7 Tips on Cutting Weight, Fueling Up and Getting Lean For Your Next Fight
by Corey Beasley
"Coach, I need to make weight. What should I do?"
You need to eat better, quality foods.
Sorry, there is no super supplement, no shortcut, no easy way out.
I've seen guys try diets, starve, sweat, take handfuls of supplements and more...but the fact is that very few fighters really understand the basic rules of nutrition.
Nobody wants to hear it, but eating quality food is how you cut weight, perform at your best and drop body fat.
Listen, I am no nutritionist or diet expert, but below are 7 simple mma nutrition tips that may help you get on track with your eating habits. They aren't rocket science or super complicated. Just simple tips that may help you make some better choices in your life.
7 Tips to Help You Eat Better Foods, Fuel Your Body and Perform at Your Best
1. Prepare For The Week
We are all busy and the last thing we need to think about during a busy day, is what we need to eat. Reacting when you are hungry almost always leads to failure. We are busy, have no time and just pick up something quick and easy. This usually means low quality, fast food or something similar that is less than ideal. If you want to perform at your best, drop bodyfat and have more energy, then you have to prepare for the week. This includes grocery shopping, cooking a few meals, preparing snacks, organizing your meals, and making sure that you are prepared for the upcoming week. The biggest excuse I hear is that people don't know how to cook or that they dont have time, but I call BS on that one. If you want to win fights, good nutrition is not an option, its a necessity. Grow up, make it a priority and get it done.
2. Surround Yourself With Good Food
Once you prepare for the week, it is essential to keep good food with you at all times. Get a cooler and pack it with water, meals, snacks, vitamins and other goodies that you are going to need throughout the day. This may take some getting used to, but once you develop this habit and apply it, you are going to notice some positive changes. Give yourself a chance to succeed and keep good food at your disposal all day.
3. Get The Bad Stuff Out of The House
We are all weak and if there is bad food in the house, YOU WILL EAT IT. Go through your pantry and get rid of all the BS. Chips, crackers, cookies, ice cream, candy, soda, packaged meals, frozen dinners and other processed crap needs to be thrown away. This stuff may keep you alive, but it is not food. If you want to perform at your best and beat the competition, then you must become more disciplined than your competition. Clean out the crap and eliminate the distraction and temptation.
4. Keep a Food Log
If I asked all of you if you eat well, almost all of you would reply, "I eat pretty good." All of us are guilty of just eating whatever is available and thinking that we are doing ok, and for the most part we probably are. But the truth of the matter is that America, and the rest of the world, have some of the worst eating habits ever recorded. Obesity and disease is at an all time high and if you want to perform as an athlete, then you must get on top of your eating habits. The most effective way to track your eating habits is to write them down. Keeping a simple food log of what you eat and when, helps us become conscious of our true habits. Everyone that I have keeping logs is blown away by how it helps them stay on track and improve their eating habits. Keep it simple: what you eat and when for 2 weeks.
5. If God Made It , Eat It
These days, there is a new diet book coming out every week. Are carbs bad or good? Should I eat fat or not? Should I eat meat or go vegetarian? In all honesty, I can understand why so many people are confused on what to eat. So I try to keep things simple. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is the most simple way to determine if you should eat certain foods. "If God made it, eat it." The more we touch it, alter it, package it up and market it, RUN! Water, vegetables, herbs, roots, nuts, seeds, Organic meats, fruits, and other naturally occurring plants and animals are good for us. Sodas, candies, fast foods, and other tasty treats are destroying people's health right before our eyes. While I understand that this may be a big change for most of you, I believe it is a necessary one, if you want to become elite.
6. Drink More Water
On the days that I drink enough water, I have less aches and pains, more energy and get more done. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen every day. Most of us wake up, drink caffeine all day, switch to sugar and finish with alcohol. This cycle leaves us dehydrated and our body struggling to perform daily tasks. My recommendation is to keep water with you at all times and sip on it throughout the day. Doing this will help increase your energy, speed recovery and increase your performance during training.
7. Give Yourself a Break
Just like training, we all need a break. I recommend having one or two cheat meals every week, depending on your goals and the time that you have before your fight. Having some extra carbs or some good old fashioned comfort food is good for the body and mind. Once a week, go enjoy yourself, but realize that it is a once in awhile thing. Go out with friends, have a bbq, go on a date, etc...Enjoy.
The majority of us have become spoiled and distracted by all of the edible treats, sugary snacks and convenient foods. If you want to perform at a high level, then you need to develop eating habits to match. Switching from processed foods to more natural foods can be a big change, but it is worth it. Hopefully the tips above will steer you in the right direction and help you develop better habits moving forward.
*This is just the beginning of our nutrition topics on Fight Camp Conditioning and I am sure that you have a ton of questions.
Feel free to leave comments and questions below and we will continue to address these topics over the next few months.