You are looking to lose some weight for competition.
Depending on how much you are looking to lose will depend on how long you will realistically have to allow yourself to lose it.
You are not going to lose 20 pounds in a week healthily….
I am aware that some people can do this, but these people have trained their bodies to do this, usually from a young age. Plus also because you can do this and still fight, does not mean that in the long term it is healthy for you. If you want to go into competition feeling good and on weight you are best losing the weight slowly to give your body time to adjust. Here are 5 ways to lose weight and boost your energy.
Eliminate refined carbohydrates. Things like refined sugar and white flour can have a negative effect on the body. Your body struggles to process them. They are very high in calories and because of this will cause insulin spikes and dips. Plus sugary snacks don’t really register with the brain’s “I feel full” centre. So you can eat lots of these calorie dense sugary items and unlike normal food you won’t feel full. I am not saying that you should never eat these items ever again, but if you are trying to lose weight, they should be off your shopping list until after you have made weight.
Do not eat filler foods as part of your meals. Things like potatoes, bread and even rice are just fillers. These are foods that are added to meals to bulk them out and make you feel full at the end. They do not contain much nutritional value and just add un-necessary calories to you meals. By avoiding these filler foods and substituting with sweet potatoes, root vegetables and other leafy green vegetables you will cut down on the empty calories, which will help with weight loss. But also give your body the micro nutrients that is needs. Also by increasing the protein portions you eat you will still get that full feeling, but you will actually feel fuller for longer, as protein is harder for your body to digest. This means you will less likely to snack too. Giving you better control over the calories you are consuming.
Make your vegetables as colourful as possible. This keeps your meal interesting by creating a variation of tastes. Plus it gives your body a variation in the micro nutrients it needs, which can make you feel more energised. By eating more fresh vegetables it provides you with better fuel for your body. Vegetables are carbohydrates which are the fuel for your body. So the type of carbohydrates I eat to fuel my body effects my energy levels. In my head my body is a racing car. OK maybe more of a classic racer, but it still deserves the best fuel, because I want good performance from it. Unfortunately our bodies are not like Doc Brown’s nuclear powered Delorean, that can run on garbage. If I put poor nutritional fuel in I should in turn expect poor performance.
Eat good saturated fats. This may seem contradictory to eat fat when you are trying to lose weight. But medical science is now revisiting the previous “all fat is bad” claims. It is starting to acknowledge that not all saturated fats are bad. Mainly the saturated fats from vegetable sources are the best for you as your body does need fat. Your body uses it to help you absorb various nutrients and it also uses it in the neurological connections throughout your body. Coconut oil, butter from grass fed cows and avocados are couple of good sources of healthy saturated fat. Good saturated fats particularly those found in butter and coconut oil are used by your body as signalling messengers that influence your metabolism. These neurological messages include the appropriate release of insulin.
You also need to make sure you drink enough water. Most of us don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. I aim to drink 2 litres a day minimum and I up this to 3 litres when it’s hot. Dehydration can have a surprising impact on your energy levels. Dehydration that produces losses in excess of 5% of your body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30%. Don’t wait until you actually feel thirsty either, as the thirsty feeling is a sign you are actually starting to dehydrate. Have a bottle of water with you and just drink from it regularly. I use a couple of stainless steel bottles, one for work and one for training and I just keep topping them up. Plus because I know how much they hold I can get a good idea of how much I have drunk through the day.
If you do all of these together you should start losing weight pretty quickly. But be prepared that the weight loss my slow down over the weeks, as the excess fat you were carrying decreases. The less you have to lose the smaller the losses. You have to be realistic if you are 30% body fat you will have something to lose, once you get down to say 15-10% as a guy, you are at a healthy level and your body will be reluctant to lose anymore. The important thing with losing weight is to do it healthily and consider your longevity.