Monday, June 6, 2011

Tip of the week by Nancy Clark – Do you skip breakfast to save calories?

 Many soccer athletes, in their efforts to be light, lean and fast, think a good way to shed a few pounds of undesired  body fat is to skip breakfast. After all, they aren’t hungry when they wake up in the morning, so why not save a few calories…? Bad idea.

Soccer players who skip breakfast will undoubtedly end up being too hungry later in the day. For example, when one of my clients skipped breakfast and ate a meager salad with diet dressing for lunch, she created a 1,200-calorie deficit. Of course she ended up “blowing” her diet later in the day, as well as eating the whole box of cereal after dinner. Her body was demanding fuel!

She thought she had no will power. I explained to her that she dieted “too hard” and got too hungry. Just as a person cannot breathe normally after staying underwater for too long, a dieter cannot eat normally after having eaten too little food for too long. That’s the physiology of hunger. The body wants to overcompensate for the perceived “famine” (diet).

My words of wisdom to weight-conscious soccer players are: If you want to lose weight, enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch, and then “diet” at the end of the day so you can lose weight when you are sleeping, not when you are trying to train and perform well.

Enjoy high energy and low body fat,

For more information, refer to the weight reduction section in:
Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes From the Pros by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark RD (Available at