Top 10 Ways Competitors Can Drop Weight Safely
By Richard Hackworth
Athletes perform best when competing at their optimal weight. Unfortunately most athletes fail to maintain a healthy diet all year round and resort to unhealthy ways to drop weight for a competition weigh in. Many take diuretics to cause dehydration to lose weight temporarily. Or resort to exercising in a sauna to sweat off extra pounds. These methods can cause cramps, pulled muscles, and other injuries. Here we offer 10 safe suggestions that will allow you to drop weight by starting about 30 days out from your weigh in.
1. Eat protein at every meal, including breakfast. Three to four ounces of protein will help you keep your metabolism high and burn more calories (and body fat) all day long.
2. Eliminate wheat- and flour-based products for the time being. And yes, that definitely includes bread and pasta.
3. Eat unprocessed foods. Ninety percent of what you eat should be a combination of (in this order of importance) raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and maybe a few fruits if necessary.
4. Reduce starch to one portion a day, and don't eat that portion during your evening meal. Best choices are beans, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. This is best if eaten at breakfast so that it provides energy throughout the day.
5. Don't overdo fruit: one a day maximum, and only the low-sugar, high-fiber variety. Apples, pears, plums and berries all are good choices. For now, fruit should be eaten alone or with something light, like low fat nuts. Lose the fruit juice completely.
6. Reduce or eliminate dairy for the time being, especially cow's milk. Exceptions: reasonable amounts of low sugar, fat free yogurt.
7. Lose the booze. Despite what the "studies" say, you lose no health benefits by giving up alcohol (including wine). There is nothing essential in alcohol that you can't get in fruits and vegetables without all the bad side effects that go along with it.
8. Stop using vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn. The supermarket kind is highly refined, and it oxidizes easily when heated, contributing to arterial plaque. Use olive oil instead, and apply it to food after the food is cooked when possible.
9. Watch which types of fat you're eating. The amount of fat you eat is probably less important than the kind of fat you eat. The worst are fried foods, margarine and foods that contain hydrogenized or partially hydrogenized oils. The best is omega-3, found in fish and flaxseed oil.
10. Obsessively drink water: At least 8 ounces for every 20 pounds of bodyweight you're now carrying around, each day. Every day. No excuses. The extra water helps process the impurities and body fat out of your system. Allowing you to rapidly drop excess body fat to reach your optimal weight and perform at your peak levels.
Remember that health is the foundation of success. When additional training hours are not available proper diet can be the great equalizer. Stay fighting fit and you will be a champion in life as well as in the ring.
Got a question or comment for Richard? Just e-mail him at Richard@RichardHackworth.com . For a ton of free, valuable tips, tricks, and secrets of health, wealth, and success visit: www.RichardHackworth.com and sign up for the free e-newsletter. Tune in each week to hear his radio show at www.actionradio.net