METHODS OF WEIGHT CONTROL
THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED
Weight loss in wrestling usually occurs in a short period of time and consists primarily of water loss. If you lose weight faster than 2-3 pounds per week, you are likely losing water (and perhaps muscle tissue). Unfortunately, when you rehydrate after weigh-in, your body absorbs water at a relatively slow rate: only about 2 pints per hour, and it takes up to 48 hours for the water balance in your tissues to be restored. The ill effects of dehydration include a decrease in muscular strength and endurance, a decrease in blood flow to muscle tissues, and an impaired ability to properly regulate your body temperature. Therefore, it is recommended that:
- Wrestlers should limit weight loss by dehydration to a bare minimum.
- Use of diuretic drugs (“water pills”) to help lose water weight should be avoided. These drugs can cause disorders in the way your heart and kidneys function.
- Wrestlers should not rely upon sitting in a steam room or sauna to cut weight. Exercise in a plastic suit should also be avoided. These practices are strongly discouraged be- cause they can cause rapid dehydration and heat stroke, which may be fatal.
Weight loss in wrestlers usually occurs in a short period of time and consists primarily of water loss. If you lose weight faster than 2-3 pounds per week, you are likely losing water (and perhaps muscle tissue).
When you do not eat at all (fasting), your body uses its stored nutrients, and weight loss will certainly result. However, fasting quickly reduces your blood sugar, which in turn robs your brain and muscles of their most important energy source. Fasting can cause your muscles to use muscle proteins for energy, even if fat is available. Eat at least the minimum calories your body requires each day so you can maintain your energy and strength while losing weight.
The greater the peaks and valleys in your body weight, the more difficult it is for your body to function correctly. Studies have shown that alternating between feast and famine may cause your body to use food more efficiently (hanging on more tightly to each calorie). Yo-yo dieting just makes cutting weight more difficult.
Using diuretics (water pills) and laxatives to lose weight will dehydrate your body and rob your body of important nutrients. Diet pills can cause many adverse physical as well as psychological effects. Avoid using any of these types of products to lose or maintain weight.