Here is a great article from the Onnit Academy if you have a competition coming up and need to shed a few extra pounds.
Do you have a fight coming up and you need to drop weight? Nutritionist and trainer Lauren Brooks will show you how to quickly shed pounds with this two week fighter diet plan.
I would like to begin by saying that I don’t recommend that anyone should follow this way of eating for more than two weeks. As an athlete, you will not continue to see results with this kind of extreme eating.
These dietary suggestions are mainly for MMA fighters that need to drop 10-15 pounds in order to make weight. I don’t ever suggest that you should wait until the last minute to drop a bunch of weight because it’s not always safe and the weight can easily come right back.
People will, however, try anything, even when they know the dangers. Trust me, I’ve heard it all. Some people have told me that they essentially starved themselves for two weeks, some just drank lemon water with cayenne pepper, while others only ate protein.
All of these can be very dangerous. I would never design a nutrition program like that for anyone because it is not a lifestyle, it’s a temporary way to lose weight that will spare as much muscle as possible.
The reality is, when you go on an extreme diet and lose weight quickly, you will lose muscle along with the fat.
While you are dropping weight quickly, you will need to cut down on your training significantly, otherwise this will not work. When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your training can suffer since you won’t be properly fueled for grueling workouts.
Use this time to train lightly while focusing on the easiest way to shed the weight. Keep in mind that the first few pounds that come off will most likely be water weight; the rest will be fat and some muscle.
For the next two weeks, focus most of your meals on high-quality, lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, or Greek yogurt. Because you need to reduce calories, you will need to go for the lower fat items.
Rather than 3 whole eggs, take out at least 2 of the yolks in order to lower the calorie content. Since MMA fighters, along with most people, live on the go and don’t always have time to cook, protein powders are allowed but should only be used right before or after a workout session.
Stock Up On Lots Of Vegetables
Reaching for the higher fiber content vegetables will allow you to feel fuller and more satisfied for a longer period of time. Always having vegetables on hand is an amazing way to keep your hunger at bay between meals.
For this plan, you will want to make sure that you are not stocking up on the starchy vegetables, but focusing more on eating the highly fibrous ones; i.e. cucumbers, spinach, celery, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and cabbage.
A few other things to keep in mind:
You will want to make sure to eat a small amount of fat. You can take a fish oil or a DHA supplementthroughout this period. In the sample meal plan, I will include some natural, healthy fat sources that won’t hinder your weight loss.
Fat will be the one thing that you really want to measure out on this program. When eating lots of salads, it’s very easy to pile on the oils which can cause weight gain.
It’s important to measure portions throughout your diet.
Water is Also Going to be Essential For You
When reducing your carbohydrates to this low amount, you will lose a lot of water as well as important electrolytes. Drinking clean water on a regular basis is mandatory.
You can add fresh squeezed lemon or just a touch of pink salt to each liter in order to add back the magnesium you are losing. You can add some pink salt (lightly) to your vegetables as well, but not too much.
I am a huge fan of fruit because they contain so many vitamins and minerals. For this particular diet, however, you will not be eating them very often. Fruit will primarily be your sugar source right before and/or after a workout. THAT WILL BE IT!
If you feel that you are going to fall off the wagon and develop a crazy sweet tooth, then I suggest that you eat apples, pears, and bananas as opposed to ice cream or cookies, but remember this is for only two weeks. Suck it up and you will get your reward during or after your event.
Depending on your starting weight and how much you have to lose, you can tailor these ideas so that they fit your specific goals. If you are a very large male, then you may need much more than what I’ve written down here.
On the other hand, if you are a tiny female, then you may need only half as much. Here is a sample day with a scheduled morning workout.
The Fighter Diet Plan
16oz Water with Lemon
Green Protein Smoothie
1-2 cups Spinach, 1 banana, 1 serving of Grass Fed Whey, Sprouted Brown Rice or Pea protein powder, blended with ice and water)
1 teaspoon of Fish Oil taken separately
Organic Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
2 Tbs of Chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Organic Blueberries
Large Green Salad made up of 1 cup Baby Romaine, 1 cup of Spinach, 1 cup of Cabbage topped with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Mushrooms
Protein can be mixed in. 1 Can of Wild River Tuna. Just tossed with vinegar, mustard, green onions and celery.
Dressing for salad can be LIGHTLY tossed with Olive Oil, lemon, and vinegar.
1-2 Red Peppers and 1 Sliced Cucumber
3 Hard Boiled eggs with 1 yolk
1 bunch of Grilled Asparagus and Zucchini lightly tossed in Olive Oil and Himalayan Pink Salt
3-4 oz of Organic Chicken or Turkey grilled, baked, or slow cooked.
1/2 cup Organic Low Sodium black beans topped with Pico De Gallo
Evening Snack (Only if hungry)
2oz of Organic Chicken or Turkey
Sliced cucumbers and celery
Keep in mind that you can get as creative as you’d like with this program. Always remember to drink fresh water throughout the day. If you end up doing a very hard workout while on this diet, then you might want to sip on coconut water.
Stick to the main concept of low starchy carbohydrates, lots of vegetables, and lean proteins, along with some fruit and small amounts of healthy fat, and you will see amazing results. If you do try this program, I’d love to hear how it goes for you.
Good luck and stay focused!