Soccer players can get a flat stomach the same way everyone else can: by eating fewer calories than they burn. While it's not possible to lose fat in just one area, soccer players have many options for increasing their calorie expenditure to lose weight, which means unsightly belly fat will eventually disappear to expose a toned abdomen.
Daily Calorie Needs
Many factors affect how many calories soccer players need on a daily basis. Generally, adult male soccer players burn 21.4 to 27.3 calories per pound of body weight every day, according to вЂњSports Nutrition: Client Education Handouts,вЂќ by Christine A. Rosenbloom. Adult females burn as many as 20.5 to 22.7 calories per pound every day. The exact number of calories you need is based on variety of factors, including your training schedule, intensity of performance, age and outside activities.
Designing a Healthful Diet
For a healthful diet that will help you develop as a soccer player and also allows you to lose weight at the same time, consult a registered dietitian or professional sports nutritionist. An expert's insight is important for athletes who are trying to lose weight. Your goal might be to shed belly fat, for example, but to develop as a soccer player, it's also vital to monitor the types of nutrients you eat. For proper muscle repair and development, for instance, soccer players must eat sufficient protein -- about 0.6 to 0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight every day. You also need carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. In other words, soccer players must pay as much attention to the what they eat as to how much they eat -- the types of food you eat as well as your overall calorie intake. An expert can provide the personalized advice you need.
Weight Loss Goals
Once you have a balanced, low-calorie diet, your goal should be to burn 500 to 1,000 more calories than you eat each day. This results in a safe, slow amount of weight loss -- which is about 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Faster than that isn't a safe approach, and slower means you need to tweak either your training or your caloric intake.
Besides playing soccer games more often, you can also do soccer drills to increase your calorie burning. For example, running sprints, shooting on goal, practicing your dribbling and participating in team drills all increase calorie expenditure while simultaneously developing soccer skills. Off the field, jogging, bicycling and swimming develop cardiovascular endurance, and weight training develops strength and power, all while burning extra calories. Eventually, If you stay committed to your diet and exercise program, your body will shed enough fat to reveal your stomach.
Develop Muscle Tone
Losing weight will remove your belly pouch, leading to a flatter abdomen. Developing muscle tone makes your stomach firmer. Muscle tone is a continuous, partial contraction that develops after frequent exercise. In other words, with regular exercise, your abdominal muscles will be partially flexed at all times, making them more prominent. To develop greater muscle tone, incorporate abdominal-strengthening exercises into your routine, such as crunches, bicycles, leg raises and holding your abdomen taut in the Plank position.