How To Lose 20–30 Pounds In 5 Days: The Extreme Weight Cutting and Rehydration Secrets of UFC Fighters

Nate Green workout and nutrition tests collage showing feet on a scale, dietician's hand on his stomach, vertical jump test using ladder rungs, chest circumference measurement with tape.

The following is a guest post by Nate Green, who works with Dr. John Berardi, nutritional advisor to athletes like UFC champion Georges St. Pierre (GSP).

This is the first of two blog posts entailing extreme physical experiments. Absolutely no performance enhancing drugs of any kind were used.

Part 1 — this post — details exactly how top fighters like Georges St. Pierre rapidly lose 20-30 pounds for “weigh-ins.” To refine the method, Nate performed this on himself, losing 20 pounds in 5 days. The unique part: Dr. Berardi and team measured key variables throughout the entire process, including the last “rehydration” phase. As Berardi put it:

“We used GSP’s exact protocol with him [Nate]. The idea was that by doing this with a guy who didn’t actually have to compete the next day, we could measure all sorts of performance variables that you’d never get with an athlete about to fight.”

Part 2 — the next post — will share how Nate used intermittent fasting and strategically planned eating to gain 20 pounds in 28 days, emulating a fighter who wants (or needs) to move up a weight class in competition.

Cautionary Note on Part 1

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters put it all out in the open for the world to see: they kick, punch, laugh, cry, and bleed in front of thousands of arena fans and millions more watching at home.

But even if you’re a hardcore fan who knows all the stats, there’s something behind the scenes that you’ve probably never seen in full: world-class weight manipulation

Done right, it can significantly increase a fighter’s chances of winning. An athlete will artificially lower his weight for pre-fight weigh-ins, then show up to the actual fight 10, 20, or even 30 pounds heavier than his opponent. It’s a game changer.

Done wrong, it can make even the toughest guy lose his edge… and probably the fight. There’s serious risk of organ failure if done haphazardly.

Even though boxers and wrestlers have been manipulating weight in this fashion for decades, it has the air of illicit activity. And though it’s legal in MMA competition, you should never try this at home or without medical supervision. Excessive dehydration can kill you. “Cutting weight” has no place in real-world dieting or behavior.

This is NOT an article on sustainable weight loss or healthy living. Rather, it’s a fascinating look at how far athletes and scientists will go to manipulate the human body for competitive advantage.

Here’s how it works…

Enter Nate

Imagine this: It’s Saturday night and you’re a top-ranked MMA fighter who just stepped into the cage to fight for the 170-pound Welterweight Championship.

Question: How much do you weigh?

The answer may seem obvious: 170 pounds, right? But if you followed the steps of extreme weight manipulation, the real answer is that you weigh somewhere between 185 and 190 pounds. That’s 15-20 pounds more than the “cutoff” weight of 170.

24 hours before you stepped into the cage, however, you did in fact weigh 170 pounds. You had to. Friday night was the official weigh-in where you and your opponent both stripped down to your skivvies, stepped on the scale in front of the judge, and prayed that the number on the scale hit 170 or lower.

But once you stepped off that scale it was a race to gain weight.

I find this kind of physiological puppetry very interesting. Most of us regular guys have a hard time gaining or losing just 5 pounds at a time.

But the top combat athletes can lose up to 30 pounds in just 5 days leading up to the fight. Then they can gain nearly all of it back in the 24 hours between weighing in and going toe-to-toe.

They do this to gain a massive competitive advantage. In other words, the bigger guy who retains more of his strength, agility, and endurance will likely win. The guy who weighs in at 170 — and then fights at 170 — often has a world of hurt coming his way.

That’s why Anderson Silva – arguably the world’s best MMA fighter — normally fights in the 185-pound class even though he actually weighs 215 pounds. A few days before he fights, Anderson “cuts” 30 pounds to make weight…then gains most of his weight back in 24 hours in time for his fight.

Georges St Pierre — arguably the world’s 2nd best fighter – normally walks around at 195 pounds. He ends up cutting 25 pounds to make his 170 pound weight class, and then gains 20 of it back before his fight.

Sneaky, huh?

Just how do these guys do it? And what does this rapid weight loss and weight gain do to their performance?

My Extreme Weight Manipulation Experiment

I’m lucky enough to be friends with Dr. John Berardi and Martin Rooney, two guys who regularly work with UFC athletes.

Recently, I told them I wanted to see what cutting weight was like. Is it really possible for a regular guy like me to drop 20 pounds in a few days then gain all of it back in 24 hours?

And if it was possible, what would it feel like? I heard cutting weight was one of the hardest things fighters do throughout their career. Was I man enough to handle it? Or would I give up when things got tough?

They agreed to help me cut 20 pounds in one week, and then put it all back on again in 24 hours.

Nervous doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt.

The Smart Way To Cut Weight Fast

Nate Green before cutting

Before pics. Full of water and feeling happy.

Now extreme weight manipulation can go horribly, horribly wrong. Even a lot of UFC guys don’t know how to do it the smart way. Instead, they put their bodies in real harm by doing stupid things like taking a lot of diuretics, not drinking any water, skipping meals, wearing trash bags while exercising (sometimes in the sauna) and generally being idiotic.

They lose weight, of course. But they also lose energy and power and develop one bad temper. None of which helps during fight time.

With the help of Dr. Berardi and Rooney, I decided to take a smarter route, instead of putting my health in serious jeopardy.

I started at 190.2 pounds and had 5 days to lose 20 pounds.

Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional strategies we used — the same one Georges St Pierre and other elite MMA fighters use before a big fight. (Remember: we know this because Dr. Berardi is Georges’ nutrition coach).


Dropping weight fast is all about manipulating your water and sodium levels.

For a fighter who wants to cut weight quickly and safely, here’s how much water he would consume in the 5 days leading up to his weigh-in:

Sunday – 2 gallons

Monday – 1 gallon

Tuesday – 1 gallon

Wednesday – .5 gallons

Thursday – .25 gallons

Friday – No water till after weigh-in at 5PM.

As you can see, the amount of water starts high with two gallons and decreases with each day till he’s drinking hardly any water on Thursday and Friday.

This is to ensure their body gets into “flushing mode.”

By drinking lots of water early on, the fighter’s body will down-regulate aldosterone, a hormone that acts to conserve sodium and secrete potassium.

