Athlete Weight-Loss Plan: Men’s

Basketball Nutrition Plan

Athlete Weight-Loss Plan: Men's Basketball is a demanding sport that requires repeated bouts of explosive movements. Practicing solid nutrition habits as you follow Coach McKown’s summer program can improve your performance by enhancing training, speeding recovery and decreasing illness.

Throughout your summer training, key in on: carbohydrates to provide necessary energy; lean protein to repair damaged muscles; and antioxidant-rich foods that fight the inflammatory effects of exercise.

Carbohydrate-containing foods are the staple of a sports diet as they are the primary energy source for high intensity, maximal-outburst activity—but many athletes don’t eat enough. Consuming adequate amounts helps promote rapid recovery, delay fatigue when eaten before exercise, maintain training intensity when consumed during longer-than-60-minute sessions, and improve muscle glycogen storage, especially when received within 30 minutes after a workout.

Protein encourages muscle growth and repair, and boosts your immune system. Meeting your protein needs is most effective and cost-efficient through food. Include a lean protein source, (e.g., chicken, turkey, fish, skim milk, reduced-fat cheese, eggs) in every meal and snack, and make sure to combine protein with a carbohydrate immediately after workouts.

Strenuous exercise leads to muscle damage and inflammation. Foods high in antioxidants protect against this inflammation and aid in repair of muscle damage. Eat foods from the list below every day.

Develop the following habits to maximize your training results:

1. Eat every three to four hours.

2. Include a fruit or vegetable and a lean protein source every time you eat.

3. Eat breakfast daily.

4. Choose high fiber, less processed carbohydrates.

5. Eat or drink a combination of carbohydrates and protein immediately after workouts. Aim for two to four grams of carbohydrate for every gram of protein. An excellent choice: skim chocolate milk.

6. Minimize animal fats, and include more plantbased fats, like nuts, seeds and oils.

7. Hydrate! Drink water throughout the day, and replace fluids and electrolytes lost during the court workout with a sports drink.

The following sample menu provides about 3,100 daily calories, which breaks down to 59 percent carbohydrates, 19 percent protein and 22 percent fat.


2-egg omelet with shredded cheese and spinach
1C quick-cook oats with 2 tbsp maple syrup
1 banana [can be cut into oatmeal]
8 oz skim milk

Morning snack

2 granola bars
1 piece of string cheese
½ C blueberries
20 oz water


2 slices whole-wheat bread
4 oz tuna mixed with 1 tbsp mayo
1 oz bag of pretzels
1 orange
20 oz sports drink

Afternoon snack

1 apple
1 container light yogurt
1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tbsp peanut butter
20 oz water


1 sweet potato with
2 tbsp brown sugar and
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 oz chicken breast
1C steamed broccoli
2C salad [spinach leaves, bell peppers, walnuts and Italian dressing]
20 oz water

Evening snack

½ C nonfat cottage cheese
½ C pineapple
1 oz whole-grain snack crackers







Cherry juice




Green tea



Bell peppers

Blueberry juice



Green beans

Pomegranate juice




Vegetable juice

Canola oil


Sweet potatoes

Athlete Weight-Loss Plan: Men's

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Basketball is a game where players have to be very fit and ideally lean to optimise their power to weight ratio. Amateur teams will practice a couple of times per week and players will also partake in weight training and cardiovascular exercise at the gym three or four times per week. Basketball is popular with all ages, so portion sizes will need to be adjusted accordingly and baring in mind your lifestyle.

To maximise performance, players need a good energy intake to ensure they have sustenance for long lengths of time. If you’re intending to take basketball more seriously, then you’ll need to have a well structured nutrition programme not only to provide energy for a training session, but also to provide fuel for recuperation for the next day’s exercise and forthcoming basketball matches.

