What is Extreme Weight Cutting?

Weight cutting is the practice of fast weight loss prior to a sporting competition. There are two types of weight cutting: One method is to lose weight in the form of fat and muscle in the weeks prior to an event by restricting food intake/ and of fasting, excessive exercise training sessions,  water and salt-loading/ unloading methods followed by completely avoiding salts.The other is to lose weight in the form of water in the final days before competition by restricting fluid intake, training in extreme heat, wearing sauna suit, trash bags sweat suits or other weight-cutting  suits.

Dangers of Extreme Weight Cutting

Physical :

Dehydration Decreased hear function
Kidney failure Increased Risk of Brain Injury
Severe Electrolyte Imbalance Lower Immune System Function
Reduced Bone Density Decreased Oxygen Consumption
Temporary Growth Impairment Hypothermia
Reduced Muscle Strength Reduced Plasma and blood volume
Lower Renal Fluid and Volume Vomiting
Nausea Cramps
Fainting Sleepiness
Headaches Heat illness
Death

Psychological:

Hormonal Inbalance Mental Fatigue
Increased Tension Mood Swings
Reduced Cognition Reduced Processing Speed
Binge Eating Disorder

 

DON’T:

  • Don’t use extreme methods for making weight such as excessive heat methods (rubberized suits, steam rooms, saunas), excessive intense bouts of exercise, vomiting, laxatives and diuretics.
  • Don’t use dehydration as a mainstay of making weight. In addition to the above, it puts you at risk of improper re-hydration techniques when, in reality, proper re-hydration takes several hours to days. (Many cases intravenous fluids being used for re-hydration after weigh-ins have been reported – this is a doping violation with several organizations.)

DO:

  • Commit to year-round proper diet and training for proper weight control and body composition.
  • By maintaining your weight year round near an appropriate competition weight and not competing in a weight class outside your appropriate weight class you will help avoid large swings in weight.
  • Maintain a good state of hydration by drinking fluid throughout the day and staying hydrated during workouts.
  • Follow nutritional programs that meet your needs for adequate amounts of calories from a balanced diet high in healthy carbohydrates, the minimum requirement of fat, and appropriate amounts of protein.
  • Be wary of nutritional supplements as they are not regulated by the FDA and some have been shown to be harmful. 

Articles:

Strength and Conditioning Journal: “The Potential Dangers of Using Rapid Weight Loss Techniques”

The Underground: “CSAC issues memo on dangers of weight cutting”

 

This website does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.