If you are a wrestler or an MMA fighter, you’ve probably been faced with the weight cutting issue. If you have already tried to cut weight, then you already know that weight cutting takes all your strength and makes you feel completely stressed out.
To cut weight your muscles must be depleted of water, vitamins and minerals, as well as the glycogen, which is stored muscle energy.
Weight cutting is not fun and it requires commitment. However, if done right, starving and dehydration can be kept to a minimum.
How to cut weight with water restriction
Most of the time when cutting weight, what we find ourselves doing is drinking, eating normally, doing everything we want to do and then, during the last few days, we wreak havoc on our body by starving and dehydrating.
The muscle cells hold fluid inside (intracellular) and outside (extracellular). When you dehydrate your body, your intracellular fluid gets pulled out of your muscle rendering them useless and becoming more susceptible to injury.
Beginning 5 days out, you will drink 2 gallons of spring water, if you are over 150 pounds. In case you weigh less, make it 1.5 gallons. You will do this on the 5th, 4th and 3rd day away from weight cutting. You will also include just a little bit more of sodium in your diet. Using more salt during your meals will help pull more fluid in and flush out all the toxins in your muscle.
2 days before you weigh in, you will cut down to one gallon of water as well as sodium.
24 hours before you weigh in, you’re gonna drink 6-8 ounces of water every 3 hours (use a measuring cup for this), with the final time being 3 hours before you weigh in.
How to cut weight with food
Most of the time, this combination of foods will help you better than any other. You will need the following: water, eggs, grass fed beef, sweet potatoes, walnuts and some sort of salad or berries to help you with the digestion of meat.
These foods are optimal for weight cutting because they are not only easy to eat, but they are also nutritionally dense meaning that you are getting a lot more nutrients per calorie. They are ideal for the weight cutting process because they will give you less cravings and need for more calories.
Grass fed beef is a must when cutting weight. There is a big difference between grain-fed beef and grass-fed beef. The latter is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is proved to raise your fat-burning hormones, which is also ideal for strength and power. It also contains a high protein efficiency ratio.
Mixed nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds to name a few) are very high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They make a great little snack because they don’t contain any carbs, which will hold on to water. This is not good as now you will be trying to shed that water.
Whole cage free eggs are recommended because the chickens are let to roam around freely and are fed the healthier food.
Sweet potatoes are an ideal weight cutting food because they don’t hold as much water as white potatoes. You can just bake them in the oven with olive oil and a little sea salt.
Mixed organic berries are also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The great thing about berries is their slow absorption of carbohydrates in your body giving you a more sustained energy. They will also keep your blood sugar stable, so you won’t get that dizziness while cutting weight.
Supplements for weight cutting
First of all, you need to understand that supplements mean “in addition to”. In order for supplements to give you any benefit you need to pay attention to your food and water consumption as explained above.
The very first thing every wrestler needs is a multivitamin. It gives you the micro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you usually get from the macro-nutrients that you get from the food you are eating. When cutting weight, you’re gonna eat less food, not delivering vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Creatine monohydrate is a cell volumizer and it requires a lot of hydration to volumize the muscles. It is great during off-season, but not that beneficial while cutting weight.
When you are not getting enough food, you are not getting the glucose molecules to break down into glycogen that will give you energy. So, the 2 supplements that are recommended to be taken together are glutamine powder and branched chain amino acids. These two together will give you a nice muscle sparing effect and energy advantage.
Whey protein is an optional supplement for weight cutting.
What to eat after weigh in?
You’ve made weight. Now what?
In the process of weight cutting and hard practices, you’ve lost a lot of electrolytes that need to be replaced. Sports performance drinks are too concentrated for the body after the weight cutting phase, so they are best mixed with water. Don’t gulp down the whole glass at once; sip it and make it last for about 10 minutes. After that, just water.
As far as food is concerned, put peanut butter on a banana and eat it piece by piece. Peanut butter will help slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate in the banana and will give you the sustained energy that will last throughout the day.
Bananas are full of potassium which you lost during the dehydration phase of the weight cutting period.
About half an hour later,a simple cliff bar will do. Beyond that, you are good to go.
As you can see, if done right, cutting weight doesn’t need to entail extreme starving and dehydration. we hope you have now learned how to cut weight and we wish you all the best in your competition.