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It is one of the most criticised elements of combat sports but weight-cutting doesn’t have to be detrimental to your health. As sports science continues to develop, more and more is being understood about how to properly and safely drop weight ahead of an upcoming weigh-in — and more importantly, what NOT to do is also being further understood.

In the below column, Katherine Surgenor of FitGods lifts the lid on some tips to help in your next weight cut.

1.- Manage stress, be prepared.

Weight cuts need to be done correctly. You ask enough of your body training and fighting, don’t put more stress on your body and mind with big weight cuts in small time frames! Give yourself enough time to make weight, so it can be done slowly, and correctly. One week out, on fight week, you do not want to have more than 10% body weight to loose. I like to prevent fighters from huge water cuts. It’s huge stress on the body, mind and joints. Your body takes enough of a hammering so let’s plan ahead, be prepared and therefore managing stress.

2. Digestive health is vital and overlooked.

If digestion is running smoothly good it delivers nutrients fast and efficiently to your muscles, organs and brain to aid recovery and support training. You want your digestion so primed, that you feel your body is using all of the nutrients immediately, you should literally feel your muscles sucking up the food you eat to recover and get stronger.

Become aware of your body s response to the food you eat. Noting any signs of allergy, emotional fluctuations, lethargy, bloating, constipation, sleep pattern, skin health, sex drive, menstrual cycle, and what foods you feel might be effecting any changes.

You should not have time to read on the toilet, things should move easily and 1-3 times a day. Digestion should be monitored all year round, it’s the seat of our health. Mind body connection is vital to monitor this.

3. Proper Nutrition

When I plan fighters meals, I make sure that, yes, they hit their macronutrients (proteins carbs and fats) that best support their training and camp demands but, most importantly, that they always hit their micro nutrient (vitamins/minerals/essential fats) levels daily to prevent any deficiencies, pathologies and injuries. I call it prehab nutrition. This minds our overall health both mental, physical and emotional. It ties in with tip 1 and 2, if your digestion is not running smoothly or you are too stressed your not going to absorb these nutrients. So these steps are all knitted in together and work in conjunction with each other.

Lastly our digestive health fuels our bodies and minds. In fight camp, and year round you train your musculoskeletal health, cardio health, skill sets, mental agility, don’t overlook the FACT that digestive health is delivering the fuel efficiently to support it ALL!