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Cutting weight for a fight

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Hello everyone,

I've signed up for a tournament in 8 weeks and for the first time ever I have to cut weight for the category that I registered in. I'm already pretty small, walking around at about 112 lbs, but I now need to cut to 105.5 lbs. Since there are weigh-ins every day of the tournament, we were told to not rely on water weight cut. It's been a week since I tried losing some weight - i have never had to try to lose weight, it's always been the opposite, trying to put on weight for fights, so i may not be going about it the right way, but I gave up my habit of eating sweets and have been eating fewer meals, while still training 6 times a week, plus regular gym on Sunday, and I haven't lost any weight at all, it would go down 1-2 lbs and then I'd weigh myself the next morning and it's the same weight again. Just cutting back on sugar and eating fewer meals for 1 week is already making me feel light-headed and nauseous, so even though I still have 8 weeks to lose 6.5 lbs, i'm wondering if anyone had any suggestions for "a humane" way of trying to cut weight for a fight when I'm not supposed to rely on water weight cut and what can I do to "kick start" the weight loss as it feels a bit concerning not to lose even 1 lb after 1 week of eating less and exercising hard, while also keeping in mind that I need to try to eat enough to have energy for training/fight.

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I usually start to cut about 5 days out. I begin by reducing carbs and salt, still eating a bit of rice or oats once a day. I will completely cut carbs and salt 2-3 days out, eating mostly green vegies, small amount of fruits (berries) and a bit of protein (nuts, organic peanut butter). I will also continue to train hard until 3 days out, last day of training is a struggle as I have reduced carb intake.

On the day before weigh in, my last meal (last time I did this it was celery with peanut butter) will be around lunchtime and I will only drink when necessary. On the day of weigh in, I will not eat at all and will only have a couple of tiny sips of water early in the day. I lose about 2.5 kilos this way, but I am a few kilos lighter than you so you may lose more.

As you are 8 weeks away, at this stage I would highly recommend eating plenty as I assume you will be gradually training harder as you get closer to your fight. It's fine if you want to cut junk/processed food completely, but eat plenty of complex carbs, proteins, fruit and veg as your body and mind will need it during your fight camp.

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Hey TZ22. Sounds like you have maybe cut back a little too much. 7 weeks out to lose 3kg is definitely doable for most. A wee word of advice is to be careful about cutting out meals - particularly this early on. Absolutely, drop the sweets, sugar and cream in your coffee, alcohol if you drink, watch salt intake too but unless you are eating crazy amounts I wouldn't drop meals - particularly if you are training 6 x week. Listen to your body. You need to fuel it - one of the main reasons people can't lose weight when exercising is because they are not eating enough. If there is not enough fuel going in to the body to come close to the out put of energy your body will go into survival mode, effectively starvation mode. It will work extra hard to hold on to all of it's reserves. 

The basic formula is to ensure your calorie intake is less than your energy spent - however  - it shouldn't be a huge difference - just enough to put you in a deficit that still allows your body to function at a high level and to sustain that deficit for as long as needed. Over time (usually 6 to 12 weeks) your body will re-calibrate it's 'normal' weight. There is truth in the old saying if you lose the weight slowly it will stay off.

My fitness pal or a similar app can help you keep track of your levels so you can stay on track for a sustained cut so you don't need to dehydrate.  

Few tips - make sure you are drinking enough water. If your body is dehydrated it cannot burn fat. It's in survival mode. It's something ridiculous like 1% dehydration leads to a steep decrease in fat burning.

Don't worry so much about a few lbs change on the scales over night or during the day. Water weight fluctuates daily so it's normal to have lost slightly and then regain and vice versa. Weigh yourself once or twice a week on the same scale, in the morning, after using the bathroom and keep a note. You will see the trend. Low salt intake will help with water retention, as will eating refined carbs and simple sugar such as fruit.

In all honesty, I reckon if you eat balanced for 7 weeks, keep hydrated, cut out refined sugar and keep the salt low you will smash the target easily if you are training 6 x week. Don't neglect good sugars - fruit etc - you need them!

Best of luck on it - I am sure you will be grand :)



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I'm a relative newb here, but this is good advice they've posted - very much what my coach advises. For now eat clean and eat enough. The intensity of fight camp may grab a pound or two just by skipping the junky stuff, then the last week work on the carb cut/salt cut, watching your water, etc.

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