Weight cutting sucks, plain and simple. Trust me, I haven’t picked up these weight cutting tips by just reading them off the internet. I’ve gotten these strategies through trial and error… which was not always the most pleasurable experience.
However, if you are going to succeed in Muay Thai, MMA or any combat sport, chances are you are going to have to do it at some point in your career. Here are the best weight cutting tips I’ve picked up through my fight career:
Before you go through the stress of cutting weight you need to get your mind right. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be fun. Pretty fucking obvious right?
You have to be prepared to make sacrifices in order to make weight whether it’s for Muay Thai, MMA, boxing or wrestling. Prepare to go training sessions feeling fatigued and prepare to have days where you feel like your stomach is eating itself. It’s the nature of the beast. If you plan on pursuing a fight career, you better get used to it!
The most obvious goal is to get to whatever weight you are fighting at. Other than that there are still certain goals you need to set with yourself in order to hold yourself accountable. I personally like to set (and write down) daily training goals and nutrition goals during my weight cut so this way I hold myself accountable.
For instance, once of the most popular goals I find myself writing all the time is: Train your ass off today even though you are only eating 1,500 calories.
This is where a lot of fighters make a huge mistake. If you try to cut 20lbs in a week you will drain your body, stress out your mind and not be fresh stepping into the ring (or cage).
I personally give myself at least 3 weeks to diet and get down to a comfortable weight before I do start cutting my water weight. It can vary though. I know guys who start making bigger cuts 6 weeks out and I’ve made comfortable cuts only 2 weeks out. It’s all dependent on how your body processes the food and reacts to the diet.
You can’t expect to eat healthy and clean without doing the right type of food shopping prior to your weight cut. Write a list of the foods you need for the weight cut (chicken, spinach, dried fruits, nuts etc.) and make sure you have at least a couple days worth, if not a weeks worth in your pantry and fridge.
Get those shitty ass TV dinners out of your weight cutting diet. Hell, they shouldn’t even be a part of your eating habits! Try to eat organic, natural foods as much as possible because it will make a difference in how you train and how you feel. It can be expensive though. But if you have to buy one type of food that is clean and organic, make it the meats!
Planning out your meals is going to make a huge difference to whether or not you will actually get to your goal weight. Chances are if you don’t have a weight cutting plan you will cheat and deviate from your healthy eating habits more often than not. Set a weekly meal plan and stick to it!
Duh. Usually I eat about 5,000 calories a day when I’m not worried about cutting weight. When weight cutting times comes then my calories drop down anywhere from 1,200-1,800 depending on the day and my energy expenditure.
Limit the carbs but don’t take them out completely! Carbohydrates are the main source of energy you need to make it through your workouts and without them you will feel like complete shit. That being said you can’t be eating as many pastas, grains and breads as you normally would, especially at night. For breakfast and lunch by all means have a slice of bread or an apple, but when it comes to dinner time, try your best not to eat almost any carbs.
You are disciplined in your training so you bet your ass you can be disciplined with your weight cutting diet. Stay focused, stay determined and keep your end goal in mind.
Ok, I guess you can cheat now and again, but don’t go overboard! If you’re weight it looking on target and you feel like having a cheat meal then go ahead and have one. Don’t make it anything HUGE and still make sure it’s portioned. Also try to have it before a workout so this way you can still burn it off!
Another obvious weight cutting tip but it needs to be said. Even though you don’t have as much food in your body you still need to stay focused and push yourself during training. Don’t be a pussy. This is where your mental strength and toughness comes into play.
Just like you practice throwing head kicks you need to practice your weight cutting diet too. When you don’t have a fight planned it doesn’t mean you should be eating like shit and completely disregard what you put into your body. You should take a week or 2 (or more) to practice a weight cutting diet to see how you feel, how much your weight drops and what kind of foods work best for you.
This weight cutting tip goes for cutting water weight too. Practice that shit! I know it’s not fun, but it’s a lot less fun putting on a sweat suit after weighing in a couple pounds over and having to run on a treadmill to sweat it off while everyone else is drinking and eating… worst feeling ever.
The tough part is done and now you have to resupply your body with the liquids and nutrients it needs. Don’t just go shoving food down your throat because your body won’t be able to process it. First thing you should do is drink tons of liquids (coconut water, pedialyte, smart water etc.) and then start munching on small snacks for an hour or two. After your stomach settles from the snacks, you can have a nice, filling dinner. My favorite is usually a sweet potato, chicken, spinach and some brown rice.
Probably the most important weight cutting tip in my opinion!
Win lose or draw you went through hell to make weight and had the balls to step into the ring. Do yourself a favor and reward yourself! Eat a huge steak, go to an all you can eat buffet, order some wings… I usually go through a package of Oreos.
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