And when he suddenly reduces the amount of water he drinks in the middle and end of the week, his body will still be in flushing mode, meaning he’ll hit the bathroom to pee a lot even though he’s hardly drinking any water.

What happens when you excrete more fluid than you take in? Bingo! Rapid weight loss.


Since one gram of carbohydrate pulls 2.7 grams of water into the body, it’s important for fighters to keep their carb intake low.

By doing this, they also deplete muscle glycogen (a source of energy) and keep their body in “flush mode”.


These are carbs that should be avoided entirely while cutting.


Fighters have to eat something. Since they’re avoiding carbs, Dr. Berardi advises them to load up on high-quality protein like meats, eggs or a vegetarian sources of protein. It’s also the perfect opportunity to eat lots of leafy vegetables (like spinach) and cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower).

Georges St Pierre normally has his meals prepared by a private chef so he doesn’t even have to think about this stuff or make decisions. Recommended reading: here’s an entire article detailing GSP’s training diet.


Since the body likes to hold on to sodium (which will hold on to water), dropping salt helps the fighter’s body flush water out.


This step isn’t always necessary, but it can help when you’re getting down to the wire and still need to lose water. Opt for a natural diuretic like dandelion root, but wait until the last 2 days to use it.


We sweat a lot in hot environments. However, we sweat the most in hot, humid environments. Since hot water offers both heat and 100% humidity, fighters lose water quickly by taking hot baths and fully submerging everything but their nose for 10 minutes at a time.


This is the “finishing touch” to flush the last few pounds of water and is only used on the last few days leading up to the weigh-in.

The Weight Cut Schedule

So if we take all of that and break it into a weekly plan, it looks like this:


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

Water: 2 gallons

Salt: None


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

Water: 1 gallon

Salt: None


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

Water: 1 gallon

Salt: None


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

Water: 0.5 gallon

Salt: None

Sauna in afternoon


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

Water: 0.25 gallon

Salt: None

Sauna in afternoon for 30 minutes, hot water bath at night


Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

Protein and Fat: Eat 2 very small meals until weigh in

Water: None till weigh-in

Salt: None

Sauna until weight is met

(Note from Tim: You can download the entire weight-manipulation plan that Nate used here: Weight Loss and Rehydration Protocol.)

What It Feels Like To Cut Weight

Nate Green after cutting weight

Dry as a bone and none to happy about it.

So that all looks fine on paper. But what does it actually feel like to go through it?

One word: Hell.

I started my cut on Sunday at 190 pounds. Here’s a quick rundown of what it looked like.


I carry a gallon water jug with me wherever I go, which makes me feel ridiculous. But I have to make sure I get my two gallons of water in. Overall, though, I feel fine. It actually doesn’t seem that difficult. I’m not sure what the big deal is.


I’m starting to miss the taste of salt. All of my food is bland. Now I’m drinking one gallon of water instead of two. Still not that bad.


I go to the bathroom 13 times in one day. A new record, I believe. And I’m still drinking a gallon of water.


Now I’m down to half gallon of water per day, which means I have to ration it out, which feels weird. I have a little with breakfast, a little with lunch, and a little with dinner. It’s definitely not enough water.

My mouth is dry. I feel dehydrated. I’m drinking straight espresso instead of drip coffee because it contains too much water.

In the evening, I try my first hot water bath. I generally enjoy baths, but this one’s different. My apartment’s water doesn’t get as hot as Dr. Berardi wants it to be — “hot enough to cause moderate pain but not burn your hand” — so I fill two pots and a kettle with water, put them on the stovetop until they boil, and pour them into the bath tub.

I get into the bath and immediately regret the decision.

10 minutes later, I’m lying naked in the middle of my living room trying to catch my breath. My eyes are rolled back into my head. My entire body feels like a giant heartbeat. I want to drink some water, but can’t.

This is starting to be less fun.


I am a zombie. A zombie who sits. Mostly in the sauna or on the couch.

In the sauna I watch beads of sweat collect on my skin. I see my precious water run down my arms and chest and legs and know that I won’t be able to replenish any of it when I get out.

I only have .25 gallons of water to last me the entire day. I’m ready for this to be over.


I look sick, very sick.

I spend the last 30 minutes before the weigh-in in the sauna and drink four sips of water throughout the entire day…

What Cutting Weight Does To Performance

OK, I’ll save you the rest of the journal entries and share some performance data.

While the fighters are tested in competition, no one has ever really documented how much strength or power they lose by dehydrating. (Or how much strength and power they regain after they get all their weight back.)

So we decided to check.

And it turns out, losing 20 pounds in 5 days is not conducive to being strong, powerful, or agile. (Surprise!) I couldn’t jump as high, lift as much weight, or run as fast or as long as I had just a week before during our baseline testing.


Baseline: 31.7 inches

After Dehydration: 27.6 inches


Baseline: 15 reps

After Dehydration: 5 reps


Baseline: 3 minutes and 14 seconds of sprinting at 8mph with 6% incline

After Dehydration: 1 minute and 28 seconds of sprinting at 8mph with 3% incline

It’s no wonder these guys try to gain all their weight back immediately after weighing in. They’d be screwed if they didn’t.

Speaking of which…

The Smart Way To Gain Weight Fast

Once UFC athletes cut weight and weigh-in, they’d never be able to perform at a top level. (Which is obvious from my less-than-stellar performance in the gym).

So what do they do next? They gain as much weight as humanly possible in 24 hours.

Here’s how they do it. (And how I did it, too.)


According to Dr. Berardi, the body can absorb only about 1 liter (2.2 pounds) of fluid – at maximum – in an hour. So he advises the fighters he works with to not to drink any more than that. Instead, he tells them to sip 1 liter (2.2 pounds) of water per hour.

However, the fighters won’t retain all that fluid. In fact, probably about 25% of it will be lost as urine.

So, here’s the math for someone like Georges St Pierre:

  • 9 liters (20 pounds) of water to get back.
  • 11 liters (25 pounds) of fluid between Friday weigh-in and Saturday weigh-in to get it all back.
  • 24 hours in which to do it. 8 of which he’ll be sleeping and 3 of which will be leading up to Saturday weigh-in.

This leaves 13 total hours for rehydration.

So as soon as Georges steps off the scale, he literally slams a liter of water and carries the bottle around with him, refilling it and draining it every hour until 3 hours before his fight. (There isn’t a bathroom in the cage.)


