How To Cut Weight For Wrestling – The Safe Way
If you are a wrestler, weight can be a big issue, especially right before a match.
Many wrestlers resort to drastic measures in the bid to cut weight. But just what is the correct way to cut weight before a match?
That’s what I intend to tell you all about in this article. I will give you practical tips you can keep in mind when you are trying to cut weight fast to qualify for your impending match.
Okay, let’s do this.
Why Wrestlers Often Have to Cut Weight
Cutting weight is a complex issue when it comes to wrestling or other martial arts competitions. Unlike with regular weight loss programs, the main thing is not just to cut weight.
You are trying to cut weight to qualify for the fight. But you don’t want to lose much of your muscle mass and strength; otherwise, your opponent will have the advantage. Cutting weight, as such, is an art. It requires finesse.
Wrestlers often wait until the last minute to cut weight, and so they find themselves faced with the prospect of cutting a lot of weight when the match is close at hand.
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to cut weight. Unfortunately, the unhealthy ones are highly popular because they guarantee fast results. But such tactics can affect your health. So first I will tell you what you shouldn’t do.
A Few Things You Should Not Do When Trying To Cut Weight
- Don’t starve yourself as that will only result in malnutrition, dehydration, and body chemistry imbalances, with symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue and so forth. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.
- Don’t drastically/excessively reduce your water intake. You will dehydrate yourself, which will compromise your health as well as your performance.
- Don’t substitute your meals with protein shakes.
- Avoid those sweating techniques that are so popular, such as using the sauna and so forth. The overheating will dehydrate you.
- Beware of weight loss supplements. Their side effects are usually hazy. Talk to a healthcare provider before you try any of them.
- Beware of high fat-low carbohydrate diets. Sure they seem to be helping some people lose weight, but that drop in carbs will reduce your energy in the ring or at practice. And there is the risk of an increase in cholesterol levels because of the high rise in protein intake required to make up the calorie count.
What You Should Do Instead
- Start on your diet weeks ahead of the match. The recommended weight loss rate is 2 to 3 pounds a week. Calculate how much weight you need to lose, and plan your program accordingly. Excessive weight loss will harm both your health and your performance.
- Hydrate. Drink water, lots of it. What you should avoid, though, is caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda, or any diuretics for that matter. They make you lose a lot of water in urination. You don’t want to dehydrate during the match.
- Cut on your fat intake, so eat low-fat foods. The idea is to trim the fat, but still maintain a reasonable calorie intake, since you don’t want to lose energy in the process. Keep in mind that you don’t want to exceed a 2 to 3-pound weight drop per week. Losing more than that will result in malnutrition, dehydration, and imbalances in your body chemistry.
- Eat high-carb breakfasts. This will give you energy for your practice sessions and workouts. Approximately 685 calories for breakfast.
- Eat a balanced lunch, with fruits and vegetables being part of the meal. Approximately 600 calories for your lunch.
- Consume a full dinner. Approximately 570 calories for dinner. You want a dinner which will you help rebuild muscle (after the practice or matches of the day).
- Thirty minutes or so before practice or a meet, take a snack of between 100 and 200 calories. This is for muscle growth and repair. It should be a combination of carbs, protein, and fat. For instance, a cup of unsweetened cereal with low-fat milk and a few crackers.
Live by these instructions, and you will have a naturally progressing weight loss program. Consult your doctor or nutritionist for advice more relevant to your body’s unique needs.
And beware of the drastic weight loss techniques practiced in the wrestling world. They do work, sure, but they can be dangerous to your health, while also affecting your performance.
It’s best to understand your body and plan for your weight loss in advance.