Weight Loss for Athletes

The purpose of a weight loss meal plan is to help athletes lose body fat and maintain lean muscle mass without causing a detriment to performance. One main goal of this plan is to eat nutrient-rich foods that are lower in total calories but provide adequate nutrition as well as satiety.

Nutrition Recommendations to Lose Weight:
If you are trying to lose weight, I recommend keeping the weight loss intention during the off season with the attempt to not lose more than two pounds per week. The reasoning behind this is that intentional weight loss should be focused on maintaining lean muscle mass to avoid reducing metabolic rate. I highly recommend with all my athletes to increase protein consumption during periods of calorie restriction or low energy intake.

Recommended Foods
◦Chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish
◦Eggs and egg whites
◦Nonfat or light yogurt
◦Fruits and vegetables
◦Low-calorie whole grain cereals (1 serving = less than 150 calories)
◦Low-fat granola bars
◦Peanut butter, nuts, seeds, flaxseed, avocado, olive oil (all in moderation)
◦Reduced-fat or low-fat cheese
◦Skim or low-fat milk
◦Vinaigrette salad dressings
◦Whole wheat bread, tortillas, wraps, crackers

Eat Less of These Foods

The goal is to eat more nutrient-rich foods and fewer high-calorie foods at each meal and snack. Thus, avoiding high-calorie food items is important. Some examples of high-calorie foods to limit are as follows:
◦Fried foods
◦Heavy sauces/gravies
◦High-calorie breads (biscuits, bagels, croissants)
◦High-calorie cereals (1 serving = 200 calories or more)
◦High-calorie protein powders
◦High-fat meats/skin on meat
◦Juice, sodas, tea sweetened with sugar
◦Packaged baked goods/desserts
◦Pasta dishes with Alfredo sauce, sausage, and a lot of cheese
◦Pepperoni and sausage pizza
◦Trail mix
◦White flour, processed foods/snacks
◦Whole milk

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. -H2O Nut, Andrea Dacey, RD, CSSD

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