Now’s also the time for fighters to load up on carbs and pull all the water they’re drinking back into their muscles. It also helps them feel more human and look less sickly. (Something I definitely experienced during my super-hydration phase.)

Dr. Berardi has his fighters eat a big meal directly after they weigh in. He doesn’t restrict calories – his athletes can eat as much as they want in that meal as long as it’s healthy food like lean meats, sweet potatoes, rice, and vegetables. (Gorging on junk food is a bad idea.)

Then on Saturday (fight day), Dr. Berardi has his fighters eat a satisfying amount of healthy food in a few small meals leading up to the fight.


Since sodium helps the body retain water, fighters are encouraged to add extra salt to their meals.

Here’s what my super rehydration schedule looked like:

The Weight-Gain Schedule


Carbs: Eat as much as you want in one meal after weigh-in and testing

Protein and Fat: Eat as much as you want in one meal after weigh-in and testing

Rehydration Beverage: Drink 1 liter of water mixed with 1/2 scoop of carbohydrate/protein drink for every hour you’re awake. (We used Surge Workout Fuel.)

Salt: Salt food


Carbs: Eat satisfying amount in four meals before weigh-in

Protein: Eat satisfying amount in four meals before weigh-in

Rehydration Beverage: Drink 1 liter of water mixed with 1/2 scoop of carbohydrate/protein drink for every hour you’re awake but stop 3 hours before testing.

What Gaining Weight Does To Performance

Nate Green after rehydration

Back to normal-ish.

First things first: Personally, I ended up gaining 16.9 pounds back in 24 hours. Not bad.

But the real question: How much strength and power do you really gain when you super-hydrate?

Answer: A lot.

While I didn’t perform as well as my baseline (when I did all the performance tests before I started the experiment), I got really close. Which means that even though I put my body through a week of torture, it was almost 100%.

And I totally annihilated my performance numbers from just 24 hours before when I was sickly and dehydrated.

I ran faster and longer, jumped higher, and lifted more weight for more reps.


Baseline: 31.7 inches

After Dehydration: 27.6 inches

Re-hydrated: 29 inches


Baseline: 15 reps

After Dehydration: 5 reps

Rehydrated: 12 reps


Baseline: 3 minutes and 14 seconds of sprinting at 8mph with 6% incline

After Dehydration: 1 minute and 28 seconds of sprinting at 8mph with 3% incline

Rehydrated: 3 minutes and 25 seconds of sprinting at 8mph with 6% incline

Lose Weight. Gain Weight. Fight.

For an MMA fighter, this is about the time when he’d be getting ready to step in the cage and fight, which means it’s about the same time you’d turn on the TV and see him in his corner, jumping up and down, getting psyched and ready for battle.

How much does he weigh?

It’s safe to say at least 10-30 pounds more than the weight class he’s fighting in.

And now you know the “secret” to extreme weight manipulation, something 99.9% of guys who watch MMA will never know.

Pretty cool, right?

If you have questions, please put them in the comments and Dr. Berardi and I will do our best to answer them.


Nate’s not done yet. Next, we’ll have Part 2 – How To Gain 20 Pounds in 28 Days: The Extreme Muscle Building Secrets of UFC Fighters.

For more about Nate and his writing, check out his blog.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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906 Replies to “How To Lose 20–30 Pounds In 5 Days: The Extreme Weight Cutting and Rehydration Secrets of UFC Fighters”

  1. Could you outline some of your daily workout routines that helped in this weight-loss as well? I have a week to cut 10 lbs and I’ve never cut before. I think I have my diet pretty well planned out (eggs, fish, avacado’s, spinach/greens/cauliflower, etc.) along with water for flushing, but I want to make sure I get in the right amount of cardio to meet my target. Btw, I’m 5’10 and currently 189.4-190 (after hydrating again for the night), w/ probably 16% BF, if that helps. (I need to make 179.9 by next Friday, 5 PM).

  2. I am a female powerlifter needing to drop 8 pounds to make my weight class. I plan to follow this plan. I have competing in shows before so I am already. familiar with how I react to dehydration. Do you think this plan is ok for 1 petite female to make weigh in? 3 weeks from the meet I started paleo. I now I have 2 weeks left to cut the rest of the weight. I am hoping this plan will help me shed the last stubborn pounds the week of my meet,

  3. Tim,

    I am 32 years old, 5’6″, and weigh 168 pounds; since, I had my son I gained 45 pounds. I eat pretty good and have one day where I eat lots of junky foods. My son is 7, I should have lost the weight by now but I can’t; I tried exercising however I have a hard time finding the time with everything else going on in my life right now. I have had multiple medical issues within the past 3-4 years and a couple multiple surgery’s (Tumors on my ovary’s, endometriosis, full hysterectomy, appendix removed, etc.). Recently things are much better but I still cannot lose the wait. Is the above weight loss plan okay for me? I need to lose about 30 pounds within the next two weeks. Please advise.

    Thank you.

  4. I’m not a fighter. I just want to lose weight. If I do this. The second I eat anything will I gain all my weight back? Even if its healthy?

  5. I have a few questions. I am a female fighter who walks around at ~140, I eat clean with some carbs starting at 8 weeks out. My normal diet is approximately 1200 calories, <100g, 25g-30g fat, 1800mg sodium, 1G of water. I found your article very interesting because I often fight at 119.9, but as I have accrued lean muscle over time, it becomes harder to hit. I used to be able to just diet down to 122 lbs, fairly effortlessly. Now, getting below 128 lbs is a bit of a chore and I end up having to do a lot of immersions starting Thursday night up until weigh-ins.

    I decided to follow your diet leading up to an amateur fight where my weight matters less (I've fought at 134.9 as low as 126.5, so this is the ideal time to try new things). My professional fighters have to be at whatever weight I agree to make (obviously). For the week prior to doing this I upped my sodium to around 3700mg, because I wasn't sure if the sodium cut would be significant enough going from 1800mg and going down. I started this Sunday at 132.0 (I only have 16-18 hours between weigh-in and fight, so I felt like 15-20 would be too far out) Monday morning I was 130.2. This morning (Tuesday) I'm only 129.8. I'm making a hard cutoff in terms of continuing the cut to be 130.0 end of the day Wednesday. Any more than that would mean cutting too much water.

