How To Cut Weight Fast In Boxing? Competition Preparation

There are so many ways to cut weight quickly that sometimes it’s just confusing and it becomes unclear how and what to do. Losing weight can be both easy and difficult – it all depends on your approach. You need to consider a lot of things to lose weight before a competition or boxing match.

So how to cut weight fast in boxing? In general, you may need to do diets like a slag-free diet or a low-carbohydrate diet. In addition, the boxer can go to a sauna or starve himself. In some cases, boxers even use diuretics to lose weight fast. However, sometimes it will be better for you to just move to a different weight class to avoid big body stress during weight cuts.

This article provides a brief overview of various popular methods and the ideas on which these methods are based. This article is not about exactly what to do, it is just a description of these methods.

IMPORTANT!!! I also want to warn you that fast weight loss can be dangerous to your health in some cases. So before you use one of these methods, you should consult your doctor first.

Why Does Anyone Need To Cut Weight Before A Competition

Many martial artists are not in their weight class. This means that during the fight they can weigh more than the rules allow. Most often weigh-ins take place no later than a day before the fight. So many fighters lose weight during the week to get to the necessary limits. Then in the remaining time before the fight, they regain their weight.

Already during the fight, an athlete becomes more powerful than his opponent, which gives him an advantage. If we take the fact that some fighters lose up to 45 lbs, it can be a great advantage. It is important to remember that such tricks have a significant impact on a fighter’s health.

Weight-Loss Diets Before A Fight

Many people are convinced that it is important to go on a diet before a match. To burn off the last remnants of fat, to get closer to a state where the weight will consist only of muscle mass. To do this, usually fighters use a low-carbohydrate diet with a protein dinner or no dinner at all.

To lose weight, you must burn more calories than your body receives. Many studies show that eating three meals a day slows your metabolism. But if you eat 6 meals a day in small portions, your metabolism will always be fast. This will result in faster calorie burning during the day.

Depending on how much weight you need to lose, you may even have to start a diet 6 weeks before the competition. Many people say that the diet is the hardest competitor in sports. Losing weight and dieting requires discipline and constant self-control.

Also, cooking can be very depressing because you have to keep track of what you can and can’t eat. But you need still to eat enough to keep from losing your body strength or getting sick.

Low-Carbohydrate Diets For Weight Loss

Low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss before competitions are very popular. There are many different types, but they are all similar. Some allow you to eat carbs for breakfast and lunch, but eliminate them after 2 pm, and have only proteins for dinner. Others exclude dinner completely.

When it comes to diets, there’s a very important rule: If your weight is going down, don’t change your diet. Change it only if the weight loss stops. Before you go on a diet, consult a professional or check the information in detail yourself to make sure you’re doing it right.

In my experience, I have found that on a low-carbohydrate diet I only start losing weight after two weeks. Without knowing it, I worked out like crazy for two weeks. Then since I wasn’t losing weight at all, I made my diet harder and harder. But eventually, I had a loss of energy and got something like a cold.

Make sure you know your body. Everyone’s body is different, so listen to it and adjust your diet accordingly.

The Other Side Of Low-Carbohydrate Diets

The human body uses three sources of energy. They are fats, proteins, and carbs. But the brain is the command center of the body and takes energy only from carbs. It uses no other sources, and if your muscles don’t have energy, the brain doesn’t have it too.

That is why you feel tired, sleepy, and mentally depressed during a low-carb diet. Many athletes don’t like to be on a low-carb diet because they can’t train as long and as intensely as normally during it. This is bad because you need to train with 100 % effort before a competition without feeling tired and exhausted.

Using a low-carb diet (and any diet in general) is a trial-and-error process. The more you are competing and losing weight, the better you will know how and what your body reacts to better.

Slag-Free Diets For Weight Cut

Sludge-free (low-fiber) diets are mostly used in the last week and a half before a competition. The average man’s (165 lbs) digestive tract can hold 8 lbs of food. The average woman’s (132 lbs) can hold 4.5 lbs, and it can take days or even a week for the body to get rid of this weight.

Pre-competition weight-loss diets with low fiber are used not to quickly clean the body, but to ensure that the food leaves less slag. It is easy to digest because it has minimal fiber in it. These diets are good in that you can include foods such as white bread, cookies, and rice cereal on your menu.

And you know that they will not linger in your body and add to your weight. The negative side of low-fiber diets is that such foods do not contain enough vitamins and minerals. I recommend taking extra multivitamin and mineral supplements during each diet to make up for what may be missing in your nutrition.


Diuretics (water pills) are medicines that are used to remove body fluids. I have never used diuretics, but I have friends who have used them before. Some athletes take celery extract pills, they are supposed to have the same effect. Another method some people use is to drink 6 liters of water a day two weeks before a competition.

You can imagine how often you will run to the toilet if you drink that much. Then, in the last week, they drink as little as possible. The idea is to make your body think it still has a lot of water in it, so it continues to clean itself out. In my opinion, this is bad for two reasons.

Firstly, it creates an excessive load on the bladder, and secondly, it is not as easy to fool the body as we think. Besides, I would not like to weigh a couple of pounds more two weeks before the competition because of extra water. It makes a bad mentally feeling. One of the most popular theories is that caffeine makes you lose water.

To some extent, this is true. For example: if you drink 1 liter of water, your body can retain 600 ml and remove 400 ml. Caffeine is a diuretic, and if you drink a liter of water, your body will only retain 200 ml and excrete the rest. That’s why some people think it helps you lose weight, when, in fact, the body just removes more body water. This is the same idea behind the negative-calorie celery diet.

