With the biggest boxing tournament of my career looming around the corner, the last 2 weeks since returning from a month of travel and half-assing life have been solidly focussed on dropping 10lb to make fight weight. (I had to get from 135lb to 125lb). The first 6lb were gone in 2 days; I usually sit comfortably at 128-129lb day to day, so as soon as I returned to normal eating and training my body responded quickly. The last 4lb have taken a little more discipline to lose, complicated further by the fact that I still need to have a tonne of energy and healthy nutrients every day to maintain my training load and recover well. It’s not so simple as reducing my calories and dealing with feeling like a zombie for a few days… In a sport like boxing that would also be the fastest way to get knocked out haha.
Reducing calorie intake technically is the basis for weight loss (weight loss only occurs when you burn more calories than you consume), but when trying to do it simultaneously to maximising athletic performance, it must be done in such a way that I’m consuming MORE carbs, MORE protein and MORE vitamins and minerals. Basically, I want low calorie foods that have a lot of bang for my buck… foods that will satisfy my nutrient needs with minimal (or no) amounts of other sh*t, make me feel full, foods that require higher amounts of energy to digest than they even contain and/or induce my metabolism to go into overdrive and chewing through calories left right and centre.
My diet is not restricted to only these foods; these are just some that in addition to a regular healthy diet of lean meat/fish, veggies, grains, etc, help the weight loss process along a little. And there are obviously loads more than just the few I’m about to list, but these are some of my faves:
- Farro. What is it? It’s is a grain, kind of like quinoa or rice. When trying to get lean, eating less calories but more nutrition is the aim of the game. Which makes farro awesome, because its unprocessed like other carb sources made from flour eg. bread, pasta, etc. For a grain, it’s also super high in protein and contains more fibre than brown rice or quinoa! I usually just cook up 1 cup (when raw) of it every few days and keep it in the fridge ready to add to salads when I need to. You basically cook it like rice and it only takes about 15 mins to cook. Get into it!!
- Grapefruits. They have long been known for their weight loss benefits, being high in fibre (make you feel full), and great for stabilizing your blood sugar, resulting in lower insulin levels which means your body can use more food for fuel rather than storing it as fat. It is also said to curb cravings… I don’t really get cravings when I eat a balanced diet and sleep enough so I can’t vouch for that, but it sounds good 😉
- Cinnamon and Cayenne pepper are also said to be great for stabilizing blood sugar and therefore lowering insulin levels. They are also known for causing your metabolic rate to rise (meaning you burn more calories faster, making it easier to create that caloric deficit required to lose weight)
- Paprika is another metabolism boosting spice that may also reduce your appetite. I put this on chicken, salmon, veggies, salads, avocado on toast… It kinda tastes good on anything haha.
ne spear of asparagus has only approx. 4 calories in it! Most people use more calories to digest it than what’s even in it = Perfect weight loss food!!!! (I put mine in an omelette with other veggies too). Celery is another similar option with only 6 calories per medium stalk.
- Plain Black Coffee or Green Tea. Caffeine will not only speed up metabolism, it gives me the energy of a crazy person so I want to exercise about 20 times harder than usual, and am even just more physical in my day to day activities rather than wanting to sitting around on my butt. Though the key here is not to overdo it, as you don’t want to start losing sleep. An optimal sleeping pattern is one of the key ingredients in effective weight loss and recovery. Coffee can also be known to supress appetite a little, and while this can be helpful to stop you from boredom eating, be mindful to make sure you still eat, as coffee will only make you “feel” like you have energy, you still need to food to “give” you energy and sustenance.
- Avocado, Olive oil and Almonds – not together, but for the same reasons, so I’m grouping them as one to save repeating myself haha. They are great sources of healthy, unsaturated fats. As they consist mostly of fat they are relatively high in calories compared to say fruits and vegetables, however only small amounts of them are very filling, and they are possibly 3 of the most bang-for-your-buck, nutrient-packed super-foods around. Plus, almonds and avocados are reasonably high in fibre too!
Another thing to note is that all these foods are quite low in sodium, which helps with alleviating water retention and bloating. And I do drink a substantial amount of water – sometimes around 5L a day – as we sweat a lot here in Miami haha. It is important to eat a little salt in the diet, especially when doing a high volume of sweating and training, but when trying to lose weight you don’t want to be carrying around any extra water weight. If you’re interested, check out this previous post of mine on the process of reducing weight via water loading.
Of course to be most effective in a weight loss diet, all these foods must be eaten in their appropriate quantities. If you need help with your nutrition (or a personalised workout plan) feel free to give me a shout! :)