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Fluid & Nutrition > Lose Body Fat

The higher the level of football play, the lower the percentage of players' body fat. Top male players' body composition is typically 8 to 12 percent fat, in contrast to the general population's average of over 16 percent. International female players aim for a level below 20 percent, compared to the 30 percent average amongst the general population.

The most appropriate and effective method of reducing body fat is to manipulate food intake and energy expenditure.
Players with excessive body fat should slowly reduce their total caloric intake so that it falls short of their energy expenditure (that amount needed for metabolism, growth, and exercise), thus creating a negative energy balance. They can also add to their training program low-intensity cross-training drills that use fat as an energy source.

Guidelines for Reducing Body Fat
Reduce your fat intake to 15 to 20 percent of your total caloric intake.
Include several short cross-training fuel mix sessions in your program; a 25-minute cycling session in the morning and evening is better that just one 60-minute session at lunchtime.
Do not crash diet! This is not healthy and will cause you to lose muscle and energy that you need for training and playing.
Aim for a one- to two-pound (one-half to one kilogram) reduction in body fat per week, and set realistic short- and long-term goals.
Manage your blood sugar level by avoiding large quantities of carbohydrates in one sitting and reducing the amount of food with a high glycaemic index in your diet.

© Fitness 4 Football 2008. Fitness 4 Football is owned by Better Football Coaching, trading name of Newsletter Publishing Ltd. The author and Newsletter Publishng Ltd take no responsibility for injuries caused by attempting the guidelines and exercises presented on this web site. Newsletter Publishng Ltd recommends that you always learn new exercises or dietary changes under the guidance of a professional and consult your GP before you start




Cross training drills such as rowing are excellent for fat loss - they support your body weight, thus taking pressure off your joints, which is important if you are overweight and intend to increase your levels of exercise.
Visit the Football Fitfiles for 100s of football fitness drills
All players should avoid eating fatty foods both before and immediately after training because it may slow the absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.
Not all fats are equal. Whereas saturated fat is unhealthy and implicated in heart disease, polyunsaturated fats play an important role in supporting health and performance by boosting the immune system, building cells, and providing energy for low-intensity exercise and normal daily activities.