Managing the body composition of athletes is a common practice in the field of sports nutrition. The loss of body weight (BW) in resistance-trained athletes is mainly conducted for aesthetic reasons (bodybuilding) or performance (powerlifting or weightlifting). The aim of this review is to provide dietary–nutritional strategies for the loss of fat mass in resistance-trained athletes. During the weight loss phase, the goal is to reduce the fat mass by maximizing the retention of fat-free mass. In this narrative review, the scientific literature is evaluated, and dietary–nutritional and supplementation recommendations for the weight loss phase of resistance-trained athletes are provided. Caloric intake should be set based on a target BW loss of 0.5–1.0%/week to maximize fat-free mass retention. Protein intake (2.2–3.0 g/kgBW/day) should be distributed throughout the day (3–6 meals), ensuring in each meal an adequate amount of protein (0.40–0.55 g/kgBW/meal) and including a meal within 2–3 h before and after training. Carbohydrate intake should be adapted to the level of activity of the athlete in order to training performance (2–5 g/kgBW/day). Caffeine (3–6 mg/kgBW/day) and creatine monohydrate (3–5 g/day) could be incorporated into the athlete’s diet due to their ergogenic effects in relation to resistance training. The intake of micronutrients complexes should be limited to special situations in which there is a real deficiency, and the athlete cannot consume through their diet.
Keywords: resistance training, bodybuilding, weight loss, fat loss, body composition, diet
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