As you may know, I recently embarked on a hardcore weight loss program in order to make weight for a jiu-Jitsu competition in Morocco. I was 57 kgs when I got the news that I was selected to represent South Africa. I was told I needed to make 49kgs on weigh-in.
Let me add here that I was perfectly happy and fit at 57 kgs and not at all concerned about my body fat or weight. My sole reason for embarking on this journey was to make weight and qualify to represent my country in a sport that I love. The amount of well-meaning people who took the time to comment on how well or how overly skinny I looked made me realize just how much focus us women place on weight from an aesthetic perspective. So let this little paragraph serve as my disclaimer that a getting fit and healthy is not always about the number on the scale and that feeling good in your skin should always be your number one priority.
Anyhoo…8 kgs in 5 weeks is totally possible if you are a pro fighter and in all likelihood male. Us ladies have all kinds of extra hormonal things going on that can get in the way of losing weight. But the reality of making weight for a combat sport competition is that the weight is mostly water weight and will in all likelihood be put back on when the comp is done.
While I managed to lose all the weight and received loads of compliments for how good and lean I look, I don’t regard the methods used as sustainable long-term, BUT if you are keen to lose a lot of weight quickly for an event, wedding or you are competing in a comp MMA, boxing or BJJ comp yourself, this is a good approach, diet and training wise to follow.
DIET 5-2 Weeks Away from Fight Week
Hack 1: If it’s a white protein (Egg whites, chicken, fish and a green veg (spinach, cucumber, kale, broccoli) you can eat it
As you wake up drink 300ml warm or room temp water with half a lemon squeezed into it.
Breakfast (after morning training session)
40g / 1/3 cup oats, cover with hot water and microwave for 25 seconds or cook in a pot.
Let it cool slightly then add: 1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds, 2 teaspoons maca or black
maca, 1 tablespoon chia seed, 1 tablespoon of almond butter or natural sugar free peanut butter, ½ cup blueberries, Xylitol to taste and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir ingredients together adding warm water to get desired consistency. 1 cup of organic green tea, and a coffee if you wish.
Morning Supplementation: 2 tablespoons organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water, 1 capsule Solal Alpha Lipoic Acid
150g grilled chicken breast/minute steak or 1 can Tuna(120g drained)
½ – 3/4 cup cooked boiled/baked sweet potato, bulgur wheat, brown rice or quinoa.
Salad: 1 handful baby spinach or kale, 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped red onion or spring onion and some red pepper. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons Absolute Organix
Omega 3,6,9 and some balsamic vinegar OR 1 cup steamed or raw of the following veg (you may mix): kale, baby marrow, baby spinach/spinach, asparagus, peppers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, beetroot. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons Absolute Organix
Omega 3,6,9 or take separately.
1 cup of organic green tea.
Lunch supplementation: 1 tablespoon organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water
Snack (1-1 ½ hrs before training)
½ a medium avo with an apple or orange. 3 capsules Solal Acetyl-Carnitine.
OR 1 tablespoon of almond butter and an apple or orange. 3 capsules Solal Acetyl-Carnitine. OR 1 americano with 1 tablespoon of unsalted grass-fed butter and 1 teaspoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil. 3 capsules Solal Acetyl-Carnitine.
150g grilled/baked chicken breast/minute steak/ 150g hake/ 1 tin tuna/ ostrich
Vegetables allowed (as much as you want at dinner, no less than a cup): kale, baby
marrow, baby spinach/spinach, asparagus, peppers, onions, green beans, broccoli,
cauliflower, tomatoes, celery, mushrooms, beetroot, cucumber. Lightly steamed or lightly fried in avocado oil. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons Extra virgin olive
Dinner Supplementation: 1 teaspoon The Real Thing lemon flavoured fish oil, 2 tablespoons organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water, 1 serving Solgar Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, 1 serving Solgar Vitamin D3 or any other vitamin D supplement
Drink 2.5-3 litres of water a day.
All frying on medium to high heat cooking in Avocado oil.
Coconut oil and Grass-fed butter to be used with medium to low heat cooking
No cooking with Extra Virgin Olive oi only using as a dressing
DIET: 1 Week Away From Fight
- Replace morning oats with 3 egg whites & 1/4 avo
- Reduce protein portion to 100g
- Remove all carbs and salt and oil and dairy from diet
So here is the catch, if you are not a very active person, this diet will see weight loss, but not the same level as if you exercise. People often think weight loss is just diet or just exercise, but the one really doesn’t work without the other.
Hack 2: They key when losing weight is to lose fat and not muscle and the key to getting that right is long jogs where you are able to hold a conversation still ( long sprinting burns muscle)
My training was broken down into two sessions a day. One in the morning before 9am and again after 5pm. It consisted of a daily 5km run, 1 Tabata session and two hours of BJJ a day. Every second day I would do 40 min to an hour on the treadmill doing a light jog/ brisk walk.
Hack 3: The focus throughout the process is to work at a calorie deficit, ensuring you are burning more calories than you are consuming.
Be prepared for a plateau at some point in around the middle of the five-week process as well. I lost a quick 3kgs in the first two weeks and then without changing anything found myself not budging on weight for a week or so.. The minute I cut out the salt, dairy, and oils and replaced my oats with egg whites, the rest of the weight just fell off.
Another point is to note that when starting this process I stopped taking all protein shakes, creatine and went off the pill as well- all of these things add to water retention and I did not have room for any errors.