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What is the best weight-loss diet for an overweight athlete?

The first thing you should do is check with your family physician or team physician to see if you are indeed overweight. If you are overweight, a well-balanced diet of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and some fats will help you shed extra body fat.

Athletes need to be careful about not losing muscle while dieting. A simple way to make sure you getting all of the necessary nutrients is to divide your food plate into portions. Half of your plate should have vegetables or fruits, just over one quarter the plate should have a complex carbohydrate such as sweet potato or brown rice, and just under one quarter should have a lean meat/protein such as grilled chicken or fish.

It is also important to always eat breakfast and to remember that whole grains will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. It’s okay to snack, as long as it is a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts such as almonds, or a low-fat granola bar.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.