If your New Years goal is to fight Muay Thai – Part 1: DIET

With most people setting themselves a new years goal or resolution, there are bound to be people who are wanting to step into the ring in the new year, or for some people it may be just to start learning some self-defence. Some people may just want to lose weight and are wanting to learn a few tricks or a new skill along the way. Whatever it may be, here are a few tricks to help you achieve your new year’s goal!

A big part of fighting is getting your body to a suitable weight category. Since it would be unfair to put a person who weighs 100 Kilograms against someone who weighs 60 Kilograms, fights are organised by bodyweight. Most fighters try to make themselves as light as possible, in order to make themselves “tall” for their weight category. If our fighter “Dave” is 6ft tall and weighs 100kg at 30% body fat, that means that Dave will fight in the heavyweight division, where opponents can range up to 7ft tall, making it very hard to for Dave to get past the long punches and kicks. If Dave decides to lose some weight through diet and exercise, he could get down to approximately 80kg at 10% body fat putting him in the Light heavyweight category, and his opponents are much more likely to be the same height as him.

It is well known that exercise will make that fat disappear, but with the help of dieting, it can happen much faster and with less effort. A fighters diet leading up to a fight should follow a few simple steps:

  • Make carbohydrates come from good sources (eg; sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa)
  • limit carbohydrates, especially after lunch
  • keep protein intake up

I’m a fighter who walks around at about 86kg but I get down 79kg for my fights (keep in mind that some of this weight loss is through dehydration). My diet for the weeks leading up to a fight is basically this:

– Protein and fruit smoothie

– 1 piece of fruit
– 1 can of tuna (100g) on 2 Ryvita crackers

– 100g chicken/beef/fish
– chopped salad (ingredients I use: kale, spinach, tomato, onion, capsicum, broccoli, cucumber)
– 2/3cup of cooked brown rice/pasta/sweet potato

– 20 almonds
– 1 piece of fruit

– 250g chicken/meat/fish
– Mixed vegetables (stay away from vegetables containing lots of carbohydrates, such as potato/sweet potato. I usually use a salad with my meat)

Snack/desert: (if you are like me and feel the need to have a dessert at night, this is a great snack to replace icecream)
– 150g greek yoghurt (Chobani brand)
– 1 handful of fresh berries (any kind)
– 1 tablespoon of LSA seed mix

(stir all ingredients and enjoy)

For many people, the fight is about setting a deadline for a weight loss goal, and without a deadline, oftentimes things just don’t get done. What better way to make someone lose weight than to give them this ultimatum:
“If you don’t lose this weight, you are going to fight someone who is built like Shrek, but if you do lose this weight you will fight someone who is your natural weight”

I know what I would choose.