Cutting weight for MMA fighters

MMA dietFor most of today’s MMA fighters, cutting weight plays a huge part in the strategy of fighting in certain weight divisions. You see considerable size differential between fighters all the time and you usually wonder if the two fighters should even be in the same weight class.

Truth be told fighters are usually walking around 20-30 lbs. above the allocated weight class and will cut all that weight for the day of weigh-ins and re-hydrate to put all the weight back on before they step inside the octagon.

Some may say that it is unbelievable that anyone can possibly lose that much weight in such a short period of time. But it is very possible and happens all the time. All it takes is dedication the right diet and the will power to stay away from all the things you love to usually eat or indulge in.

I will now explain the process which you need to follow to safely cut weight leading up to an upcoming MMA fight.

Diet

Diet is the most important factor in losing weight in all aspects but especially for an MMA weight cut. You have to put the right foods in your body as well as fuel it enough to last through the grueling training sessions you will have to face.

4 weeks out from the fight is sufficient enough time to alter your diet specifically so that you can get the body used to consuming less of what you are used to. A considerable cut of processed carbohydrates will be a huge factor in the weight cut as carbs are usually what will tack on the weight.

Sugars, as well, will have to be eliminated from the diet this is another factor that deters weight loss and if you can keep a lock on the sweet tooth it will really help during the weight cut.

Here is an example of what to eat on a daily basis:

 

Breakfast:

Hard-boiled eggs

Avocado

Oatmeal

Unsalted Nuts

Protein Shake

Lunch:

Turkey

Chicken

Steak

Salmon

Tuna

Vegetables (all)

Protein Shake

Nuts

Use large cabbage leaves as wraps for protein wraps to help with lack of breads etc.

Dinner:

Boiled/Grilled Vegetables

Sweet Potato

Steak

Chicken

Fish (all sorts)

Salmon

Tuna

The aim of this diet is to eat as clean and plain as possible. No sauces or condiments as they will have most of the sodium which will keep the body retaining water. It wont be the most desirable but will be very effective and will only have to be for 3-4 weeks so really it isn’t that bad.

The diet kept with hard training sessions daily the weight will start to shed off quite quickly. You must remember to drink a lot of water for the first 3 weeks to make sure your body is fully hydrated through the intense trainings you are putting your body through.

In terms of supplementation, you should be taking a scoop of Natural Green Whole foods daily to upkeep the homeostasis in your body. The best one on the market right now used by MMA Athletes is MyLifeForce Balance Greens.

The Final Week

The final week leading up to the fight will be very important with how much water you are consuming obviously during that week the training load will have come off quite a significant amount so you can really focus on the weight cut. Below is the routine needed for water consumption the week of the weigh in.

Sunday – 2 gallons
Monday – 1 gallon
Tuesday – 1 gallon
Wednesday – .5 gallons
Thursday – .25 gallons
Friday – No water till after weigh-in at 5PM.

Now that you are following the fluid intake for the week the last final couple of days will start to be uncomfortable but you are so close to the weigh in that all of the work will finally pay off. For the last 48 hours you will want to start visiting a sauna so you can really sweat out the last couple ok pounds you have remaining. The sauna can be quite uncomfortable so look to aim for 15-minute intervals until you feel you cannot sweat anymore.

The night before the weigh in you will want to not eat or drink anything. Also that morning do not eat or drink anything. It wont be the best feeling in the world but you are only hours away from refueling and rehydrating everything back into your body that you so dearly miss.

Rehydration/Refueling

As soon as you are finished with the weigh in and all is complete, you should drink as much as you can and as soon as possible. Remember, hydration is key so try to drink as much fluid as possible in order to rehydrate your body and muscles. Drink coconut water and make sure to sip water through out the day. You will be aiming to drink between 9 to 11 liters in the time remaining before the fight and this alone will be 20-25 lbs. in weight in water. In addition, the lack of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes is going to be an issue; therefore, you need to prepare a good electrolyte drink every 2 hours after the weigh-ins.

Food will also be something you will need to consume and remember your stomach will have shrunk from the limited food you have been eating so I suggest you eat smaller portion meals every hour through out the day and a bigger meal at dinner. You can bring the carbs back but recommend sticking to healthy foot and not junk food. You can have potatoes and bread back in the diet along with cheese etc. So just don’t wild out on everything but eat enough to feel full and restored.

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