Eating Strategies to Lose Weight and Build Muscle: How the NFL Does It

NFL players work out hard, both on the field and in the gym. But for them, training is only part of the equation. They also need to eat right. “If you’re only [focused on training] you might not get the body you want, and you may increase your risk of injury,” says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and team sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers.Contrary to popular belief, eating everything in sight isn’t a plus in the NFL. Barry Rubin, head strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, says having an unhealthy body weight will only slow you down and make you more sluggish and susceptible to injury. “You can’t outrun your calories,” he says. “If you start doing that, you’re going to get hurt and over train.”

If you want to get in shape like an NFL pro, you need to eat like an NFL pro. That means getting enough protein and the right balance of nutrients in your diet.

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