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Losing And Cutting Weight For Boxing

Losing and cutting weight is an important part of boxing, whether you’re competing or just training. In this sport, there’s a general principle that the closer you are to your ideal fighting weight (forthcoming), the better you perform. As a result, all your physiological advantages will be maximized, not to mention the psychological advantages you’ll gain. This article will give an extremely digestible synopsis of the common methods for losing and cutting weight for boxing.

Boxers and MMA fighters are experts at losing weight fast. If done correctly, losing a lot of weight in the days leading up to a weigh-in can give you a huge advantage 24 hours later when you step in the ring to fight.

It is not uncommon for a fighter to weigh 20-30lbs less at the weigh-in than they do when the fight starts 24 hours later - and if all goes to plan - the boxer or fighter will have just as much energy and power on fight day as they did before cutting weight. Weighing 10, 20, or 30lbs more than your opponent means a lot in a fight.

Amateur boxing matches usually schedule the weigh in the same day as the fight - precisely to try and avoid this type of weight manipulation - and that does not provide you enough time to put the weight back on that you lost or refuel your muscles to give you an advantage in the ring.


Keeping within 5-7 per cent of fight weight would be a good rule of thumb, e.g. 132-135lbs for a featherweight boxer or 168-171lbs for a middleweight boxer. This would allow you to drop 0.7 pr cent bodyweight each week throughout an eight-10-week camp.


Focus most of your meals on high-quality, lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, or Greek yogurt for the next two weeks. After that, because you need to reduce calories, you will need to go for the lower fat items. For example, rather than 3 whole eggs, take out at least 2 yolks to lower the calorie content.


Not only do fighters dehydrate themselves at least 24 hours before the flight, but they also restrict their calorie intake. To make matters more difficult, they also partake in training that would cause their bodies to sweat and lose more weight. This could be running on a treadmill or cycling in a sauna.


The most common weight-cutting technique used by fighters is to begin starving themselves of food and water in the days leading up to a fight before using a combination of sweatsuits, towels, and saunas to dehydrate the body and shed as much water weight as possible.


When fighters cut weight, they gain a size advantage over their opponent. In the realm of professional fighting, size does matter. The bigger you are, the harder you hit, the harder you will, and the more your attacks exhaust your opponent.

How To Cut Weight For Boxing

How boxers cut weight before a fight. Today we will talk discuss this topic. If you think that the punches and the injuries are all the boxers have taken in to keep going, you have seen nothing yet.

Even the pain seems like something not worth risking life for. However, there is more suffering to a boxer’s life than just the injuries bruises they take inside the ring.

A boxer’s life starts differently from the very beginning of his boxing career. They do not just practice for a fight, learn a few boxing techniques and win a match. But then, anyone could be a professional boxer.

What we are talking about is how boxers cut weight before a fight. If you are not familiar with the term, it sounds like. Boxers lose their weight before the fight’s weigh-in and gain it back up before the actual fight.

You could say that anyone could do that. However, anyone could do that if it were a mere two-three or five to six pounds, we are talking about 20 to 30 pounds here. Surprising? Yes, it is.

It leaves everyone wondering how in the world they lose so much weight in a matter of 48 hours or just five days. But, on the other hand, some people can not lose five pounds even in a month. Now, extreme results need extreme measures, which is exactly what happens in the case of weight cutting.

As we already mentioned, weight cutting is no restorative procedure, but boxers still do it as a tradition. They must fall under the required weight range during weight range. But, there are other advantages to it too.

How to Lose And Cut Weight For Boxing

Long-term weight loss refers to decreasing body fat and muscle mass. Of course, losing body fat is always a good idea. However, losing muscle mass may be ideal only when the boxer’s bulk is slowing her down, greatly disadvantages her reach or height in the weight class, or puts too much emphasis on decreasing body fat to make weight. Understand, though, losing muscle is physically and mentally exhausting; it’s a drastic measure and is formally called Muscle Catabolism.

Although you should strive to lose body fat and retain muscle mass, your two methods for generally losing weight in the long term are dieting and exercising.

Tips On How Boxers Cut Weight

You can lose weight in many ways, but you do not necessarily lose it in the most unhealthy way possible. Other than that, your body will already go through something like a shock. Therefore, it is best to go easy on it. While you do have to put your body through a lot, you can certainly decrease the damage to a certain level.

