Weight reduction is a different ballgame for athletes than it is for nonathletes. If you or your coach believe that you need to lose weight, it is important that you first seriously consider whether your weight-loss goals are necessary or realistic.I have worked with too many athletes who believe that they need to weigh a little less to run faster or look better in their. These athletes are not really candidates for a weight-loss diet, but for one that directs their focus toward better eating habits. Although studies have found a negative relationship between body fat and athletic performance that requires the body to be moved in space, the relationship is actually weak, explaining 9 to 49 percent of the variation in performance during various running and jumping activities.
Also because studies were typically conducted in cross-sectional groups of active people, not competitive athletes, the results should not be taken to mean that you will perform better if you go on a “diet” to lose a few pounds of fat. You may instead lose lean tissue along with fat tissue. And loss of lean mass, if it is muscle that is important to acceleration, power, or other aspects of sports performance, could decrease performance.
Loss of body fat can also be detrimental. Body fat serves as padding in contact sports and loss of too much fat may increase your injury rate and, in combination with a negative energy balance, alter the circulatory pattern of hormones including estrogen and testosterone. Thus, the bottom line is that you should consider reducing your weight only if you have recently gained weight (not associated with puberty) and you are not performing as you did before. You may also consider modifying your diet according to a weight-loss plan if you have been slightly overweight your whole life, providing you are persistent in your efforts to improve your eating habits so that you can achieve a healthy body weight over the long haul.
In that case, you are probably someone who gains easily and has a difficult time losing, so you will need to overcome your body’s desire to store excessive calories by learning to eat just what you need. If you are an athlete with a stable body weight within the normal range and you perform decently, however, you should not embark on weight-loss efforts with the idea that you will perform or look better if you just drop a little weight. Part of being a strong and successful athlete is learning to accept your body for what it is and making the most of it through participation in athletics. Athletes come in all sizes and shapes!