Should We Cut Weight?
Yes and no. A lot of the "cutting weight" should be done with good eating habits. No fast food, soda, candy, cake, doughnuts, or any other gross foods like that. None. Zero. Unless it's a birthday or major holiday, cut it out of your diet completely.
We're serious. Don't eat it, and don't feed your children it. That food is disgusting and terrible for you. Despite what you may think, weight is not a genetic thing. No one person is more inclined to be heavier than another.
The answer lies in your refridgerator, in your cupboard. Most kids are heavy because their parents are heavy. You feed your children the same things you feed yourself. If you want them to be healthier, it starts with you, the parent.
It starts with what you have available in your house.
Your body, the way it looks, the way you feel is a direct reflection of your eating habits. If you only eat healthy foods, only drink water or juice, you will be more fit. This is without exercise.
You can lie to everyone about what you eat, but your body and its fat content will always tell the truth. Train yourself to be grossed out by McDonalds, ice cream, chocolate, soda. All of those foods do nothing for your body.
A wrestler's body is a Lamborghini, not a mini van. You have to add the right fuel.
Specifics Of A Diet
You can understand this easier if you count calories.
Having one soda per day is 240 calories, which is 1,680 calories per week, 7,200 calories per month. There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. So, if you cut out that soda alone, on average, you will lose 2 pounds of fat per month, until you reach your optimal weight with whatever else you are eating.
Two pounds of fat is a lot, and that's with just cutting out one soda per day. Now cut out all of the other gross foods and be amazed at how the body will continually slim down.
Your body weight is just calories out versus calories in. If you're consuming more calories per day than you are burning, you are gaining weight.
If you eliminate most of the terrible foods you feed your children, they will eventually slim down. It may take months, maybe a year, but their body will reach an equilibrium. They will feel healthier, move faster, have more energy, and will no longer crave those bad foods.
Really, if you want to lose weight, you shouldn't be looking for a diet, you should be looking for a lifestyle change. And if your kid doesn't like eating healthy foods, don't give in. Sooner or later he'll be hungry enough to eat any food you put in front of him.
The real trick is to stop buying fatty foods altogether. You won't feel the need to eat it if it's not in the house. Instead, buy fruits and vegetables and always have them available for snacks.
This takes a joint effort from both parents. Tough love is necessary. Don't give your kids too many options. After all, they're kids, they have no idea what's good for them.
Losing Weight Preface
First, let's start with this statement. Losing two pounds is not cutting weight. Two pounds is your wrestler being uncomfortable for 12 hours at maximum. Two pounds is eating smaller meals the day before, limiting their water intake, and floating until weigh-ins. We give no sympathy for those who don't want to lose two pounds. That should all be water weight, a little bit of dehydration. It's not like we're cutting off his arm.
This teaches self discipline and accountability. They need to be disciplined enough and care about the sport enough that this is an easy task. This will prove that wrestling is important to them. If losing a few pounds is detrimental to them, wrestling is not their sport.
Managing your weight is part of wrestling, whether you like it or not. They have to get used to this, especially before high school, if they ever want to be competitive and successful.
They will be uncomfortable, but they're not going to die like they think they are. Kids are too spoiled these days. Make them go through periods of drought to unspoil them and wake them up to how it could be if we weren't all so fortunate.
You Don't Need Snacks
Another reason people are heavy is because they eat way more than they need to. As a species, we have evolved past scarcity, and now everything is in abundance.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all that you need. Your body can survive and perform quite well on limited intake. Fasting to some degree is healthy. We're not saying it's smart to become anorexic, but just realize that you shouldn't consistently gorge yourself.
Eat slowly so your stomach has time to tell your mind when it's satisfied. Eat until you're satisfied, not until you're full, and definitely not until your stomach hurts.
Cutting For Competition
As far as cutting weight for competition, sometimes it makes sense while other times it doesn't. You don't want to teach your kid that the only way to win is to lose weight. On the other side, you have to be at your optimal weight in order to be competitive.
If you are in between two weight classes, you cut down to the next lower weight class for more serious tournaments like states or national tournaments. There are dual meet tournaments where everyone cuts weight, those are a good time to do it too.
For weaker, individual tournaments, you are fine to go up. You need periods of time when you're growing and this may also be necessary to get bigger competition so you can lose and find what you need to work on. Do not go to states a weight class up thinking you are helping your child. It'll be a waste of time.
It's tough as coaches at national tournaments. Sometimes because they didn't cut weight and everyone else they wrestled did, there's nothing we can technically suggest to help them improve. The only answer is, "You got out-powered, outsized. You're in the wrong weight class."
Cutting weight should not be an every weekend thing, at least when you're young, and especially if it's the only reason why you're winning. If you only ever win because of size and strength, then you're in for a rough wake up call once college hits.
Every wrestler in college is big and strong. The good ones do not have much fat to lose as it is. They sit around at 5-8% body fat content. Technique is what sets them apart.
TL;DR (Too Long, Didn't Read)
For states or national level competition, go down to the next lower weight class. For local individual tournaments, you're free to go up.
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