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What are effective weight loss strategies for athletes?

Aim for gradual weight loss, prioritizing protein intake, choosing low-energy dense foods, timing meals around exercise, and limiting energy-dense beverages.

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Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 22-12-2023
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Why are these strategies effective to lose weight for an athlete?

  1. Gradual weight loss: Gradual reductions prevent muscle loss, sustaining energy for workouts and preventing metabolic slowdown.
  2. Prioritize protein: Protein aids muscle preservation during weight loss, enhances satiety, and supports recovery.
  3. Timing negative energy balance Long endurance training days are preferred for weight loss due to extended calorie burn and increased fat utilization, promoting sustained energy expenditure and appetite control.
  4. Choose low-energy dense foods: Foods high in water and fiber provide volume, reducing overall calorie intake while maintaining satiety.
  5. Time meals around exercise: Proper nutrient timing ensures energy for workouts, prevents excessive hunger, and supports muscle recovery and your immune system.
  6. Limit energy-dense beverages: Cutting back on sugary drinks reduces unnecessary calorie intake, promoting weight loss without sacrificing hydration needs.

How can I bring my weight loss strategies on point?

The FoodCoach app makes it easy to put these strategies into action using real foods. Discover new performance nutrition meals, color your own meals with real ingredients, control your daily energy balance, and seamlessly fit them into your eating routine.

Apply the following rules of thumb:

  1. Gradual weight loss: Avoid drastic energy cuts; opt for gradual reduction (e.g., a moderate 500 kcal/day) for sustainable weight loss, preserving energy and muscle mass.
  2. Prioritize protein: Consume higher protein levels (1.6-2.2 g/kg) spread throughout the day, especially after exercise and at breakfast. Use the FoodCoach app to complete the protein progress bar for each meal, aiming for the higher end of the protein meal range
  3. Timing negative energy balance: Use long endurance training days to get into a negative energy balance, not hard interval training days.
  4. Time meals around exercise: Avoid unhealthy practices like fasting and skipping meals, especially around exercise
  5. Limit energy-dense beverages: Cut back on energy-dense beverages and alcohol; focus on hydration and fueling with water during exercise

Use the FoodCoach app to help you put smart weight loss into practice. Check our 10-12 week smart weight loss playlist for: sustainable weight loss, without sacrificing performance

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  • - Negative energy balance: when the body's energy expenditure (calories burned through metabolic processes and physical activity) exceeds the energy intake (calories consumed through food and drink). This results in a calorie deficit, potentially leading to weight loss over time.
  • - Metabolic slowdown: state where the body experiences a decline in the rate at which it burns calories to carry out essential functions, potentially leading to decreased energy expenditure and an increased likelihood of weight gain.

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