There are many misconceptions about fat, particularly among athletes – both serious and recreational.
Healthy fats are an essential part of our diet. They help protect our organs, improve brain function, and make some vitamins more accessible for digestion.
However, consuming too much fat and carrying too much fat on your frame can hinder your athletic performance. Carrying less weight means you can run faster and jump higher.
While getting rid of fat fast isn’t always recommended, it is sometimes necessary for a meet or competition. If you’re looking for ways to cut weight fast for your next athletic endeavor, read on for several ways you can do so in a safe way.
Break Up with Sugar
One of the easiest ways to cut weight fast is to fuel your body with the right foods. You will never see a food guide for athletes that put refined sugar on that list.
We’ve known for years that sugar causes significant problems in the human body. Eating sugar causes your insulin levels to spike, irregularities in your mood, and inflammation in your joints and skin.
We also tend to eat too much sugar, too. Cutting out refined sugar in all its forms can help you drop weight and feel better in a matter of weeks.
To start cutting out sugar, you have to know it in all its forms. Check nutrition labels for sugar, sucrose, agave nectar, corn syrup, palm sugar, and cane juice, among others. Check this list for all the names of added sugar.
If you rely heavily on packaged foods or prepared meals out of convenience, try cooking just one extra meal a day from scratch. Cooking meals from scratch means you know exactly what goes into your food and ensures no added sugar makes its way in.
We will mention that cutting sugar out of your diet doesn’t mean you need to stop eating fruits which have natural sugars. If you are interested in reducing all sugar types, you can opt for lower-sugar fruits such as berries, grapefruit, and watermelon.
Focus on Lean Meats
Not all cuts of meat are equal. You can get fatty pieces and lean pieces all from one animal.
When it comes to cutting weight quick, you want to eliminate fatty cuts of meat from your diet and instead opt for lean cuts of meat. Here are some substitutions you can make today:
- Chicken breasts over chicken thighs
- Sirloin over ribeye
- Pork tenderloin over bacon
While our bodies do need fat to function, it’s better to cut out more animal fats in favor of fatty acids you can get from nuts, seeds, and some fruits. These might include chia seeds, walnuts, and avocados. You can also take an omega 3 supplement.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a great option for athletes who have their diet down to a science but need an extra boost of fat burning. It doesn’t involve changing what you eat at all, simply when you eat.
The way IF works is your body starts to go into a fasting state 8-12 hours after your last meal. In the fasted state, your body produces less insulin which makes it easier for it to break down stored fat for energy.
When you switch to intermittent fasting (IF), you will eat only within a certain timeframe. There are many IF schedules you can choose from:
- 16/8 – fast for 16 hours, eat for 8
- 5:2 – fast for 2 days during the week eating only 500-600 calories
- Fast every other day
You also don’t have to be restrictive with your diet while fasting intermittently. You can eat as you normally do, just within your set timeframe.
Eat More Complex Carbs
Complex carbs take more time for your body to break down, meaning you get a slower release of energy. Complex carbs also help you feel fuller for longer.
When your diet consists of a lot of simple carbs, you run into issues with getting quick energy boosts with crashes later on. Simple carbs include sugar, white bread, cookies, sodas, and cereals.
Focusing on a diet full of complex carbs will give you a more consistent level of energy and reduce the number of cravings you have which can lead to weight gain.
Something many people get wrong is thinking that carbs only come in the form of grains or bread. While these are both popular carbohydrates, foods like fruits and vegetables are also largely carbohydrates. You need both for a well-rounded diet.
Drink Plenty of Water
As an athlete, you probably already drink a ton of water during your workouts. However, continuing to drink water throughout the day is a pitfall for many of us.
Water helps us feel full and can help satiate us when we start to feel hunger creeping in. It’s also vital for our body to function, so you can’t ever get enough.
To facilitate water drinking, always carry a reusable water bottle around with you. The recommended amount of water to drink each day is 2 liters (half a gallon).
As you focus on drinking more water, you’ll notice that you’ll stop turning directly to food when you start feeling hungry. It’s an easy way to keep hunger at bay and fat off.
Test the Keto Diet
The Keto Diet has been getting a lot of attention recently. That’s because it’s effective for those who do it right.
This diet forces your body into ketosis, a state in which your body has no access to carbohydrates for energy so it turns to fat stores. When your body burns fat, it releases ketones into the bloodstream as a byproduct.
On the Keto Diet, you’ll primarily eat fats, a moderate amount of protein, and hardly any carbohydrates.
Going on this diet does require a lot of planning. It can also be restrictive for your social life in some cases as you cannot drink many forms of alcohol or go to many restaurants.
Most health specialists do not recommend staying on this diet for an extended period of time. You can safely use this diet for a few weeks to gain your desired fat loss results then transition back into a balanced diet of complex carbs and lean meats.
Try HYPOXI Training
Sometimes you just need to try something that feels productive immediately for losing fat. That’s where HYPOXI training comes in.
HYPOXI training targets stubborn fat cells in your stomach, hips, and love handles in a gentle machine exercise setting. The machines used in HYPOXI use a combination of vacuum and compression technology to loosen fat cells, making them more accessible to be burned during a workout.
You can learn more about HYPOXI training at Bodysmart Weight Loss.
Now You Know How to Cut Weight Fast
As an athlete, you have many options to cut weight fast before a competition or race. From small habit changes to full-on diet overhauls, you can get the results you want on your terms.
You can find more diet and health-related posts here.