The meal plan below is an example for a typical basketball training day:



whey protein

in water

Large bowl of oatmeal skim milk dried fruit


bowl high fibre breakfast cereal skim milk

2 slices

granary bread

natural peanut butter

250ml fresh fruit juice


Mid-morning snack

2-3 small crispbreads with low fat soft cheese
80g chicken / turkey breast
100g mixed nuts {amp}amp; seeds
50g dried fruit


Sandwiches made with 4-6 slices of granary bread olive oil based spread with 100-150g lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet or salmon
Large mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt


2-3 small crispbreads with low fat soft cheese
80g chicken / turkey breast
100g mixed nuts {amp}amp; seeds
Item of fruit


1-2 slices granary bread natural peanut butter

Immediately post training

30g whey protein powder 25g


in water

Evening meal (45 mins later)

Lean fillet steak


chicken breast


fish herbs to taste

Boiled new potatoes

orbasmati riceor

dry roasted

sweet potatoes

Loads of vegetables

Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt


1 hour pre-bed

Shake: 50g oats 30g whey protein powder 200ml skim milk

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients and sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for long and intense training sessions. Breakfast cereals, granary bread, crispbreads, new potatoes, rice and sweet potatoes will provide slow released energy throughout the day.

The plan is merely a general guide, and portion sizes will need to be adapted to suit your daily routine. Eat a range of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.


are the most precious fuel for top athletes because they use less oxygen than proteins and fat. It means you can train more intensively and longer and replenish your depot faster. Carbs should make around 40-60% of the total daily calorie intake, which means 3 grams per pound of your weight.

It’s also important to know that the amount of required carbohydrates goes up to 70% if you have endurance training. In that case, even junk food is okay. You’ll be in a calorie deficit, which means you’ll have enough room for snacks.

In this food, you’ll find the most carbs: bread, rice, crackers, pasta, cereal, potatoes, corn, sugary sweets, whole fruit, fruit juice, milk, ice cream.

Diet differences between basketball players and regular people

While a person who doesn’t play basketball needs the energy (calories) only to fuel bodily functions, a basketball player needs more „fuel“ for training, games, and, of course, all life functions.

And indeed, the basketball players’ meals are the fuel that is poured into the body. Though many athletes, in fact, forget it.

Except for the caloric intake, vitamins and minerals can also be a problem for a basketball player, taking into the account that they are spent faster because of the extra stress on the body.

On top of this, a young growing athlete needs additional calories to grow. So keep that in mind when you’re wondering why you’re always hungry.

Athlete Weight-Loss Plan: Men's

My mom was so happy when I bought her this T-shirt 🙂

All NBA teams have a nutritionist on their side who usually travels with the team and writes the menus. Many NBA players say that diet saved their career. The first player that comes to my mind is Vince Carter, who not only plays professional basketball but also still dunks like he’s 20 years old.

Just by looking at the player’s performances over the years, we can surely say that the NBA diets are continually improving.

This year Kyrie Irving started to base his diet on plants more than on meat. He says his energy is off the roof, and he feels incredible, but we already knew that judging by the way he plays this season.

A lot of players in the NBA went vegan or vegetarian in the last couple of years. Some of them are Enes Kanter, Wilson Chandler, Al Jefferson, and of course Damian Lillard, who dropped 10 pounds in the process and is playing better than ever making clutch threes and splitting D’s.

But then you have guys like Kawhi Leonard who enjoy fish and grilled chicken. Leonard eats them with vegetables and tries to avoid pork and beef. He also avoids eating the same meal twice in a day and eating at the same time every day and his favorite meal is the egg-white omelet with mushrooms.

Why you should stick with the simple stuff (the foods you like)

  • Eat every 3-5 hours
  • Protein every meal
  • Carbs around the practice or gym work
  • Eat more whole foods
  • At least four servings of fruits and veggies per day
  • Don’t entirely avoid junk food

It’s best to eat every 3-5 hours because you don’t want your body to signalize to your brain that its missing fuel for the rest of the day. You don’t want to lose a focus, even if you don’t play basketball.

Protein every meal, so you don’t lose any muscle. It’s best to stick to whole food protein like meat, fish, eggs, milk, low-fat cheese, etc. But if you can’t afford it or you just can’t eat so much food, there’s always Whey Protein Concentrate (I use this one), also a healthy option.

Carbs around the practice or gym work so you have enough energy for workouts, at the same time keeping the caloric balance.

Eat more whole foods like apples, bananas, lettuce, avocado, garlic, lean beef, chicken, shrimps, eggs, seafood, etc.

Fruits and veggies for health. They’re full of vitamins and minerals that will keep your immunity in check and keep diseases away. Plus they’re very low in calories.

And finally, don’t avoid junk food so much if you’re not overweight. It’s better to eat moderate amounts than to suffer because you can’t eat a row of chocolate or a bag of chips.

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