Reducing Body Fat for Athletes
After many years of study the following facts have been clearly established to help any athlete reduce body-fat. Body-fat can only be reduced by eating less calories and exercising regularly, it will only happen over time and will not happen in day or two.
It is a general rule that 1 pound (0.5 kg) of body-fat is the same as 3,500 kcal. This means that if an athlete reduced the caloric intake and increase exercise intensity the could easily loose 500kcal a day would be one pound of body-fat lost in seven days.
As an athlete the amount of calories reduced when trying to lose body-fat is vitally important. How many times a day you’re eating and what you are eating also need consideration when losing body-fat. As an athlete in training, you need to recover correctly and severe calorie restriction is therefore not recommended.
Any athlete should know that there is a big difference between weight-loss and fat loss. Any rapid weight-loss is probably water and glycogen but could also include muscle loss. Weight loss is not necessarily fat loss. An athlete should adjust any dietary restriction to achieve only one pound of fat loss a week.
Obviously the best time to lose body-fat is in the off-season or early pre-season as restricting any calories while competing or training with high intensity will hamper any results in both performance and recovery. Even in the off-season the calorie deficit should not be too severe for an athlete in training.
It is unfortunate that many athletes who fall into the trap of rapid fat-loss which is marketed so heavily. No active athlete should reduce more than 30kcal per kilogram of body-weight a day. If we add this for a week it would be around 3500 kcal lost in 7 days which would be one pound of body-fat.
For example if we take a light 154(70 kg) athlete they should consume around 2,100 kcal a day to lose any extra fat they hold. For an athlete of this bodyweight anything less than that will not be able to provide enough nutrients to repair from the damage done during training.
Fat-loss takes planning which should start with the calorie expenditure and intake reckoning for which there are common laws on how to estimate this correctly. If this is estimated correctly then calorie reduction and/or increased activity could be correctly adjusted to lose one pound of fat a week.
In conclusion cutting calories never less than 30 kcal per kg of body weight daily will create around 300 to 500 kcal reduction every day. If the athlete is not currently doing weight training, it should be started in order to avoid muscle loss during this calorie reduction.
Any athlete interested in fat-loss while training should stay away from alcohol, eat 6 meals a day with carb, protein and fat. This will ensure stable blood sugar and offer sufficient nutrients to recuperate correctly with enough energy to train hard as well.