    I have been eating 3-4 eggs for breakfast with broccoli, spinach, onions and mushrooms. Shredded grilled chicken over romaine, spinach, broccoli, 2 slices of green pepper, and 3 slices of cucumber for lunch. And for dinner, two fresh turkey burger patties with spinach, mushrooms, and onions (cooked) with steamed broccoli. Water intake has been on point, ending no later than 8pm to try and get a full night's rest. My workouts have been 1-1.5 hours/day but they occur at 7pm because I still have a full-time job, etc.

    1) Can you see anything glaringly obvious that I am doing wrong? I am consuming my weight in protein (~128-135g), ~800mg sodium, 45-50g fat, and all foods come to about 39g of carbs (there is some sugar, from the vegetables, but not from any other sources). I am not eating cheese/ketchup/sriracha/salt, my diet is perfectly bland.

    2) Is there a difference in doing this from a lower body weight?

    3) Are women in general just different?

    4) Is the water not flushing properly because I was already taking in 1G before starting this?

    5) Should I have increased sodium for 2 weeks prior? Or not increased it at all and left it at 1800mg?

    Thanks so much for this article, it's extremely informative. I appreciate any help you can offer.


  6. Can the guidelines of this plan transition over to a same day bout if so what would the differentials be and what would the amount be to your potential weight deficit and minimum restoration period (efficiency of energy systems with shorter restoration periods)

  7. Thanks for this!

    V interesting, and have a fight coming up in 2weeks. Need to lose kgs, won’t be this full on as I have time, but I’ll def take some of this and put it to good use.


  8. If want to continue to lose weight what should be done? And how long can you stay on this plan? …. I would like to lose 40 lbs and maintain that weight

    1. You stay on this plan for 5 days, and if you do everything correctly you rehydrate up to your starting weight in less than 24 hours. This is not a “weight loss” program, it is only for dehydrating to temporarily weigh in for a specific purpose, such as a fight. If you need to drop 40 lbs this is not for you. If you want to keep the weight off for more than 1 day this plan is not for you.

  9. Hello, i was wondering what i should do. Im not a fighter just looking to lose weight and i think i can do this. but how can i keep the weight off?

  10. I am having a bet with a mate, first to 80kg.

    I have been going hard, starting at 89kg two weeks ago and now at 82, just from diet and exercise. Certainly given me a new found respect for those who can keep up dieting!

    The last 2kg are killing me though and I am absolutely sick of missing out on cheeseburgers and every other tasty food in the world, so I’ve decided to ‘cheat’ by cutting water weight.

    I also have a big family dinner and another lunch on the weekend, most likely with amazing food and lots of it, so by Saturday morning I want to be at 80kg.

    Since I only need to lose 2kg (about 4.5 pounds) I was planning on doing a scaled down version:

    Tuesday – 2 gallons

    Wednesday – 1 gallon

    Thursday – 1 gallon

    Friday – .79 gallons (3 litres)

    Saturday – .52 gallons (2 litres)

    Will this still work? Is it safer doing it this way to avoid dehydration?

    I am eating homemade refried beans, steamed vegies (bok choy and brocolli) and chicken meals, with eggs, spinach and beans for breakfast.

    1. Speaking from my own experience as a 185 lb male, I typically drop 5 lbs simply cutting out ALL carbs from my diet and lowering sodium. Following this protocol (which I have done twice now) I generally drop another 5 lbs (10 total) when cutting the carbs/sodium AND following the water protocol. I then tend to drop another 1 or 2 lbs during the last day by simply not eating or drinking. Then by actively dehydrating (sauna and/or jogging in the heat while spitting) I can drop another 5 or more pounds in the last hour or so. So I find it relatively easy to cut 17 or 18 pounds in the 6 days.

      By drinking the water at the end of your modified protocol, you are missing out out a big part of what the cut is about. You are wanting to cut water weight without dehydration, which doesn’t really make sense.

      However, since you are only needing to drop 2 more kg, you have 2 options. 1) Walk right over to the sauna right now and start sweating- hit your goal in a short period of time and be done with it. 2) Follow the protocol as written, monitor your weight every day (am & pm) and adjust based on need.

      1. Oh – and cut out those beans and other carbs for this last week. Eat the chicken and broccoli.

      2. There’s carbs in beans?! Had no idea…

        Cheers for the advice. I will cut back on water today to .66 gallons and see how I go in the sauna/hot bath.

        Only need to drop 1 more kg =)

        I lost 1.2kg playing basketball last night, followed by a hot bath. (When I got out I dropped my water bottle and tried drinking from my shoe. Needless to say that didn’t work. Dehydration is dangerous folks! I know now to have a shorter bath)

    2. 🙂 Yes, you will feel like total crap if you start to get too dehydrated. That’s why you need to plan the timing so that you hit your low point, step on the scale 10 seconds later, and then immediately rehydrate. One of the more dangerous effects of dehydration is a lack of control of your body temperature, so I try to make sure I have a cool environment/ice packs available once finished. This can also help if there is gap of time between the last sauna and weigh in. I also make sure everyone around me knows what I’m doing, so just in case I pass out or have a seizure (has never happened) someone can get me immediate treatment. You also need to self-monitor. If you ever stop sweating (while trying to) you are one step away from heat stroke.

      You basketball example is great. Most people just don’t realize how much their weight can fluctuate over the course of a day. When I see people online freaking out or getting excited over a couple of pounds gain/lost over a week I just want to tell them that I have had my weight go up 17 lbs in less than 8 hours just from rehydration.

      1. Good to know about the whole ‘not sweating’ thing.

        I reached my goal of 80kg last night (79.5!), and didn’t even need to finish the dehydration part of the cutting!

        Just stopping carbs, salt and sugar was enough, with 20min in a sauna and 30min in a hot bath.

        Glad I could do it without ‘cheating’.

    1. Anything that fits in what’s recommended above:

      Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.

      Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals

      Low Sodium

      I eat all kinds of meat, broccoli and other non-watery, low net carb veggies, and stuff like natural no salt added peanut butter. Walnuts are good too. I’ll mix no carb, low fat mayo with shredded chicken breast. Just look around and you can find stuff to eat.

