Cricket is hugely popular in the UK, with up to 13 million people describing themselves as cricket fans. Of those people, 2.6 million people admitted to playing the game across the UK, fans of all shapes and sizes.
Amateur cricket is thriving, and often the role models the players are emulating are in peak fitness. Sadly, that’s not the case for those wishing to play for fun – sometimes, life gets the better of it. It even happens to big names, such as Greg Ritchie. The former Australian test cricketer was known as Fat Cat as he battled the bulge. He also battled his weight problems and ended up smashing his belly for six.
At any level, weight management plays a pivotal role in enhancing a cricketer’s overall performance on the pitch, whether bowling, battling or diving to make a catch. If you wish to step up to the crease but find weight a problem, here are some tips you can follow.
Medical Weight Loss
Medical weight loss interventions can be beneficial for amateur cricketers aiming to shed weight effectively under professional guidance. Medical weight loss won’t be available to you if you’re just a bit out of shape, but if you’re obese or grossly overweight, it may be a good place to start.
Players should consider consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a sports physician or a registered dietitian, to explore medical weight loss options tailored to individual needs. They can offer personalised guidance on safe weight loss methods and potential interventions. There are multiple medical weight loss options, including prescription medications like the injection of semaglutide or tablet orlistat. These are convenient and increasingly available from physicians., but they won’t suit everyone.
Indeed, bariatric surgery may be considered for individuals struggling with severe obesity. It’s worth noting these options are only available in extreme circumstances, but if you can use wishing to pull on the pads as motivation, it’s a good place to start.
If you’re on the boundary between overweight and just a bit big, then instead of medical weight loss, you should look to make changes in your diet. A balanced diet is crucial to support weight loss, and whilst you don’t need to turn to an extreme plan, it is a good idea to cut down on sugary and fatty foods and seek to introduce more fruit and veg into your daily eating regimen.
For instance, instead of a bacon sandwich, start the day with a wholesome breakfast like oatmeal with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries or whole-grain toast with avocado and eggs. Cutting out chips and junk food at lunch and instead opting for meals like grilled chicken or fish with a variety of roasted vegetables or a quinoa salad loaded with mixed greens will help you lose weight.
Consider your snacking as well – it might be tempting to reach for crisps or chocolate when watching from the clubhouse when your team are batting, but there are other choices. Snack options such as nuts and seeds or fresh fruit can help maintain energy levels during matches while controlling hunger.
Making changes in your diet will stop you from gaining excess weight, but exercise will help you shift what you already have. Like a good all-rounder, if you can perfect both skills, you’ll be laughing all the way to the crease.
Exercise doesn’t mean sticking to the nets and a bit of running on a match day – you need to get active as much as possible. You can try to incorporate specific cricket-related exercises into your routine, such as running drills or plyometrics. Any agility exercises, like lateral movements and sprint training, are particularly beneficial for cricket. Another really good way to burn calories is with a strong cardio workout such as running, cycling, or interval training sessions. These will improve cardiovascular fitness, which is essential for the demands of cricket, but also help burn through excess calories, which will see you beat that belly fat.
Cricket is better when you’re fit and able to whack the ball for six or sneak in the odd run. To do that, you need to be fit, and that’s where we hope to have helped. If you’re a cricket fan bordering on obesity, then see a trained professional and explore your options. If you’re just carrying a bit of a belly, then it’s all about diet and exercise. Follow that advice, and you’ll soon be emulating your cricket heroes from the World Cup.