Walk through the streets on Saturday mornings and you will likely see small groups of people jogging on the sidewalk with headphones in their ears.
While some do that to keep fit, others do that to lose weight. Well, soccer involves jogging and so much more and can help you to lose weight.
While those that jog rarely go beyond 3 miles, soccer players cover as much as 7 to 9.5 miles in a single game. However, soccer is not just about running alone.
It involves occasional jumping, pushing, kicking, heading, twisting, turning, and sliding as the players try to take the ball from their opponents. Soccer is an aerobic exercise and every aerobic exercise will facilitate your weight loss goal.
This explains why you will hardly see a soccer player that is fat. Rather, you will always find them muscular—especially on their abs and legs.
But, do soccer players rely on playing the game alone to lose weight, or do they hit the gym once in a while? In other words, will you get to a certain weight loss goal simply by playing soccer alone?
Since it is evident that playing soccer will lead to weight loss, the next question that will likely be on your mind would be how much weight a soccer player loses during a game. Find the answer to that question here.
In this post, we are going to tell you all you need to know about soccer and weight loss. This includes the part of the body that will likely lose the most weight when you start playing soccer.
Do you lose weight with soccer?
Soccer is one of the most physically demanding sports just like cycling, boxing, and sprinting. The dribbling and display of skills are one of the reasons why millions of fans around the globe love the game.
From helping you to build stamina and muscles to ultimately losing weight, there is so much to gain when you leave the spectator seat and become actively involved in the game.
Research reveals that someone that weighs 155 pounds can burn as much as 260 calories in just thirty minutes of playing soccer. However, how much weight you will lose will depend on how much committed and active you are during the game.
Furthermore, how active you will be during a soccer game will likely depend on the position you play. For example, soccer goalies do not move around very much—even if their team is under pressure from the opponents.
Likewise, defenders do not move around very much. At best, they will make short bursts of runs to catch an attacker trying to score a goal.
On the pitch, the midfielders and the strikers do most of the work and make the most runs during a game—although defenders like Ben Chinwell make lots of runs into attack and score too.
Therefore, you will expect that a striker will lose more weight than a defender if they play for the same number of minutes in the same game.
While playing soccer can lead to weight loss, how fast this happens will depend on your personal habits. For example, if you are a chronic alcoholic that spends six days in a week drinking and uses a few hours on the seventh day to play soccer, you will rarely see the impact of the game on your body.
In fact, you will keep accumulating belly fat that some may even think that you are pregnant. The same applies to those that have the habit of punctuating their soccer game or training with high-calorie foods or junk foods.
If you are determined to lose weight with soccer, it is important that you work on habits that may be sabotaging your progress. You don’t want to spend over an hour running around the field and taking hard tackles only to end up the same.
Is soccer good for losing weight?
Being fat as a soccer player limits you in several ways. One of them is that it makes your body too heavy to achieve a good sprint with the ball.
Also, the opposing players have so much to hold onto when they are trying to tackle you for the ball. This is not the same with slim players because they can easily wriggle out of the grip of their opponents.
Without any shred of doubt, soccer is good for losing weight. However, when you set out for the game just for the sole purpose of losing weight, there is no need to bloat your expectations.
For example, playing soccer for just one hour will not make you lose 400 pounds overnight. You need persistent training and structured drills to get you anywhere close to that—and it will likely take weeks for you to start seeing any real improvements in your body.
Sometimes what you need to lose weight is having the right social cycle that will constantly motivate and push you to your limits. That is one of the areas where soccer trumps going to the gym.
Going to the gym can often become a solitary activity if you don’t have a workout partner that is just as committed as you are. In soccer, it is a different ball game altogether—we have never seen anyone playing soccer all by themselves.
Every soccer player knows that the only way they can maintain their position on the field is to always give in their best. Therefore, from the workout session to the actual games, soccer players are always pushing their limits.
Borrowing from this motivation can help you to get to your destination faster. Also, before a soccer game, the players often undergo light exercises.
If you are familiar with the game, you will notice that coaches often instruct players to go through light exercise prior to being substituted into the game. Some of the exercises they do include;
According to researchers, when you stretch, the number of calories your body can burn in a day increases. For anyone on the path of weight loss, any activity that leads to the burning of calories is good news.
Combining stretching with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is always highly effective for weight loss. Stretching also has a calming effect that will definitely help you to have a better game.
Stretching will mostly work on your limbs and help to burn the fat in those areas. When sit-up is incorporated into a stretching routine, it works on the abdomen, helping you to burn belly fat.
Sometimes you will see soccer players jogging on the tracks by the side of the pitch—and occasionally burst into a short sprint. As you probably already know, the energy your body uses comes from the burning of glucose in the presence of oxygen.
However, during sprinting, you will likely not be breathing in enough oxygen to make the aerobic respiration process efficient. Therefore, your body will resort to burning stored fat to provide energy for your activity.
This explains why the harder you run in soccer, the more weight you will likely lose. Jogging or sprinting will generally work on your legs (particularly your hips and thighs).
Your arms and abs will also feel the heat leading to weight loss in those areas too.
Footwork variations is another important drill you will often see soccer players performing during training or prior to their introduction into the game. Some will skip over hurdles or run in and out of cones or jump in and out of octagons.
Whichever you decide, footwork works just like jogging or sprinting except that it also helps in strengthening your leg muscles.
How can you sustain your weight loss with soccer?
Lifestyle change is the only way to stay fit and healthy. The first thing that soccer does is that it encourages you to get out of your house and stay active.
Staying active is better than passionately and dedicatedly going through any diet plan. According to research, everyone battling weight loss needs a total lifestyle overhaul.
In addition to going for regular training and having a well-structured drill, a good lifestyle overhaul for those that want to lose weight with soccer should include;
- Eat healthy foods including lean protein, healthy fats, carbs rich in fiber, and vegetables
- Binge on fruits
- Get good rest and sleep (up to 7 hours of sleep per day)
- Commit to your soccer training
While it is possible to lose an alarming amount of weight with soccer, you need to know that this will not happen overnight. For a more rewarding result within the shortest possible time, you need to watch your diet too.
When possible, cook your own meals rather than order them. This is the only way you can control what goes into your mount.
In addition to that, the process of cooking also keeps you active and helps you to burn a reasonable number of calories.
Consuming a whole lot of junk while playing soccer will only be counterproductive. Trust in the process and stay committed to your goal.
If possible, join a forum of people with the same mind. Reading the success stories of others has a way of motivating us to also reach for the same goal.
So, if you want to know if you can lose weight with soccer, the answer is an emphatic yes. If soccer is what you love doing, give it a try and it might just be the key to unlocking the secret to winning your weight loss battle.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!