Fast Weight Loss In A Sauna

Fast weight loss is a method where you have to sweat a lot and eat as little as possible. It is the most common way to lose weight, not only in boxing but also in wrestling, MMA, and even horse racing. Some athletes can lose up to 13 pounds in a sauna, depending on their weight class and muscle mass.

Muscle mass is very important because muscles contain 70% of water. So the more muscle you have, the more fluid you will lose in the sauna.

Four Ways To Lose Weight In The Sauna

In Сlothes

Some athletes go into the sauna wearing a lot of clothes to sweat more. This is a good way to warm up your body quickly, but once you start to sweat, the clothes get wet and, in my opinion, it will cool you down and you will sweat less.

With Exercises

Push-ups, shadow boxing, star jumps, and anything you can think of. As soon as your body temperature rises, you start to sweat. What some athletes don’t understand, is that your temperature doesn’t rise endlessly. So, when you start to sweat, the temperature will stay at the same level. The sweating speed is also limited, and if you do too much exercise, you will only waste energy.

Sitting In A Swimming Short

Sitting naked in the sauna is, in my opinion, the best way to lose weight. Just sit there and wipe all the sweat off your body from time to time. This will speed up the new sweat production.

Baby Oil

Some people rub baby oil all over themselves before going into the sauna. The idea is that it will block up the skin’s pores. This will raise the internal body temperature and increase sweating. I don’t think this is smart because by blocking the pores, you make it harder for the sweat to come out instead of letting it come out naturally.

How Much Time Should Be Spent In The Sauna?

Some people prefer to sweat it out in one shot (and save money at the same time). If you need to lose quite a bit of weight and you are ready to pay a little bit more, try cutting weight over a few days. For example, if I fight on Sunday, I sit in the sauna for a little bit on Friday, and then more on Saturday.

Also, maybe if I’m lucky I can have a light dinner after. It all depends on the specific athlete and which method he or she is more comfortable with.

What If You Don’t Lose Weight In The Sauna?

Some athletes cannot lose weight using the sauna. In this case, I recommend buying a suit with a sauna effect (sauna suit) and going for a run or doing a bicycle trainer. Just put it on and actively do some exercise. It may also help these athletes to exercise in a sauna.

Shadow-boxing or running in a sauna suit is the most popular way to cause excessive sweating. Some companies manufacture sweatsuits that are designed for quick weight loss.

What If You Can’t Go To The Sauna?

If you can’t go to the sauna, there are several other options. As a sauna replacement, you can put on many warm clothes and go for a run or do some workout. Also, to create similar conditions as in the sauna you can wear warm cloth and sit in the car with the full power heater.

Besides, you can turn on a hot shower in the bathroom to create a lot of steam. In the resulting “sauna” you can sit and sweat (just do not get scalded). Of course, this way will spend a lot of water and energy if, for example, water is heated through electricity.

I have also heard of a method in which you can sweat sitting in a hot bath. But here I am not sure about the effectiveness of this method.

How Does Weight Cut Go?

Let’s also look at how the full process of weight loss goes. Weight loss usually begins a week before weighing. The first thing the athlete must do is to take a strict diet and start drinking a lot of water. It is necessary to exclude it from the diet salt and sugar because they hold water in the body.

Also, during this time an athlete should minimize the carbohydrate intake, for the same reason. As the athletes note themselves in this period, they eat mostly salads and fruits, completely excluding meat from their diet. It is important to eat what is digested quickly so that the body does not retain surpluses that will make the athlete heavier.

The amount of water drank during the week is also gradually reduced, and on the day of the weigh-in, the fighter does not eat or drink anything at all. During this week, the body is getting rid of extra body water, but at the same time, the muscle mass is fully saved. The number of training during this period is reduced to a minimum.

In cases with more aggressive weight loss, athletes use diuretics, train in sweatsuits, and remove excess fluid in a sauna or a salt bath. Some athletes push themselves to the point where they look very bad during the weigh-in and can hardly stand on their feet.

Usually, after such weight loss ways, fighters use medical drips to replenish the water-salt balance.

How Do Fighting Organizations Deal With Fast Weight Cuts

Now some promotions have begun to struggle with aggressive weight cuts. It’s because weight manipulation hurts the health of athletes. For example, UFC fighters have been banned from using saline drips for several years, also because they can be used to hide doping traces.

Anti-doping organizations have added many diuretics to the list of banned drugs. So far, only the UFC periodically talks about interim weigh-ins. Other promotions are already actively integrating them. For example, the Singapore promotion One Championship has obliged fighters to be weighed two months before the fight.

Then every other week and also several times a week before the fight and directly on the day of the fight. The changes were adopted after one of the fighters was taken to the hospital from the weigh-in and later died. WBC and IBF boxing promotions obliged fighters to be weighed on the day of signing a contract for the fight.

Then a month before the fight, two weeks before, a week before, and just before the fight. Thus, they showed the other promotions that for such changes it is not necessary to wait until something bad will happen.

Should I Change My Weight Class In Boxing

Weight cut is one of the most difficult things in the life of an athlete. It can also sometimes be bad for the body. So, if you’re tired of diets, saunas, and everything else, just switch to a different weight class. It all depends on what you need. Whether you’re training for a competition or training for yourself? What are your goals?

Can you change weight class and continue to compete internationally or nationally? It all depends on what you want.
To learn more about how to cut weight, ask your competing training buddies. Search for information on the web and find out what works best for you.

Remember that trial and error is the only way to find the best weight loss method.

I hope this article helps you the next time you are faced with a weight cut. Good luck!

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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