What’s the deal?…You have done everything your buddies at the gym told you to do, yet you’re still not cutting weight.
You’ve been cutting for 4 weeks, the first 3 weeks the weight flew off and now 5 days before weigh in, the weight loss has come to a screeching halt. You feel like dog poo and have no idea how you could lose the remaining weight. You start to panic.
And now you’re stressing out and wasting valuable energy….
I know some of you have been there.
Well, I get coaching clients and fighters complaining about this all the time. The stress of weight cutting its self can have an adverse effect of your hormones causing your body to hold onto fat and water, rather than shedding it.
In this post I want to help you guys by giving you 10 big reasons you’re not getting making weight.
10. YOU’RE NOT CUTTING ENOUGH CALORIES
We measure energy as calories. The balance of energy in – energy out is directly related to body weight. If the energy balance is in surplus you will gain weight. If neutral your body will stay the same. So to start losing weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Depending on your current body fat %, you may need to be more or less aggressive with this deficit.
9. YOU’RE CUTTING CALORIES WAY TOO LOW
As with not cutting calories ENOUGH, cutting your calories too low can cause your weight loss to slow or even stop. After around 14 days in this state your body will be in “starving mode” and begin to slow or shut down non survival functions including reproductive functions, metabolic functions and brain functions in order to survive. Obviously all of this will cause you some bother dropping further weight and not to mention prevent an optimal recovery.
8. YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Protein it is the main influence of your metabolic rate so without adequate supply the body cannot product enzymes and important hormones like leptin, insulin and glucagon which can affect how you control body fat. When on a low calorie – low carbohydrate diet its also important to have a good steady supply of protein to retain muscle mass. You should always aim to consume around 0.75-1g of protein per 1lbs of body weight.
7. YOU’RE NOT CUTTING CARBS ENOUGH
Each person has a different tolerance to carbohydrates. Some people can lose weight even with a high carb intake while others put on weight by just looking at a potato. But generally speaking if you’re not cutting carbohydrates enough you’re likely to not make weight. If you’re training right, most people will begin to lose weight at 90-100g of carbohydrates per day (provided they are in a calorie deficit). For accelerated water weight loss, in the final week before weigh in drop it to 50g per day.
6. YOU’RE COMPLETELY CUTTING OUT CARBS
Although the body can function in the face of little carbs, I find that there is little benefit for combat athletes to go lower than 50g per day. However doing so can negatively affect your ability to properly rest and recover. Your muscles can continue to function with little to no glycogen; your brain and liver however need a constant supply of carbohydrates to function.
5. YOU CUT SALT AND LOST WATER WEIGHT TOO EARLY
ONLY in the last week before weigh in should you be cutting salt, and sweating out water. Most guys don’t know the difference between fat loss and water weight. If your cutting salt in the first week of the cut, and check their weight after each training session you’re just fooling yourself. You’ve lost water too early and performance losses WILL occur. These negative side effects (headaches, muscle cramps) will increase as the weeks go on.
]4. YOU’RE STRESSED AND OVER TRAINED
If you’ve been listening to CT Fletcher you might think that over training is a myth. But the reality is that’s nonsense. Athletes usually have a high potential to have low immune system and high cortisol levels due to stress and over training. This can cause your fat loss to slow or even stop. The best way to lose weight is nice and relaxed with a solid plan.
3. YOU’RE NOT GETTING ADEQUATE REST
Studies have shown a direct link between body fat and sleep. If you consistently don’t get enough sleep, especially during a cutting phase it can hinder fat loss. There is evidence showing that even a reduction in sleep of 2-3 hours can interfere with growth hormone and testosterone production, insulin resistance, and can even make you feel hungrier. The ideal range is 7-8 hours per night.
2. YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH SLOW CARDIO
Running up to 10kms per day is the Muay Thai fighter’s traditional way of getting fit. The problem with this is that the pace of cardio is usually slow and this doesn’t do anything for fat loss. It can have the opposite effect as the stress on your body increases the fat storing hormone cortisol. Running is essential to a fighter but when you’re trying to lose weight, the best cardio for fat loss are long hard sprints.
1. YOU STARTED CUTTING TOO LATE
Weather you got called up late notice or you underestimated how fast your body would lose weight, starting to cut late is the number one reason you can’t make weight. Even if you do make weight the chances of you recovering 100% is not good. Give yourself at least 8 weeks to cut maximum fat, and then cut the rest of the weight in the last week by using rapid water loss techniques.
BONUS. YOU’RE NOT FOLLOWING THE LEAN PERFORMANCE DIET
Making weight is an essential part of combat sports. Although many disagree with it and think it’s not safe or fair, until they come up with a way to stop people doing it coaches and athletes need to develop ways of getting on weight safely, efficiently, without zapping performance.