Weight Cutting Diet Tips For MMA Fighters

Why Are Fighters Cutting Weight?

weigh-in scale for weight cutting diet and the mma fighter

So what's the big deal? Why should I have a weight cutting diet?

The answer is simple; To gain a physical (and mental) advantage on your opponent before stepping into the ring or cage.

Think about it.

Have you ever watched a fight where one fighter would look far bigger and more diesel than their opponent even though the fighters are in the same weight class? Well that’s because these MMA fighters have mastered the art of cutting weight for competition and know how advantageous it can be when cutting weight the right way!

Don’t get me wrong, it is NOT FUN to cut water weight and restrict your food intake when you have a fight coming up - however if you want to be the best fighter you can be and ultimately be successful, you have to learn how to cut to a lower weight class.

When you go to weigh-in it’s usually the day before the fight. This will give you about a day or so to refuel your body with the proper foods and nutrients it needs to be ready when you throw down in the cage.

Want To Weigh-In Without Worrying About Not Making Weight?

I know I do. Otherwise it’s just another thing on my mind that can distract me from keeping my mind calm and clear before my fight.

There are plenty of ways for cutting weight (some better than others) but ultimately just like anything, it will take time, practice and experience to really get a hold of how your body reacts to cutting weight and what the best methods are to lose water weight.

Cutting Weight For Competition Tips and Techniques

Losing Water Weight By Restricting Fluids

restricting water to lose water weight for your MMA fight is important

Cutting water weight is one of the most efficient and easy ways for cutting the excess pounds before your fight weigh-in, so it should definitely be apart of your weight cutting diet.

Your body is constantly losing fluid with all your bodily functions (breathing, sweating, urination etc.). If you perform this method you can expect to lose water weight like it’s nothing! You can lose anywhere between 3-7 pounds depending on how your body reacts to the fluid deprivation and it really takes minimal effort to complete.

The great thing about this part of the weight cutting diet is that you only really have to do it a day or so before you weigh-in! You mouth will get dry, you will feel thirsty, but it’s only a day of suffering before you can pound a gallon of water back into your body and feel hydrated again!

A good way to maximize the effects of fluid restriction is to drink around 2 gallons of water a day for the few days before the fight and gradually drinking less and less until you completely cut out all fluids. Try this weight cutting method to lose water weight:

For anywhere between 3-6 days before the weigh-in drink 2 gallons, then 1-3 days before weigh-ins cut it down so you only drink about 1 gallon... and finally the last 24 hours drink nothing! Cutting water weight with this cutting weight method is bound to shed a few extra pounds to get right on weight for your weigh-in.

Sauna Cutting Weight - Losing Water Weight By Sweating

Sauna cutting weight for the MMA fighter to lose water weight and make the weigh-in

Sweating is another cutting weight method that is relatively easy and shouldn’t take too much effort if your doing it the right way. Depending on your body you can expect to lose a decent amount of water weight, maybe between 5-10 pounds.

Now if your set up for a fight, chances are your training for it (I hope) and you will be sweating constantly whether your hitting the heavy bag, grappling against the cage or lifting weights. To take the weight cutting up a notch try wearing, a hayabusa hoodie, UFC rashguards , under armour, a sweat suit, and other heavy articles of clothing to get every last drop of sweat out of your body.

Losing water weight can also by done by throwing yourself into a sauna. In the sauna cutting weight is pretty easy... you just sit there and sweat profusely. If you want to take it to the next level you can also wear a sweat suit, do simple exercises (jumping jacks, pushups etc.) to get every bit of water weight you can off your body.

Just keep in mind this weight cutting method CAN BE DANGEROUS if your not keeping track of your vital signs. Be aware of how much strain your putting on your body and how much dehydration you can take before you start to feel a little uneasy or sick. Do not overheat and push yourself past your limit just to lose 1 extra pound.

Shit That Shit Out!

Using laxatives and emptying your bowels is another weight cutting technique that takes almost zero effort and will not hurt your performance (if you do it right).

Now your weight cutting diet should have you already be restricting your body of a decent amount of food by eating less and healthier, therefore emptying the excess material in your body could help you lose about another 5 pounds.

The key is to use a gentle, natural laxative that will clear your bowels of all the material that is in your guts and intestines. There are other laxatives that can really mess you up, so I’d recommend going the natural way if at all possible.

Also keep in mind that this should be one of your last resorts if you feel like you will not make weight, and it should only be done the day before you weigh-in.

Eating Right For Your Weight Cutting Diet

In a perfect world you will have a set amount of time (about 4 weeks or so) to start your weight cutting diet so your able to do it the healthy, less stressful, right way.

You realistically want to start your weight cutting diet a few weeks ahead of time by eating:

  • Less calories
  • High protien/low fat foods
  • Low sodium/sugar foods
  • A few complex carbohydrates (for energy while training)

If you start fasting and restricting your body of all the nutrients it needs, TRAINING WILL BE HELL... and so will your social life to. I don’t know about you, but I’m like a baby when I’m hungry (cranky, whiney and overall just a little bitch) so I make sure I’m taking enough food in where I’m still able to train hard and not make people at work or home want to kill me.

What To Do After You Weigh-In

Most people just ram a bunch of foods and fluids into their system right after they weigh-in... yea... DON'T DO THAT!

If you stuff your mouth with a huge meal you’ll end up feeling bloated and sick - not to mention your body won’t even be able to digest the food properly since your overloading it.

What you should do after you jump off the scale is feed your body small meals in 30 minute intervals so your gradually giving your body the proper nutrients it needs to recover and gain all the weight back you just worked so hard to lose. Small meals will help clear your digestive system and eventually allow you to eat bigger and bigger meals.

Now it is imperative that you take in carbohydrates! Without carbohydrates to stabilize your blood sugar levels, your energy levels will suffer and chances are you might not be ready for your fight. Just make sure your staying with foods that your body is already used to and not confusing it by switching up your normal weight cutting diet to a all chinese food diet... it’s just not a good idea.

The most important thing is to refill your body with fluids. Immediately after you weigh-in you should be constantly drinking at normal intervals. You should be drinking so much that when you urinate your stream should look like water and be transparent and clear... this can take a few gallons of water to get the job done.

You might not feel thirsty after you drink a gallon or two, but don’t let that stop you from filling your body with fluids. Just keep drinking little by little until your see that clear pee!

kenny florian weigh-in cutting weight diet

Final Thoughts - Weight Cutting Diet and Tips

Like I stated earlier on, this has to be practiced and perfected. You can’t expect to have a flawless weight cut the first few times you do it... it takes experience, discipline and knowing how your body reacts to certain weight cutting techniques.

There is an art form to cutting weight, and the best MMA fighters and athletes are well aware of this. Just look at Kenny Florian - he fought on the Ultimate Fighter at 185lbs... now he’s in the 145lbs weight class and ripping it up!

If you want to take MMA, fighting, or any combat sport seriously, you need to cut weight the right way!

Weight Cutting Diet to Healthy Eating Guidelines

Weight Cutting Diet to MMA Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Site Sponsorship Policy
Become a Site Sponsor!

Become A Fighter!

Follow My Fight Blog And Improve Your Training Along With Me!

friday night fights right hand punch

Get training tips, motivation, MMA highlights and more!! Sign up for 'The Fighter's Bible' monthly MMA Ezine!

The 3 BEST MMA Conditioning Courses for becoming a monster in the cage!

Check out MMA Equipment Reviews for the best training equipment!