When you think of an athlete, you picture a person that is lean and muscular. Of course, the sport determines the size of the athlete. For instance, a quarterback football player would be thinner than offensive linemen. If you’re in a sport that requires you to have a low fat-to-muscle ratio, speed and endurance, then you need to keep the extra weight off. This can be hard to do when you are always tempted to eat foods that go against your diet. You can use the following tips to help you get and maintain the body of a great athlete.

Focus On Burning Fat During the Off-Season

When your season is over, this is the time to start focusing on losing weight. This is because it’s kind of hard to lose weight and increase your fitness level at the same time. Plus, in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories, which is difficult when you need calories to have the energy to perform well while in season. Once the season is over, cut back on your calorie intake and continue exercising. The pounds should melt off before the season returns. You don’t have to rush it, since you’ll have months to get right. This is a good thing because when you lose weight slowly, it helps you to retain your muscle content.

Stay Away from Crash Diets

You don’t want to engage in diet plans that require you to decrease your calorie intake substantially. These are known as crash diets and will drastically decrease your nutrient intake, which is needed for training and recovery. This will also make you more prone to injuries and illnesses. Your body fat percentage shouldn’t get too low as an athlete. As a rule of thumb, men should have five percent body fat and women should have 12 percent. This is just general guidelines, as this can change from person to person.

Eat More Fiber and Less Sugar

It’s alright to eat foods with natural sugar – it’s the products with the added sugar you should watch out for. As an athlete, you don’t want to cut back too much on carbs, like most dieters would do, since it can hamper your sports performance. Cutting out added sugar is a great solution to reducing your intake of carbs. You should also increase your fiber consumption by eating more vegetables and fruit.

Add More Protein to Your Diet

Protein is essential if you want to be a great athlete. There are various forms of protein you can choose from, including meat, peas, hemp and quinoa. Each day, you need to be eating between 0.8 and 1.2 grams of protein for every 1.8 to 2.7 grams of body weight.

Since you are paying more attention to what you put in your body, make sure to also maintain the outside of your body. Wear SPF products to help blog excess UV rays and protect your eyes from the sun using shades purchased from Sunglass Hut.