    1. Nearly all of it is water weight, but depending on your total calorie intake and exercise, you may lose some fat and/or muscle, just like any other week of watching what you eat. However, I will tell you that after a competition and dieting, I typically gain some rebound weight as I stop caring what I eat for a week or two…

  11. Im a high school school wrestler that usually weight between 120 – 125lbs i would like to drop down to 108 but before the season there is certification day where they let you know what weight class you can go into without dropping below 7% body fat while hydrated do you think this technique will keep my hydrated since my body would be in flushing mode?

    1. This is a dehydration method. It is impossible to be hydrated while being dehydrated. Also if you are under 18 do not try this at all anyway.

      1. But if you’re peeing a lot even though you’re barely drinking wouldn’t you still be hydrated like you just drank 4 gallons in 3 days

      2. There are degrees of hydration/dehydration. Just because you are peeing doesn’t mean you are not dehydrated. This method is designed to manipulate your hormones to keep you peeing when you normally wouldn’t be. The 4 gallons in the prior 3 days are not retained like a camel for later use. You will be dropping weight even during these early days. The early water overload is designed to help flush sodium from your system among other reasons.

        Also as a former high school wrestler, my advice is to not try to make this weight class since you will not have the opportunity to rehydrate prior to your match. (No 24 hour weigh in for you). Even if you make weight this time, you will be so weak you will lose. Also you will still have to make weight for every other match and unless you have 10 to 15 lbs of actual fat to drop, you’ll have to follow this every time you have a match and you will lose every match, so skip it.

        FYI – One year when I was wrestling, I did an 8 lb cut for the state weigh-in, lost my match that day (due to lack of strength on my part) to an opponent I had previously dominated, and never had an opportunity to drop back down to that weight class the rest of the year anyway. It was an all-around bad decision.

        Also, if you don’t like what I’m saying, please discuss it with your coaches and parents, dropping 10% or more bodyweight is serious business.

  12. Thanks @remo i wrestled 108 last year dropping down from 120 and i found it hard to drop down so i think im going to drop to 113 or 120

  13. Hi i would Like to know if i Can still dó cardio in the dehydration weekend or will it mess up my ” flushing mode “

  14. How would you change this for an amateur fighter in terms of rehydration? I only have about 10 hrs between fight and weigh in

  15. I need to drop at least 10 lbs to join the military, so would using this method to just cut water weight work just as well to make weight? How dangerous is a plan like this to the body?

  16. Hi Johnny!

    Hi Doc!

    I’m an amateur boxer in Australia and currently weigh 80/81 kilograms at about 6?1?. My trainer wants me to drop down to 75 kilograms to fight at middleweight for my first fight (which is the state titles, consisting of a 3 day knockout tournament, weigh ins each morning at 10 am). I want to know if its possible to lose that weight to make weigh for those 3 consecutive mornings, or will i feel too weak and to depleted to be fighting? should i just stay at light-heavy weight? Mind you, i’ve never ever been below 79 kilograms, and this is the lightest i’ve ever been.

    This looks like a great plan, but I’m not too sure if it will suffice for a 3 day tournament.

    Thanks John!

  17. How is it even possible to eat less than 50 grams of carbs while avoiding sugars and starches when all carbohydrates are made up of starches and sugars?

    Also how is it possible to completely remove salt from the diet when most protein sources will contain some form of sodium content. I.e eggs and meats?

    If you have any tips and suggestions on what proteins/fats to eat whilst cutting weight along with suggestions on which carbs to eat whilst avoiding starches and sugars that would be great!

    1. Don’t eat carbs, you have avoided starches and sugars. Also fiber is commonly categorized as a carb.

      You can’t completely remove salt, but focus on unprocessed meats (fish, chicken, turkey, steak), vegetables and oils. Use unsalted butter. Eat avocado, lettuce, green beans & a cucumber isn’t bad – there’s plenty to eat if you stick to natural foods.

  18. What if you want to use this method to lose weight and not gain it back.. Well gain it back with muscle instead of fat.. Would this do any major damage to someone’s health?

    1. Jaime – This is not for the kind of weight loss you are looking for. This is water weight only and you should put 100% of the weight back on within 24 hours. Look into developing an eating plan with a calorie deficit.

  19. this cutting plan is very detailed and easy to follow, and from your results it obviously worked for you. however, I am following this plan and am currently on wednesday, i am a day behind as i started the plan on monday not sunday. i am trying this as i am entering a boxing competition and am going to have to loose 6 kilograms. the competition is not untill october 6th i am just practicing. i am very fit and have a very low body fat percentage, as this states it is about water manipulation. as i have said i am following the plan. however, i am not getting any results. the 2 gallons really affected me as it should. however the 1 gallon on the two days did nothing, i did not need to go to the bathroom any more than usual. it seems that the ‘flushing’ technique is not taking affect. it only seemed to work with the 2 gallons. i am not eating carbs as like stated it hold water. neither salt. could you please give some advice as i need this to work, as i have to loose the 6kilograms (im english), and the only way to do so from my psychical state is to loose water. please get back to me ASAP

    1. You have not stated your starting weight, but you need to trust the program. The bulk of the dehydration will occur later in the week. The first time I did this my morning weigh-ins were as follows (in lbs):

      Day 1: 184.1

      Day 2: 180.8

      Day 3: 179.0

      Day 4: 177.7

      Day 5: 174.8

      Day 6: 171.3

      Start sweating

      Day 6, afternoon weigh-in: 166.4

      Day 6, before bed: 177.5

      Part of this will depend on how clean you were eating before, the more carbs and salt are a part of your regular diet, the more effect you will have by cutting them out. Also that final sweat is easily good for 5 lbs.

    1. Just my opinion, but I like the sauna because I can monitor the amount of sweat I see leaving my skin. This can be important because you can prevent over-dehydration (you can see yourself stop sweating).

  20. Besides probably not dropping to the goal weight, what would happen if you start the routine and then starting on Tuesday, you stick to the Tuesday plan but repeat Tuesday’s plan for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday? Would you continue to drop weight or would you plateau?

    i noticed Tim seemed fine (for the most part through Tuesday) but it was the water rationing that really got to him. Would sticking to the Tuesday diet proposed above left him feeling more sane and comfortable?

    1. If you are eating carbs now you’ll likely drop about 5 pounds and then stop. This is a dehydration program and you are not wanting to dehydrate.

  21. This is a great article! Very thorough, I’m glad that you included the results, both before and after rehydrating. Fascinating stuff, thanks!

