you can train hard and race fast! This means many small meals, or 3 main meals + 2-3 snacks.
- Enlist your family, friends and coach in helping you to maintain your motivation and momentum toward your goal. Losing weight is a lot easier when you have support.
Sarah Weber, MS, RD
Wenzel Coaching nutritionists work daily with endurance athletes to help them refine their food choices and portions and improve performance. Check our current nutrition coaching packages, from four weeks to four months, or ongoing consultation.