Weight Cutting

This is something that I wrote up when I was at Stanford.  It was something for a guy on our team who was struggling keeping his weight down over the course of the season.  I found that, like wrestling, weight cutting is mostly mental, and so having a good attitude about it makes it a lot easier.  Here are some things that helped me.  There are plenty of physical things that you can do and I leave most of that to nutritionists and people with more experience.  I included a few tricks, but mostly they are mental tips.

 

MENTAL

Forget about worrying about making weight.  You are going to make weight, so stop stressing about making it because you can't control it.  It is going to happen.  What you can control is how much work its going to take, and that isn't a stress, that's an 'ugh, that is going to suck' type response….

First thought of the day should never be, I have to make weight today…..it should always be I GET TO WRESTLE TODAY.  If you think about weight cutting, then you are wasting time you should be thinking about wrestling and the more you think about wrestling, the better you are going to do.  If you think about weight cutting all the time, the highlight of the competition will be making weight and you will be hitting the emotional low that follows a high just about the time you need to start competing.  Weight cutting is the price you have to pay in order to compete, and competing is fun….Keep perspective that it is ALWAYS better to compete than to sit out.

Decide before the night begins how much you are going to eat.  Write it down.  Get it all together in front of you.  It takes all the pressure off and reduces guilt when you are eating when you can look forward to something because you decided to eat it a long time ago.

At dinner, get your meal and cut it in half….Eat half now and save the rest….you can look forward to it and you won't snack or binge eat if you know that there is more food waiting for you….

Get a workout partner.  Not somebody who will push you.  Somebody to keep you company when you jog extra at night or ride a bike for 20 minutes, anything to spike your metabolism.  Or add 10 minutes of biking to every morning workout, 10 min before the lift to warm-up and 10 min after the lift to cool down.  Or jog to morning workout.

The key is to incorporate little things into your everyday life all the time that don't add stress and help you lose weight.

If you want something, eat it and do not feel guilty.  Surprisingly, this causes you to eat less because there is no more compulsive eating.  In order to do this, you then have to go for a jog and lose the weight to give yourself the confidence to not feel guilty.

 

PHYSICAL

Its way too simple:  Calories IN = Calories OUT….unfortunately, if you restrict calories in, then your body slows down and you lose calories out so you end up not losing weight over a long time.  However, even when you are cutting calories, you can trick your body by keeping your body running at a high pace (high metabolism = high calories out) by spreading out your meals and your workouts, both of which serves to spike your metabolism.

Drink plenty of water.  Often after practice you stop drinking before you are actually rehydrated.  Then at your meal, you will be hungrier because your body is still thirsty.  So drink plenty of fluids (water is probably best) after a workout even after you stop being thirsty.  Also drink plenty before you eat and right when you wake up.  I start every day with at least one full glass.  Since you haven't had any fluids all night, your body is dehydrated waking up and it will jump start your body and make you feel much better.

One trick I used to do is when I was cutting weight I would take a sip of water as I was cutting.  Have you ever noticed that right after you weigh in and start drinking water, you start sweating again?  Well, on my last few pounds, I would take a sip of water and I think it made me sweat easier, and I never took enough that it would add much weight (probably less than .1 lbs).  Wetting your throat also makes you feel so much better.

Another thing is that right after you weigh in, even though cold water tastes great, room temperature water is probably better for you.  I used to get the chills if I drank ice water, and then I had a hard time warming up before my match.