Let's face it, dieting is pretty brutal. Calorie restriction not only leaves us feeling empty, but also makes us grumpy. Furthermore, trying to lose weight in season leaves little energy to burn for training.
Athletes who try to lose weight in season, especially if they are trying to "make weight," frequently resort to some extreme measures that leave them dehydrated, more susceptible to heat and lacking appropriate energy.
One strategy was recently reported for a jockey.
His resting metabolic needs were met by being broken down into six meals. He maintained this regimen while continuing his daily exercise routine. After 9 weeks, he had a 17.5 pound weight loss (8kg).
Knowing and meeting basic metabolic needs prevents metabolic slowing which can actually result in weight gain and more difficulty in losing fat. Using 6 daily meals helps prevent hunger which will lead to over-eating--especially when compared to the two daily meals the jockey was eating before this trial. Resting metabolic rates express the amount of calories that are burned at rest as grams of fat, carbohydrate and protein.
More importantly, aside from the loss of body fat, the jockey had an improved mood, which might help him keep up his diet and exercise routine.
source: Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012 Jun;22(3):225-31