So, here is how boxers cut weight and tips to do it most efficiently.

Do not skip breakfast.

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Of course, cutting weight demands potentially cutting the number of meals or amount of food you take into your body, but do NOT cut breakfast!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it provides the energy for the whole day and forces your stomach to start working from early morning.

Cutting breakfast might have the opposite intended effect. Due to the fatigue and a lack of energy caused by it, you might not perform well enough on the training or during other exercises that will help you cut weight.

Start early

The best way to reduce the negative impact on your body is to gradually accustom it to the change. Do not just start your diet and exercises one week before a fight because you will have to do that anyway. But, try keeping your weight at a level near the required weight range so that you do not have to lose too much weight in such a short period.

Begin to maintain a healthy diet and weight from the very beginning of your life as a professional boxer.

Cut meals smartly

Before you decide to make a big decision about not eating lunch or going full vegetarian, try to think about the junk and unhealthy food you are eating and start from that. 

If you need to cut from 1 kg to 4 kg, cutting off sugar, processed food, beer, and fizzy drinks should already be a big help. Unfortunately, so many people go from one extreme to another, such as the diet change from eating MacDonald’s every day to having an extremely strict diet—that isn’t the way you should go about it. Training hard and eliminating junk will go a long way.

Limit water intake slowly.

Water makes up most parts of our body; therefore, most of our weight comes from water. This is why dehydration is the first technique boxers use to cut weight. Unfortunately, although it is the fastest and most efficient way of losing weight, it is also quite drastic and harmful.

All your cells and organs need water to function, and such a sudden decrease in it causes your body to react in different ways. Boxers even die of organ failures due to dehydration. It also increases the risk of other kinds of diseases.

But, since you have to do what you must do, you can try doing it in the safest possible way. And, that would be to accustom your body to decreasing water intake.

For a fighter who wants to cut weight quickly and safely, here’s how much water he would consume in the 5 days leading up to his weigh-in:

  • Sunday – 2 gallons
  • Monday – 1 gallon
  • Tuesday – 1 gallon
  • Wednesday – .5 gallons
  • Thursday – .25 gallons
  • Friday – No water till after weigh-in at 5 PM.

As you can see, the amount of water starts high with two gallons and decreases with each day till he’s drinking hardly any water on Thursday and Friday.

This is to ensure their body gets into “flushing mode.”

By drinking lots of water early on, the fighter’s body will down-regulate aldosterone, a hormone that acts to conserve sodium and secrete potassium.

And when he suddenly reduces the amount of water he drinks in the middle and end of the week, his body will still be in flushing mode, meaning he’ll hit the bathroom to pee a lot even though he’s hardly drinking any water.

However, only dehydration without giving sufficient attention to other nutrient and mineral intake can cause more harm. So, you have to consider the other aspects of your diet.

Improve your Sleep Pattern

It is undisputed that poor quality sleep is related to metabolic abnormalities.

If you want to digest food well and cut weight, you need to get a good-quality sleep every night.

Although the amount of sleep depends on the person’s age and another physiological aspect, one should aim at sleeping a minimum of 7 hours per day. It is also crucial to keep the same sleep pattern—go to sleep and wake up every day at a consistent time. This will adjust your body and regulate the metabolic processes.

Take Hot Baths

We sweat a lot in hot environments. However, we sweat the most in hot, humid environments. Since hot water offers both heat and 100% humidity, fighters lose water quickly by taking hot baths and fully submerging everything but their nose for 10 minutes at a time.

Reduce Carbs

Controlling only your water intake won’t help the extreme level of weight loss you are looking for. Therefore, the first thing you should do to your solid diet reduces the number of carbs per day. This is because carbs contribute a significant amount to your weight. After that, you can make your low carb lunch and dinner on your own.

Therefore, by reducing it, you decrease more weight by breaking up the glycogen cells. Furthermore, carbs use water and help you excrete more of it.


If you have access to this blissful device, use it! Sauna is the epitome of the weight cut. Few important things to remember about:

  • It dehydrates, so don’t do it hours before your fight,
  • Please don’t push yourself to the limit as it might end badly, and
  • Don’t do it more than 10 times per week.

