Water cutting is a conventional form of meeting a weight requirement for athletes by reducing the amount of water the body holds. Keeping in mind that about 80% of the human body is composed of water, one can rapidly remove a surprising amount of weight using water cutting techniques that are tried and tested. Having said that, I should provide a disclaimer:
DO NOT PERFORM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES FOR WATER CUTTING WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A DOCTOR. DO NOT PERFORM THE ACTUAL CUTTING PROCEDURES ALONE, ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU THAT CAN MONITOR YOU. RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY AND DEATH ARE POSSIBLE!
I was recently invited to fight in a promotional super fight on very short notice. 11 days out from the fight I was asked to cut 19lbs of weight (I was 259lbs) for weigh ins the night before my fight. I agreed, knowing too well that it would be water I would have to cut for the majority of the weight. I want to make something clear here. When you lose weight like this you’re not losing body-fat, this is to just make a weight cutting as much water as you absolutely need to. This isn’t a weight loss program to lose body fat and using it for those purposes will only lead to harm in the long run. Please take my warning into consideration.
Notice that my weigh in for this fight was the night before. If you have to weigh in the same day of the fight I do not recommend this type of cutting, it will absolutely cut all your energy! Let’s go through the process.
11 days out
I immediately began by reducing my carbs to the minimum amount without going into keto (150g daily) and kept my calories at about 2000. Given that I was doing 2 2hr sessions of training a day I had my TDEE at about 4000 calories a day (total daily energy expenditure). I made sure to have at least 20g coconut oil daily which really helps the energy levels and digestion process. Between the 11th and 6th day out, I lost about 6lbs.
5 days out
At 5 days out, I began a water load and went full keto (no carb diet) while reducing my calories to 1500. I started drinking 2 gallons of water daily.
1 day out
by 2 days out I had lost 9lbs. I had 10lbs left to lose. On this day I reduced my water to half a gallon and began my first water cutting procedure.
The Steam Room: Losing water weight the easy way
One of the easiest ways to drop water weight is to sweat it out. The steam room in a spa is a valuable tool in helping accomplish this. A steam room has a humidity level of 100%. When we start to overheat our body produces sweat so that it may evaporate on our skin and release that heat. In a steam room, however, the 100% humidity does not allow for evaporation and though you are sweating, you’re not cooling down.
First things first, go ahead and weigh yourself naked right before you enter the steam room
Grab a digital waterproof watch and a towel. Walk into the steam room and sit as high as you possibly can (heat rises). Using your watch, time 10 min sessions in the steam room. Pay attention to your cognition and your heart rate, because both will be tested and if you start to feel too faint please exit the steam room immediately.
After your first 10 min sessions, exit the steam room and cover yourself in towels neck down all the way to your toes for 15 minutes. We call this “cocooning.” Though you have left the steam room, your body is still producing sweat due to overheating. Wrapping yourself in towels will allow you to absorb all that sweat in the towels and not back in your body. After my first 10 min steam room session, I lost 3lbs. After my second, I lost 2lbs. I was now 5lbs away from my goal weight.
Day of Weigh In
This is the day that is the hardest. After having done my steam room session the day before, I drank what was left of my ½ gallon water that night knowing that I would lose 1-2lbs of weight in evaporation overnight. I ate 3 eggs in the morning and fasted for the rest of the day, no food no water.
The Alboline, Epsom Salt, and Rubbing Alcohol Bath
Nothing sucks more than what I am about to describe here. Also, this is one of the most dangerous parts of this whole process. So, please, do not attempt this alone! I began this process about 3 hours before my weigh ins
Alboline is a make-up remover that has this wonderful side effect of opening up your pores. When your pores are open, you sweat a lot more than when they are closed. Epsom salt and rubbing alcohol are both known for their ability to draw out water as well.
Fill your tub with hot water. The water should be at the temperature where it does not burn your skin but is just below that heat and tolerable. Add one full bag of Epsom salt and half a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Cover your entire body neck down with alboline and immediately hop into the bath getting as much of your body under water up to your chin. Your first session should be about 15 minutes long. Be ready for a very uncomfortable feeling! MAKE SURE SOMEONE IS WITH YOU!
After exiting the bath, lay down on a bed of towels and wrap yourself in a cocoon of towels neck to toe. Then add a heavy blanket. Sit in the cocoon for 15 minutes. Have someone there to make sure you didn’t pass out. My wife had to wake me up about 5 times (that I remember) in this process.
After 15 minutes slowly open up the cocoon and have your partner use fresh towels to wipe down your entire body. Be extremely careful when you try to get up. One thing I noticed was my inability to go from sitting to standing for the rest of the day without feeling like I was going to faint or cramp.
I personally lost 6lbs in one session doing this, weighing in at 239lbs I knew I had met my weight. For the rest of the day, before weigh ins, I ate or drank nothing.
After weigh ins
Its time to re-hydrate and replenish your glycogen stores. Here is what you will need.
- 3 liters of pedialite
- 32oz of coconut water
Immediately after your weigh in, take a mixture of ½ liter pedialite, 16oz coconut oil, 5g creatine, and 32oz of water and start drinking it slowly. The creatine will help shuttle nutrients to your body. You should be able to finish it within 2 hours. That night, have a meal that is high in starches let low in protein. I personally chose an angel hair pasta with chicken in a red sauce. Of a fullness level of 1 to 5, never let yourself go past a 3. Instead, wait until you get hungry again. My weigh ins were at 6pm. I ate at 8pm and 11pm and went to bed, having consumed about 20g protein and 100g carbs.
The next day, i ate like I normally would. High carbs, decent protein, and decent fats. I made it a point to consume 100oz of liquid that consisted of 16oz coconut oil, 1 liter pedialite, 5g creatine, and water. I fought at 255lbs the next night.
I hope this article has helped you in your journey to your goals.