Tip No. # 1: eat the right amount of protein
The muscles in your body are where the energy you get from your food goes. They are what moves you on the fighting mat and allow you to do the physical things that you do; Your muscular system is where your metabolism lives. On a low calorie diet (when losing weight), the body is forced to rely on energy reserves because it no longer fuels it with enough gas to consume. This comes in the form of body fat and glycogen (stored carbohydrates / sugar) in muscle cells. When glycogen is depleted, the body turns to body fat and then protein to burn for energy. Because muscles are made of protein, if you don’t get enough protein in your diet when you lose weight, your body will activate its own muscle tissue for fuel. Not only will this weaken you and perform poorly on the mat, but it will also cause a kind of temporary damage to your metabolism.
This is why eating protein while losing weight is very important, but it is not the end of the story; you must eat the correct amount to be effective. This is calculated by a simple body fat test that will not only indicate your body fat percentage, but also your lean body mass. To avoid losing muscle on a low calorie diet, you should eat at least the same amount of protein (in grams) as your calculated lean body mass. Given the excessive amount of exercise that wrestlers do on a daily basis during training, you should also add 10-15 grams of protein (in addition to your lean body mass number) to help you recover and avoid overtraining. For example, at 145 lb. wrestler who has a lean body mass measurement of 138 pounds. you should eat between 150-160 grams of protein per day. Once you have established your protein requirement per day, monitor your weight loss by manipulating the amount of carbohydrates you consume per day.
Tip No. # 2: Load Your Calories On The Starting End
The best way to reduce body weight and keep performance levels high is to reduce body fat and water weight, while maintaining muscle mass. After you’ve established the correct amount of protein to eat, the best way to do this is to reduce dietary fat to a minimum and choose only clean, natural carbohydrates as your main source of calories. Most of your carbohydrates should be starches like rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal first with breads and pasta as secondary options. Mix fibrous carbohydrates, such as green leafy vegetables, with the starches you eat in as many meals as possible. In addition to breakfast, eat 1-2 servings of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or green beans with every meal. Note that corn, peas, and beans can be eaten, but are treated as starches and should not be counted as fibrous vegetables when trying to lose weight. Fruits can be eaten, but if your goal is to lose body fat, fruit should be eaten in limited amounts during the first part of the day.
For the best and easiest weight loss, stagger your calories from highest to lowest starting in the early part of the day. In other words, breakfast is the largest meal of the day, the second meal is the next largest, the third meal is even smaller, and the fourth and fifth (if you eat that amount) only consist of protein and vegetables. By staggering your calories in this way, your body becomes an extremely efficient machine. After a couple of days of eating like this, you’ll be hungrier and hungrier at night and absolutely hungry for breakfast, which works well as it’s your biggest meal of the day. Eating all the starches in the first half of the day will fill the body with enough fuel for after-school training sessions. Eating the fewest calories at night will leave your stomach empty before bed, before the 8-plus hour fast that your body goes through when you sleep.
Tip No. 3: water load
Water is an essential nutrient for every fighter. If you even get a little dehydrated, performance suffers. As much as wrestlers sweat in practice, they must constantly force water to avoid dehydration. Moving water from the body is also an essential part of reducing weight, since what is mainly lost is the weight of the water. If you drink too little water and the body is almost dehydrated, it will try to retain the water it has instead of losing it. Conversely, if you constantly increase the amount of water you drink over a short period of time, urination will also increase to pass the water. This is the principle used in a method called water loading. Water loading is simply loading drinking water 3-4 days prior to weighing and then shutting off just prior to weighing. Water loading is an effective natural diuretic method, however it should be done in moderation. The amount of water you accumulate depends on the size of the athlete, however, trying to drink 3-4 gallons of water in a day is NOT a smart practice and can lead to injury. Most athletes get the best effect by accumulating 1-2 gallons in a day.
Is that how it works. If you weigh yourself on Friday at 4 pm, start your water load on Tuesday. On Tuesday, start increasing the amount of water you drink to get at least ¾ to 1 gallon during the day. On Wednesday, try to drink more than a gallon of water. On Thursday, try to drink more than a gallon of water until your last meal of the day. After your last meal on Thursday and until the weigh-in on Friday, restrict your water intake to just sips when needed. By dramatically increasing the amount of water you drink, this acts as a natural diuretic and the body will begin to urinate much more frequently. After the water restriction on Thursday night, the body will continue to urinate as it has for the entire week, effectively dropping several pounds of water weight until it is weighed down. After weighing, drink at least more than 16 oz. to replace what was lost by this process. As you drink this amount of water throughout the week, you will notice that you will also lose more water weight during practices. This method is safe and easy to do and also ensures that you will not be close to dehydration.