Good question, Matt. Quite frankly, for the athletes I work with it’s not an issue. Because they’re able to regain almost 100% of their strength, power, and endurance come fight night. So they have two advantages: 1) they’re at 100% in terms of performance capacity while their opponents, who probably cut weight in a less effective way, are likely only at 80%, 2) they’re also heavier (which grants strength leverage advantages). You can see there are a lot of variables here, though. And that’s why a scientific approach is warranted.
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process. 

“After the birth of our second child, I found myself clinically obese, borderline diabetic and suffering from breathing problems, chronic fatigue, acute hypoglycemia to the severity of fainting and dizziness. At one point, I even tipped the scales at 271 pounds, making me heavier than Mike Tyson, the then Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the World. I dieted and got a personal trainer for over a year, but nothing worked! I was so frustrated that I even considered bariatric surgery. I decided to give myself one last shot to lose the weight naturally. I’m ecstatic to report that this was the ONLY thing that ever helped me! I lost over 131 pounds of unhealthy weight, dropped 16 dress sizes and was cleared by a medical doctor to be in “Perfect Health” in less than 9 months after starting the program! Best of all, it was easy, I was never tired or starved, and I’ve kept the weight off for almost five years and counting- even after the birth of our third child! I can honestly say my life, my health and my body has been transformed! It was my own weight loss testimony that inspired me to start Fit Body Weight Loss in order to help others reach their goals. Today, I’m so thankful I did not give up on myself! If I can do it, so can YOU!”
"Tight glycemic control is necessary to maintain health and to prevent disease," Ellen Blaak, a professor of fat metabolism and physiology at Maastricht University, wrote in a review of studies published in the journal Obesity Reviews. Her study found links between poorly controlled blood-sugar levels and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
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The scientists ferried 20 overweight, middle-aged men by train and cable car to a research station perched 1,000 feet below the peak of Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze. During the week-long stay, the men could eat and drink as much as they liked and were forbidden from any exercise other than leisurely strolls. The team measured the men's weight, metabolic rate, levels of hunger and satiety hormones before, during, and after their mountain retreat After a week up high, the subjects lost an average of 3 pounds. A month later, they were still 2 pounds lighter. The scientists' data showed this was likely because they ate about 730 calories less at high altitudes than they did at normal elevations. They may have felt less hungry, in part, because levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, surged during the stay, while grehlin, the hunger hormone, remained unchanged. Their metabolic rate also spiked, meaning they burned more calories than they usually did. A high-altitude weight loss strategy could be viable, though studies have shown peoples' appetites bounce back after about six months at high elevation, Leissner said. “If you could do intermittent periods for one week, then go down, and then go back up, this might actually be helpful.”
Learn how to balance stress, weight and nutrition during Cooper’s popular six-day “Wellness Week” program ($2,195, does not include accommodation). The program includes two personal training sessions, group fitness classes, three calorie-controlled meals a day and two dining-out experiences where guests learn how to choose healthy options. Before you get started, sign up for the six-to-eight hour comprehensive physical exam that includes a stress test, blood test, skin cancer screening, and CT scan, as it is one of the few that provides same-day results.
Now I'm starting my third month, and I have total control over my daily schedule. At this point, all the principles are ingrained and I understand what I need to do and why it's important, but I still have the support of the staff whenever I need it. I know that real life isn't going to be like a weight-loss resort, so this is the final step in preparing me for when I leaving here.
Izzy says: "If you are struggling to prepare meals that fit into your calorie allowance, most nutritionists are in agreement that portion controlled, calorie counted meals are an effective and convenient solution. You can find a number of options in your supermarket, or a delivered diet service like Diet Chef can do all the hard work for you – allowing you to still tuck into curries and pasta, whilst adding your own fruit and vegetables on the side."
A calorie isn’t always a calorie. Eating 100 calories of high fructose corn syrup, for example, can have a different effect on your body than eating 100 calories of broccoli. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories but don’t make you feel full (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories (like vegetables).
Not eating enough fiber may be a major reason women are getting fatter and flabbier. To ditch the fat and show off firm, beautiful abs, you need to eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily, says leading fiber researcher David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Food and Nutrition Board. Fiber, which is the indigestible part of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods, helps you achieve flat abs for three reasons:
I gather that by consuming copious amounts of water, you decrease the concentration of sodium in the cells and plasma, which decreases anti-dieuretic hormone activity, which enhances pissing (correct me if I’m wrong). Is osmolality the regulated variable here??? If so, would it not fall to within normal ranges after the excess water is pissed out, thereby reducing diuresis? If there is further pissing, there must be some residual effect of ADH, or perhaps some other explanation? Any idea of how much water is actually lost through this residual process?
The American Heart Association recommends that the amount of added sugar consumed in a day shouldn’t exceed 25 grams for women and 37.5 grams for men, but since the sweet stuff is in everything from bread to tomato sauce, most Americans aren’t adhering to those guidelines and they’re fatter for it. In a review of 68 clinical trials and studies, New Zealand researchers reported in the British Medical Journal that increasing sugar intake meant increasing body weight while reducing sugar meant reducing body weight. Additional research has shown that cutting back on the granular stuff is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.

