5 Diet Tips for Increasing Your Vertical Jump - Fat Loss Edition

Many of your have probably heard the expression “abs are made in the kitchen.” This is absolutely true. However, we all have different body types. For some of you visible abs might be something you have always had. This could be because of your diet, or activity, or it may be that you have a predisposition for being skinnier and leaner than most.

If so, this specific article may not be for you, there will be a “skinny guy” edition for you. This blog is for those who can’t see their abs and might need to lose some body fat. I don’t say that to say that we’ll all should look a certain way, that’s not true. I say that because of another popular training adage “fat don’t fly.”

With only rare exceptions, most elite jumpers have a few common physical traits. One being a low body fat. It’s simple physics, fat isn’t contributing to your jump and increases the mass side of the equation. So it’s not helping, and it’s hurting, not a great combination for success. This isn’t the same thing as weight.

Weight, for example, could be someone who has a high amount of muscle of their frame. The muscle weights quite a bit, but they are lean. So say they weigh 210 lbs but have a body fat of 8%. Then your have another person who weighs 210 and has a body fat percentage of 22%. These two people would not be in the same diet scenario. The muscled 8% bf athlete would have useable mass that in contributing to their athleticism. The athlete who weights the same, but doesn’t have as much muscle mass, will need to lose some fat. This is because the second guy’s body fat is literally weighing them down. How much your ideal weight is, and what your ideal body fat is, is different person to person.

There are trends we want to work towards though. As jumping athletes, some will do better with really low body fats while others will do better in a low/moderate range. If they took it too low, some athletes might lose energy and mental motivation.

So lower isn’t always better. What is true regardless of how low the ideal body fat is, is that jumping athletes should be somewhat lean. We should be lean enough to see some level of abs. We should be lean to bough to see some level of muscle definition in the arms and legs. This might be on the higher side of that definition at 10-13% body fat for guys. Or it might need to go down lower to 5-10% for guys who are naturally built a bit leaner. I’d start by aiming for 10 ish percent body fat, then slowly try lower and evaluate how you feel.

Now as for the tips on how to get there:

1. Be Consistent

Diet is a lot easier when we eliminate choice and temptation. It sounds boring, but people who can stick to a consistent menu have a much higher success rate. For example. Maybe you pick 3 different meal types each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When it’s dinner time, there are only 3 meals on your menu. You lose the distractions, and endless bad courses by simplifying your available choices.

2. Meal Prep

Tagging along to consistency is preparing ahead of time. When simplifying the menu, it’s easy to pre prepare ready to eat meals once or twice per week. With the meals ready to go, it takes away the convenience temptation, that picking up something off menu may have. This also allows you to control portion sizes easier.

3. Remind Yourself Why You Are Doing This

Believe me I know how boring it can get to diet and eat the same foods. By having the conversation with yourself about why you choose to diet in the first place, about reaching your goals, you are more likely to stay on track. Remember each choice is a change to get closer to your goal or further away. Choose wisely.

4. Don’t Try to Lose It All in One Day

It’s best to let consistency do it’s thing. If your stay consistent for the long haul you can’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. The weight you do lose will stay off more likely. You will spend more time building sustainable habits. Like food itself, slow cooking your process will often lead to better results.

5. Don’t Eat and Drink Empty Calories

It’s easy to find some foods or drinks that aren’t serving a purpose to help us. They are simply there because they taste good. Sodas or juices are often an example of this. They are full of high amounts of sugar and empty calories. Deserts and fried foods are another example. Alcohol as well for those of your who are of age. These drinks and foods do much more harm than good in most cases. We are choosing to get further from our goal each time we give in to these types of foods/drinks.

Work hard, eat well, sleep well, hydrate and the results will come.

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