  22. I am trying to figure out a certain type of diet that works best for my lifestyle. On this diet you would lose a bunch or weight then would gain it all back? Please let me know

  23. Attempting to lose that amount of weight in one week is frankly nuts. I feel so sorry he was that desperate and had no-one in his circle to give him proper advice. If he weighed in at 400lbs, he might have lost 33lbs by dehydration, but he was a small guy, and any medically competent person would have advised him that amount of dehydration was really dangerous.

  24. How did this practice of weight loss originate? What is the benefit if most fighters end up at similar weights during a fight anyway? Why doesn’t MMA have ring side weigh-ins? Sorry for all the questions! Thank you for your time.

  25. Can ammy MMA fighters cut the same way since they weigh in the morning of the fight. How would they go about rehydrating and eating since there is not much time between weighing in and the fight

  26. Thanks guys for a very informative article. I always here the MMA announcers talking about how a 170 weight class fighter walks around at 200 and has to cut weight before a fight. And if the fighter runs out of gas in the first round they say the weight cut may have affected his stamina. Now I have a better understanding of it.

    I have seen on The Ultimate Fighter that they soak in a hot bath with Epsom Salts, is this also a common practice to help cut the weight?

  27. 1) is this more difficult for lighter fighter to cut 20 pounds ?? it looks like easier for bigger guy to cut weight than already shred guy

    2) what do you think of I.V to rehydrate after the weigh-in? and wich one do you recomand ?

  28. Awesome article. I plan on trying this in 2 weeks to cut weight for competition.

    My concern is really just the last day, and cutting nearly ALL water out of my diet.

    I will need to cut from 212-214 down to 198.

    I understand that results differ but was hoping to do this without complete dehydration.

    Something like a 5 day version:

    2 gallons

    1 gallon

    1 gallon

    .5 gallons

    .25 gallons

    Weigh in at 9 a.m. the following morning, with little to no water on that day.

    Thought on the effectiveness of this plan?

    1. You only need to drop 14 to 16 lbs, so you can probably achieve this without “complete” dehydration. Just be prepared to need to sweat a lot on the last day and the more you drink the more you’ll ultimately need to sweat back out. I would still follow the 6 day plan, but you can drink a little more water based on where your weight is at the end.

      1. Thanks a lot… that was my essential plan, but wanted to confirm that it should work.

        Very excited to try this and plan on keeping a log on the success.

        Thanks agin!

      2. Where were you or where are you planning on keeping you sodium intake levels at? Today is my first day trying this and although I kept it around 1200, my gut tells me that’s still too high.

      3. I am in a similar situation. I need to cut weight for my first Olympic weightlifting competition (snatch, clean & jerk). Weigh in is little over 2 hours before my first lift. I only need to drop about 6-8 lbs. Obviously I have very little time to recover and want to maximize my strength, not necessarily endurance. Any thoughts on how to minimize Nate’s plan to maximize strength and just cut 8 lbs?

        My competition is Saturday Oct. 19, so I’ll be starting this next Monday.

  29. Great article… I have been required to weigh in twice a year for the past 14 years. Normally for me dropping weight, its only a matter of a few pounds. This time around I need to lose 10 by Tuesday, October 15th, 2013. I talked to my doctor this morning. Of course he laid out the hazards and told me to be careful and call if I need anything. I’m not a sedentary person and I normally eat healthy. The weight loss is just bad planning on my part. I weighed in this a.m. at 190.2 lbs. I hope to be 180 lbs. (181 is my max weight) by Tuesday morning. I’m looking forward to this.

  30. I will really try this. Almost the same with mine, the only difference is I eat a lot of fruits. What if I don’t like to go to sauna and I don’t drink protein drink? What can I substitute? Thanks. This is really helpful and detailed. One question, did you exercised/trained while having this diet? Because we train 3 hrs in the morning and 3hrs again in the afternoon, Monday to Saturday. By the way, I’m 22 years old, 173cm tall and wushu sanda athlete and fighting in a category of 52kg female. My normal weight is 59kg.

  31. Can I do this while on training? We train 3hrs every morning and afternoon, Monday to Saturday. What if I don’t go to sauna and don’t drink protein powder, can I have a substitute? And is it advisable for me to try this? I’m 22 years old, 173cm. tall, weighs 59kg, wushu sanda athlete and fights under 52kg female category…

  32. I was wondering what kind of food were you eating in the last week of your weight cut? I have a fight next month and would really like to know.


  33. Ive always done pretty good dropping weight for fights but for the one coming up in 8 days (oct 24th) the weigh ins are at 10:00 am on the same day as the fight which will be at about 8:00 that night…I wasnt told about the same day weigh in until after i signed the fight contract. Im worried about not have ing enough time to rehydrate. What should I do different? Never had to weigh in on the same day I fight. My current weight tonight prior to training was 160 and i have to weigh in at 148lbs. Thank you

  34. Hi dr

    Amazing article which worked perfect for me .. im an mma fighter fighting in 2 days .. but the weigh in is on wed morning 10:30 am .. so how many galons is should drink .. or I should stop it from now ?

  35. Can I use some form if this to drop an initial amount of weight? I have to drop about 80-100 pounds. I’d prefer in about 6 months time. I weigh like 290 and am trying to get to 200 pounds initially… I’d like to be 185. I am 5’9″ tall.

  36. Had my cut to do last week… Found out on day 2 that I had a hernia, and was not going to be able to compete.

    Cut 3.5 lbs on the first day and felt great doing it.

    Looking forward to trying this again when I can actually complete it.

  37. Very interesting article, have known this for a long time as an avid boxing fan. What might be interesting to know though is that, as far as I know (not 100% sure), Mayweather does not de- and re- hydrate before fights, and he is still the P4P #1 in the world. He always comes to the ring in supreme shape and dominates his opponents.

  38. So i found this extremly helpful but im curious what exercise did you do each of those days? I downloaded the weight loss schedule you have on here but as for exercise all it says is “As Per Martin” did i miss it somewhere

  39. Hey guys, I’m a basketball referee whose has gained a significant amount of weight in the pass few months..My College season doesn’t start for me until 3 wks. My HS season don’t start until Dec 4. Would love to be dwn 25 to 35 lbs by Dec 4. Using this method, what would be the safest way to do so..Would/Could I just continue the process straight through the weekend since there is no weigh in. I’m just trying to cut a lot real fast, then use what I know to keep it off..Any information you could me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  40. Hey guys! Great Article with insane results! I had two questions, one being is it a good idea to work out as well during this 5 day weight cut? And how many times a month can an individual do these weight cuts if they for what ever reason had to? Just curious!

    thanks guys!