The degree to which exercise aids weight loss is open to debate, but the benefits go way beyond burning calories. Exercise can increase your metabolism and improve your outlook—and it’s something you can benefit from right now. Go for a walk, stretch, move around and you’ll have more energy and motivation to tackle the other steps in your weight-loss program.
Of course, many guests—whom one program director described as type A’s, double A’s and triple A’s, even if they aren’t all super-fit—come for the results, not just the high. And we were pleased. One guest dropped nearly nine pounds his first week and ten his second. After one week, I’d taken off just about all the fat I'd put on after I was sidelined by an injury several months ago. My skin glowed, the dark circles under my eyes looked lighter, and I genuinely felt rested.
The baseline portion sizes of our snacks and meals have ballooned over the past 40 years. The average size of many of our foods — including fast food, sit-down meals, and even items from the grocery store — has grown by as much as 138% since the 1970s, according to data from the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Nutrition, and the Journal of the American Medical Association
If you have a big celebration or date coming up, you might think it makes sense to “save” your calories for when it’s time to let loose, but this technique is rarely effective and could actually be hindering your ability to lose weight. “Although this makes sense in theory—consuming fewer calories total per day—it rarely works out as cleanly as we like,” Lisa Hayim spelled out for us in The 30 Worst Diet Mistakes You’re Making. “By the time you get to the date, and have a drink or two, the feelings of extreme hunger rush in, and you’re grabbing for whatever you can get your hands on, which is usually foods high in calories and fat. You’re so hungry, you may even end up consuming more than a day’s worth of calories in one sitting! Plus, with alcohol in your system, your body is less able to efficiently metabolize the calories,” explains Hayim. “Instead, consume normal meals throughout the day, arrive at your date cool, calm, and collected, and enjoy your cocktail and eat responsibly.”

Also some research shows that the human body is primed to consume most of its calories during daylight hours. But the lifestyle is problematic for many: Because family meals and dinners with friends often are scheduled for after sunset, “people who try to stop eating after 7pm can’t do it every day for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Seltzer, who supports an alternative strategy: Eating a hearty meal at your regular dinnertime.
While we're sure you meant well when you set that New Year's resolution to lose weight—and actually stick to it this time—research shows most people ditch their goals by the end of February. But we say it's time to recommit, what with warm weather on the horizon and swimsuits getting pulled out of the closet. And since we may or may not need a little kick in the pants to get started (and figured you might, too), we rounded up the top weight loss retreats that do just that. So instead of focusing on the kids, work, and the 12,000 errands you have to run, book a flight and focus on getting back to, well, you. Because yes, it really is smart to take care of yourself first. Pinky promise.

Working with a lifestyle medicine professional can also help you manage expectations, set reasonable goals and respond to your body’s changes if weight loss is a goal of yours. You may also want to consider whether a nutritionist is right for you. The team at the Northwestern Medicine Center for Lifestyle Medicine specializes in setting achievable goals ranging from comprehensive weight-loss treatment and management for overweight and obese adults and educational strategies that promote weight loss to risk factor reduction and tools to improve physical activity and encourage healthy eating.


(CONFRONT YOUR FEARS) A friend reminded me of this recently and as he did I remembered a fear. It was fresh and still made my skin prickle with anticipation even though it started many years ago. It feels like yesterday and I’m sure you have those moments too, the ones that never left you even though you shoved them away for a long time. It starts with the 6th grade physical fitness tests. They were the worst things ever except for the talented few that got the bright blue patches. These tests traumatized me. Mostly, the timed mile. Even though we were children it was expected that we run it and everyone did- except me. There wasn't much kindness or compassion in the process and once I realized that, it was something that I dreaded, avoided and ultimately feared. It’s so easy to take ourselves out of even trying when there’s no encouragement to try. When your gym clothes don’t fit right and you’re afraid of the attention that coming in last place will bring you. Year after year this test happened and year after year I walked it & then cried, faked being sick and then ultimately stopped showing up. I’ve never run a mile without stopping and it’s always been on my list of things I want to do but didn’t know if I would. But I want to now. No matter how long it takes me and for no one else other than myself. And now, after being here I would rather try and fail than not try at all. Now’s the time to tackle the fears, all of them no matter how small or how big. So one day I started by asking my trainer if we could work on learning how to run in between strength training. My voice raised and I stumbled over my words and I felt self-conscious again like that chubby little 6th grader in too tight of gym shorts. I was nervous putting this out into the world. He said absolutely and then the next day we did. Just like that. He took me through some movements to work on my stride and made me feel like this was something that I could do. And step by step it was. Only 45 seconds this time, but 45 seconds closer to my goal and each step we take towards our goals away from our fears count. Not always the end result matters most, but the time it takes to jog there.
There’s no denying dinner rolls are delicious, but you don’t need to take the “breaking bread” aspect of a meal so literally. Instead, steer clear of the bread basket and munch on a leafy green salad instead. If the carb-heavy starter is still too tempting to avoid, try nibbling on a high-fiber snack before sitting down to eat, such as a handful of nuts. The fiber found in nuts will keep you satiated, meaning you won’t be as easily induced to reach for the bread and butter, and you’ll be swapping out unhealthy fats for healthy ones. It’s a win-win!
Why a top-pick? Many weight loss retreats develop their programs around a specific exercise schedule and predetermined nutritional goals. At Kripalu, participants spend more time delving into why they eat and what they can do to make healthier choices. Dieters don't go home with a specific meal plan to follow, but they have the opportunity to connect with others so that they can continue to build on the foundation that they establish at Kripalu.
As you mention, HS wrestlers (also, many other grappling sport athletes), boxers, etc. aren’t given the full 24 hours to recover from depletion. Many of these sports have mat-side weigh-ins. Others are just given a few hours after weigh-in to replenish. For these sports, athletes are best served focusing on year-round nutrition strategies, ones that help them stay at a weight very close to the weight they’d like to compete at.
1 Reference for 5%: Blackburn G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S. Reference for 10%: NIH, NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.pdf [PDF-1.25MB]

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