Keep Strength- Eat Proteins and Fats

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Reduced weight will be pointless if you pass out right before weigh-in. This is why you have to balance your body with intake supporting the number of nutrients you are losing. Clever boxers mostly focus on protein and fat intakes for energy.

They are not as bad as carbs in contributing to weight, and they do not retain as much water either. However, your choice must be a healthy version of them, not junk food.

Flushing Food Waste

On average, your bowl movement might make you a pound lighter. This is because drinking water and eating fibre, among other natural triggers, will help produce bowl movements. However, because bowl movement requires water and fibre intake, it’s better to eliminate food waste before seriously dehydrating for competition. An extreme measure would be laxatives, as they help flush food waste while also dehydrating the body. However, we strongly advise against them because their effects can be difficult to predict and control.

Sweat a lot

This is where the pictures of garbage bag clad boxers sitting in saunas come into play. I wouldn’t recommend that, but you do want to sweat out as much as you can.

Quickest and easiest way to sweat is to take super hot baths where you submerge every part of your body (less your nose) for 10 minutes at a time.

You sweat when it’s hot, but you sweat a lot more when it is hot and humid. The bath prevents your sweat from cooling you off, accelerating the sweating.

Then one to two days before the weigh-in, you start sitting in the sauna as well to put the finishing touches on your rapid weight loss.

Glycogen Depletion

Glycogen is the term for carbs stored in your body–muscles, liver, fat cells. It’s the source of quick energy, and every gram of glycogen requires 3-4 grams of stored water. Thus, decreasing your carb intake and increasing your training will help you lose several pounds of water weight while reducing your muscle size (due to glycogen depletion and resultant water loss). In practice, this can be a loss of 5 to 10 pounds of weight loss in a couple of days.

Consider Diuretics

If the situation gets very extreme and you are not losing enough weight when the weigh-in is knocking right on the door, your last resort can be a diuretic. It is a kind of drug that will help you often pee to lose the water you need to lose. However, only consider this as a last resort.

So, this is probably the safest, general way to cut weight before a weigh-in. However, the amount and nature of food may vary based on the type of body or its condition.


The more you exercise, the more calories your body burns while becoming faster, stronger, and sharper. In addition, your strength and conditioning, including its intensity and volume, can help maximize your muscle retention and minimize body fat. For specifics on exercise, follow the coach’s training plan faithfully.

How Boxers Cut Weight: The phase after the Weigh-in

If you keep yourself dehydrated, stripped of nutrients and energy during the fight, then the whole cutting weight phase is useless. Your opponent will knock you out even before the real fight begins. He may not even need to knock you out. Your body itself will.

So, right after the weigh-in, boxers gain as much weight as they can before the fight. Usually, there are 24 hours between the weigh-in and the fight. So, boxers dedicate these twenty-four hours to rehydrating themselves, drinking as much water as they can.

Furthermore, they consume glucose drinks, proteins, carbs, fats, etc. All of which they have been avoiding. As a result, a weight-regain of around 22 pounds become possible. This way, the fighter gets ready for a fight properly after being selected strategically.

Understand the Cut Weight For Boxing

The practice of cutting weight before fights is a phenomenon that lives on in the boxing and fight world as boxers and fighters search for any advantages over their opponents. For some - it is simply to ensure the fight goes on by staying in their weight class. But to be crystal clear - losing weight this fast has no place in a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

Risks Of Cutting Or Losing Weight

Although restricting your caloric intake isn’t dangerous in the short term, it can result in serious complications to your metabolism and overall health if you’re consistently limiting the number of calories you need to maintain healthy body weight. Sweating excessive amounts of water can be dangerous and can even result in extreme dehydration and organ failure cases. Ideally, boxers should not cut a significant weight since the health ramifications could be life-threatening.


There is more to a fight than just the fight. This is more evident in boxing than in any other combat sport. Even a single pound matters here.

You already know how tough the game itself is. The strong, manly boxers cry and take a hard beating on the stage in front of hundreds of people. Then, as if this was not enough, they have to go through the hard weight-cutting and training process as well.

However, what must be done should be done, and the boxers rejoice in their hard earnings and fame. But, always keep in mind that how boxers cut weight is an important matter as they have to do it safely. Otherwise, the whole point of the technique becomes quite meaningless.


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