UC San Diego Athletic Performance Nutrition Guide

HEALTHY Weight Loss & Weight Gain

 

 

Healthy Weight Loss

  • Some athletes may look to weight loss to enhance their performance or shed unnecessary “extra” weight.
  •  Ask yourself, do I really need to do this and am I doing it for the RIGHT reasons?  
  •  If weight loss is desired, a state of negative energy balance must be achieved (meaning you intake less than you burn).  However, energy restriction may impair performance due to a reduction in energy stores, impairment of immune function, alterations in mood, changes in enzyme activity and, structural alterations in the muscle. 
  • It may be best to strive for weight reduction in the off-season.

 

**The recommended weight loss for an athlete is ½ - 1lb per week.  Much more than that and you risk excessive water loss, muscle loss, muscle fatigue, lean tissue loss and impaired performance.

 

These are the steps you need to look at taking with guidance from a Registered Dietitian:

 

  1. Assess current body weight and composition
  2. Evaluate Current diet and activity habits.
  3. Estimate current energy requirements.
  4. Devise an individualized and healthy approach for achieving new caloric needs.
  5. Follow Progress


Some Tips for Successful Weight Reduction

Adapted from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

 

  1. Keep a food journal.  Write down what and when you eat or drink in a day and why.  You may find that you eat to do emotions or stress.
  2.  Become aware of meal timing.  If you eat you larger meal at breakfast, you are apt to eat less during the day or at night.
  3. Learn Your Calorie budget.  Know how much you can eat and still lose weight.  Don’t eat too little.  It takes calories to burn calories.  Generally if you cut back 500 calories a day while exercising the same, you will lose 1lb a week.
  4. Divide your calorie budget into three parts of the day.   

Example: 2400 calorie/day: breakfast/snack: 800, lunch/snack: 800, dinner/snack: 800

  1. Read Food Labels:  Become familiar with the calorie content of the foods you commonly eat and then balance your calorie budget.  Include three to five food groups in each meal.
  2. Eat slowly and watch your portion sizes.
  3. Eat your favorite foods regularly:  Watch the portion size and don’t deny yourself.  This will prevent you from bingeing. 
  4. Keep away from food sources that tempt you:  For example, when socializing or talking to people stay out of the kitchen or the food table, where it is just easy to eat and nibble.
  5. Make small changes daily and changes that you can keep!

 

Losing weight healthfully, while still performing optimally can be tricky.  It would be best to get an individualized plan:

For individualized nutrition counseling, please call Student Health Central Scheduling at 858-534-8089. (For registered UCSD Students Only)

 

 

Healthy Weight Gain

To gain weight you must be in a state of positive energy intake.  Eat well and eat more than you expend! Efforts to increase body weight may be best accomplished during the off-season, to avoid interfering with training.   Studies have proven that increased muscular work combined with an adequate energy (carbohydrates and total calories) and protein (over-excessive protein won’t help!) intake is an effective means to increase muscle size and strength.

*Adding about 500 calories a day will help to contribute to a gain of 1lb. per week.

 

These are the steps you need to look at taking with guidance from a Registered Dietitian:

  1. Asses current body weight and composition
  2. Evaluate Current diet and activity habits.
  3. Estimate the additional energy needed to create the positive energy balance.
  4. Follow progress.

 

Ways to boost your calories:

--Eat an extra snack, such as a bedtime peanut butter sandwich with a glass of milk.

--Eat larger portions at mealtime.

--Eat higher calorie foods.

 

Suggestions for increasing caloric intake:

Adapted from the ADA Sports Nutrition Book

 

  • Choose nutrient-dense cereals such as granola and muesli.  Top with nuts, sunflower seeds, bananas, or dried fruits.
  • Cook hot cereals with milk rather than water.
  • Drink juices such as apple, cranberry, grape and pineapple.
  • Make homemade blender drinks such as smoothies or milkshakes and add peanut butter and fruits.
  •  Choose hearty breads such as sprouted wheat and honey bran.  Cut thick slices for sandwiches.
  • Try bean dishes such as lentils, split pea soup, chili with beans hummus and limas.
  • Sauté chicken or fish in canola or olive oil.  Add sauces and breadcrumb toppings.
  • Add cottage cheese, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, raisins, croutons and dressings made with olive oil to salads.
  • Include higher-calorie vegetables such as peas, corn, carrots, winter squash and beets.
  • Enjoy desserts such as oatmeal raisin cookies, fig bars, puddings, stewed fruit compotes, frozen yogurt, cornbread with honey, muffins, and fruit breads.
  • Try healthful snacks such as fruit yogurt, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese and crackers, peanuts, sunflower seeds, granola, pretzels, bagels with low-fat cream cheese and jelly, and peanut butter crackers.

 

 

Gaining weight healthfully, while still performing optimally can be tricky.  It would be best to get an individualized plan:

For individualized nutrition counseling, please call Student Health Central Scheduling at 858-534-8089. (For registered UCSD Students Only)

 

 

 

Information supplied by: 

 

UC San Diego Intercollegiate Athletics

 

Megan Mangano, UNH B.S. in Nutritional Sciences

 

Clark, Nancy, MS, RD.  Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 2nd Edition.  1997.  Brookline, MA:  Nancy Clark.

 

Rosenbloom, Christine A., PhD, RD, Editor.  ADA: Sports Nutrition: A Guide for the Professional Working with Active People, 3rd Edition.  2000.  Chicago, Illinois: The American Dietetic Association.