All too often, I hear seemingly lean athletes express extreme frustration with their inability to lose undesired bumps and bulges. To lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit. You can create that deficit by either exercising, which improves your overall health and fitness, or eating fewer calories.
Even injured athletes can lose fat, despite a lack of exercise. The complaint “I gained weight when I was injured because I couldn’t exercise,” could more correctly be stated “I gained weight because I mindlessly overate for comfort and fun.”
Athletes who complain they “eat like a bird” but fail to lose body fat may simply be under-reporting their food intake. A survey of female marathoners indicated the fatter runners under-reported their food intake more than the leaner ones. Were they oblivious to how much they actually consumed? Or were they too sedentary in the non-exercise hours of their day?