Overweight Issues For Vegetarian Athletes
Beyond the basic concept of energy balance, the prevention of weight gain and the promotion of weight loss are not simple issues, even for athletes. Although it is true that athletes typically expend a lot of energy, they are still subject to both overeating and a sedentary lifestyle when they are not training. One or a combination of both can promote a positive energy balance that either leads to weight gain or prohibits body fat reduction.
As mentioned earlier, some athletes are more destined to weight gain because of their genetic makeup, which can include the tendency to overeat, move less, or efficiently bank excess energy. As a group,athletes appear to be particularly prone to weight gain during their freshman year of college and after experiencing a major injury, undergoing surgery, taking a new job, getting married, having children, or going through menopause.
Although the reasons for weight gain are different for each athlete, typically stress, boredom,and the habit of eating a lot are somehow involved. My father, a former football player, for example, is overweight because he still eats as if he is training for the Fiesta Bowl. Although it is true that a small percentage of athletes may experience problems with the thyroid—the gland that produces the important energy hormone thyroxine —in association with weight change, most people gain weight simply because they eat more than they move.
For example, freshmen athletes commonly gain weight during their first year because they play less during games or matches yet eat as much as their junior and senior teammates. Adult athletes often gain weight because real-life responsibilities either decrease the time they have to exercise or provide an environment that encourages overeating. From personal experience, I can testify that vegetarian athletes are also destined to gain weight if they shift uninformed to a vegetarian eating pattern. As you can imagine, weight gain is inevitable when you sprinkle sunflower seeds and cheese on everything just to ensure that you get enough protein.
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