    Jeff Santiaga!

  41. What if they needed to lose more weight? Are there longer cutting periods than 5 days or is cutting for more than 5 days dangerous. Yes, I understand cutting weight is dangerous. Would cutting more than 5 days pose a greater risk is the question.

  42. I see all these comments about wrestlers and their weight and how this really isn’t efficient for them. Do you have any knowledge you can share for cutting 20lbs in a week or two and keeping it off. I am currently 178lbs and I would like to be in the 150lb range.

      1. So in regards to the question tyler just asked and the answer that you gave saying : you can’t. Do you mind elaborating just a little bit more as to why? I’m guessing the why is because eventually you will consume your normal water intake and gain the weight back.

      2. Sure thing. You are absolutely correct about this being a WATER weight loss program. In Tyler’s case, once he drops over 12 lbs or more of water, he’s going to start to feel bad and his performance is going to take a steep dive. Any weight loss over this is going to make him feel even worse, and either way, you eventually are going to drink something. As soon as you do, your body is going to soak that water back up and your weight is going to go back up. Most people are forgetting the goal here is to loose the weight, then PUT IT BACK ON AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. I have run this protocol twice, dropping 18 lbs and 17 lbs each time in order to set a record in a powerlifting competition. After the weigh-in (around 6 pm), I immediately started drinking sports drinks and eating carbs. I actually was able to get back to my starting weight by 10 pm the same day. This way, even though I set a record in the 75 kg class, I actually performed the lifts at a bodyweight of 83 kg. This gave me a huge advantage over competing in my “natural” weight class. You will probably be able to drop ~2 lbs of non-water weight over the week if maintain a caloric deficit, like any other program.

  43. Wonderful article – thank you for your efforts.

    I am cutting for a weight loss competition (which ends soon) and I will begin this process later this week. I have a few questions. Thanks for reading and your helpfulness.

    1) you mentioned very small meals day of weigh in – how small? I don’t want the food lingering during the weigh in.

    on that note: how long before weigh in should my second meal be so it will certainly be out of my body (I assume not eating that day will only cause bloating)?

    2) throughout these 6 days, can my meals include fiber?

    3) can I exercise during these 6 days?

    4) this may sound funny, but showering does allow water through the skin and into the body, so, can I shower after being all sweaty in the sauna prior to the actual weigh in?

    5) If I were to remove one day from the process (6 days seems to much for me) which day can I remove from the process?



    1. hi nathan, i’ll try to chime in with my experience and knowledge, if John Berardi can correct me i hope he’s in time 🙂

      1. Depends on how close you are to your competition; you may wish to watch calories or the weight of the food. Day or two prior i’d be watching the weight of it primarily, and probably avoiding excessive carbohydrate.

      2. Fiber will be great as it increases the thermic effect of feeding. Carrots, celery, leafy greens should be used.

      3. You can but keep in mind how close you are to competition, and be wary of how your body feels, rest and recovery. Recovery is vital, you might make weight but if you’re suffering from DOMS or over exhaustion your performance will dwindle. I typically run a 2-3km until 2 days prior unless i have to run the day before. Though rolling at practice is fine, just be easy and stay warm.

      4. It may but keep in mind, if the temperature of the water is greater than the body you will need to dissipate heat. Your body will still sweat, think of it as a similar aspect in regards of highest to lowest concentration flow.

      Many combat athletes will soak in a tub up to their necks of fairly hot water for 15 minutes at a time until reaching a comfortable weight. I will typically, in accompanying water loading, take hot sowers for 15-20 minutes every night the week of 5 days prior. No specific reason for 5 days, just seems to be how it ends up.

      5. I’d try to follow the day regime as much as possible, you are manipulating physiology and there is a method to it for glycogen stores, water stores, intra and extracellular fluid stores etc.

      Also, keep in mind this can still be dangerous if attempted, cutting weight isn’t exactly healthy, but rather, people try to come up with safer methods that still yield decent-good results. I find when first doing these new protocols it’s best to attempt half of it and see how your body feels before going the full nine. Many people encounter complications or didn’t track it as well as they thought they did and end up hurt. And by hurt, this can mean hospital for some. This is your body, your kidneys, and heart you are tampering with.

  44. One more thing:

    You mentioned about scarfing down espresso shots.

    Can’t coffee be factored in as part of you water intake? I understand that coffee dehydrates the body, so technically coffee should not count as part of your rationed water. Right?

    Thanks again

  45. Do you know if the water intake should be modified for a persons size? Or if it is modified for a lesser amount of weight loss? For a wrestler who needs to make weight every week (managing no more than about a 10-pound weight loss), would this approach be modified?

    Most often a wrestler will have to wrestle about an hour after weigh-in, so gaining the weight back in that timeframe is not going to happen. How best should a wrestler safely rehydrate and re-fuel for maximum performance?

    1. I don’t recommend cutting 10lbs like this every week, i think it’d be best for a competitor to stay relatively closer to their weight class during a hectic season such as that.

      As for myself, what i use to rehydrate in those instances.

      I’ll drink probably 500ml of powdered gatorade mixed with 10g of creatine, and a dash of salt immediately post weigh in. While creatine and HIGH GI carb can delay gastric emptying, an hour is usually sufficient provided you don’t over intake fluid.

      Then i’ll sip on this concoction as needed and eat as needed throughout the tournament.

  46. if I have to lose 10 pounds can I just do about the first 3 days and rehydrate the same way and be fine? I am 14 years old is there any effect with my age too? I weigh 190.3 and have to weigh 180 I’m 10% body fat 5″7. please respond

  47. Very informative, and actually quite accurate. I am a fighter myself, although it’s not MMA I am a Muay Thai Fighter. I do the same things here but we typically don’t go the extremes that MMA fighters do. I’ll give you an example of what I mean, I have a fight coming up Dec. 13 and I have to weigh 140 lbs on the day before which is a Thursday.

    I started my fight camp for this fight 5 weeks ago and I was walking around at 168 lbs. As of this morning I am 151.8 lbs and how I have done this is by dieting down as well as hard workouts twice a day (5 times a week) with 1 to 1-1/2 gallons of water a day.

