Get lean & Go for the Green: Drop unwanted pounds without losing your power

September 20, 2011
by Justin

I will not lie to you; I assumed Golfers were not athletes. I was blinded by the green rolling hills, the golf carts and the miles of “walking,” not “running,” but walking. I also underestimated the value of the mental fitness needed to compete at a high level. That was the case until I decided to take my game from the driving range to a real PGA level course. I found myself needing to take a break by the 9th hole. I, come to find out, was horrible a golfer and needed to incorporate a different approach to excelling. My knees couldn’t take another down of contact football, so golf became a new passion. I found out that I needed to bring back some of the healthy eating habits I had when I played college ball.

Phase One: Reduce and eventually eliminate all sodas

After reading up on the effects of soda I was reminded of the T-bone steak my chemistry teacher put inside a glass jar of Root Beer. When our class came back over the holiday weekend, the meat and the bone were gone. The first thing I had to do was stop drinking so much soda. I found myself feeling dehydrated and dizzy like I just ran suicides. I came to find out that some Sodas dehydrate you; yes a beverage that dehydrates you. If your soda is high in caffeine, you are taking out more than you put in. That is because caffeine is a diuretic. Dark sodas like Coke and Root Beer decalcify your bones. Try substituting a Gatorade or even a good bottle of water.

Phase Two: Substitute Lean Meat and home cooked meals for fast food

In this day and age, we can get food that would take hours to cook, made in five minutes. Cooking your own meals will not only save you money but cut back on the calories. Golf is a sport that requires you to be consistent, and weight gain can easily cut off your natural range of motion. If you are too busy sucking wind from walking the course, or sluggish from that double cheeseburger you had earlier, your performance will suffer. Try leaner meats like turkey instead of beef, or a baked entrée instead of a fried one. It also never hurts to incorporate a green leafy vegetable. This process will help you maintain your strength so in turn you won’t lose your power.

These two changes will support lean muscle strength and fuel you enough to sustain your swing in crunch time. I’m working on getting to my ideal weight but these are changes that can take your game to the next level now. I’m a big guy nevertheless, but golf isn’t a barbaric sport dominated by the plus sized demographic. Phil Mickelson and Yani Tseng can attest to that.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle. 

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