    Starting on Monday (today is Friday Dec. 6th) I will start the “water loading” that you referenced but won’t be cutting more than 6-10 lbs of water by weigh ins.

    Personally I think cutting that extreme of an amount of weight is dangerous and makes you very weak and prone to “gassing out” in the fight…hope this helps coming from soneone who does this procedure 5-8 times a year… any feedback you have would be great!

  48. I thought it was recommended to drink 2 gallons up until Wednesday, and then totally cut water about 24 hours before weigh-in?

    What would be the difference with that method?

  49. I am 30 lbs overweight from being at my ideal weight for my height and age. How can I implement this 5 day 20 lb weight loss and then maintain this new weight. What diet would I use. I’m thinking I would rehydrate moderately rather then extreme. What do you suggest?

    1. Please read the other similar posts, in your case this isn’t how you should lose weight. You won’t be able to maintain the new weight.

  50. Damn this is good info, i have to lose 15 lbs of water weight and im going to try this method. It doesent say anything about physical workouts though are aby necessary?

  51. I was excited about this at first glance but after reading the responses to the comments, I’m backing off. Not sure who Remo is but his responses are all over the place. It doesn’t appear there is any science behind this; but rather some random dude that gave something a try and now trying to sound legitimate or even professional in his advice to others. No thanks!

    1. Hi Mike,

      I am Remo, and yes I am a random dude that is not associated in any way with this site so feel free to completely ignore everything I have said or will ever say. If you read Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body, you will see that his approach is to try things out and see how they work for him. You’ll need to ask him for any references to any available science.

      Most of my comments have been directed at people who “miss the point”, and want to use this for long-term weight loss or even to “drop 20 lbs in a week without dehydrating”. That’s just not what this type of protocol is about. Unfortunately, many of them don’t read the comments and repeat the same/similar question. People have died trying to make weight through dehydration (Google death fighter dehydration), so this is serious.

      Unless you have a specific weight you need to be at for something like an athletic event, this isn’t for you. (And even if you do, it can still be dangerous – consult your doctor and trainer.)

  52. This is similar to cutting weight for taekwondo, but I feel like this is more difficult for girls. Do you have any advice for doing similar thing for lighter weight females having to loose about 16 pounds quick?

  53. Worked like a CHAMP!!.. Followed the diet along with 30min intervals on the treadmill and 20min intervals on the stair master.. Diet consisted of Asparagus, Broccoli, Hard Boiled Egg whites and Chicken Breast/Talapia. Weighed in at 220.4 on Tuesday and finished at 199.7 on Saturday morning..

  54. I have never cut weight before and Im 6’1 and weigh 170lbs and need to cut to 155 by February 1st what’s the best and safest way for me to do that?

  55. Well, duh! “Even a lot of UFC guys don’t know how to do it the smart way. Instead, they put their bodies in real harm by doing stupid things like taking a lot of diuretics, not drinking any water, skipping meals, wearing trash bags while exercising (sometimes in the sauna) and generally being idiotic.” and the so called smart way is just doing this internally, jamming your hormonal water removing into overdrive by functionally threatening hyponatremia and then drastially cutting fluid intake, stripping as much water containing food out of diet as possible, sitting in sauna… Seems same old to me. I did all this in about 1965-67 for high school wrestling and sure enough was weak, low energy, very spaced out, ill feeling. Only difference was that we had to weigh in AT the meets, only an hour or two before competition. I now think stupid no matter how you cut it. I feel fortunate to have escaped any serious damage to my health from doing that. This so called “right way” seems to me very little different from the “wrong way”

  56. I read the pdf for this weight cutting article and i have couple questions hopefully some one can answer for me.

    What exercises do we do while doing this?

    How does one take the MHP XPEL on the last day with no water?

    When it says take 1 dose with breakfast, lunch and dinner do i take the 4 capsules each time or do i split the 8 capsules the bottle says to take daily spread out?

    How do you take MHP XPEL without water because from my understanding i thought u need to drink water when taking water weight loss pills

  57. So my question is, how do you keep the weight off? I want to lose the weight fast and not gain it back at all and I want to have energy to continue my everyday tasks. Do you recommend doing this with those reasons in mind.

    1. Most of that “lost” weight is water by tricking the body into water dumping overdrive leading to dehydration. It is put back fairly quickly in practice, hopefully minimizing loss of performance and long term damage but you will not be able to maintain it. If you try hard enough, you might for awhile but you will almost certainly do yourself great harm. There is really only one way to lose weight that works for the long term and that is healthy and beneficial. That is to eat a sane, balanced diet, of mostly whole foods that are plant based without added sugars, extracted oils, excess salt, chemicals, artificial flavors and colors, without preservatives and without flavor enhancers. Best short form description I have seen is from Michael Pollen, “Eat food [i.e. real food not fake], mostly plants, not too much.”

  58. Any insight to the type of meals you are eating week of the weighins that contain no sodium and super low carb? Would like more ideas for meals that just boiled chicken and broccoli if you know of any. Thanks!

  59. First of all, amazing post! I’ve cut weight before and was doing almost completely wrong so this post will help me a lot in the future. Is it necessary to only eat 3 meals a day or is it possible to have smaller less dispersed meals that follow the low carb, no salt, no sugar diet? And what are some foods that would adhere to this? I know you mentioned leafy greens, lean meats and nuts but it’s really tough to make a meal out of. Do you have any meal suggestions? And again I really cannot thank you enough for this post! Take care!

  60. How would this be modified for someone in a smaller weight class.. I walk around at 140 and want to get to 125.. What would need to be changed if anything at all?

  61. NO SALT? How do you eat NO SALT???

    For Example:

    Unsalted butter has 2 milligrams of sodium in every tablespoon, and the same amount of unsalted margarine has no sodium. A large egg yolk has 8 milligrams of sodium, and a whole, large egg has 70 milligrams.

    OR Do you mean no added sodium?

    Are foods naturally LOW in Sodium like natural beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, oils, fresh veggies, OK?

    Also what about dairy/cheese?

    Please direct me to a little more guidance on the sodium aspect.


    1. The day 1 of meal plan I created yeilds these totals:

      1,282 cal 50 carb 62 fat 135 protein 766 sodium


      1,499 cal 45 carb 94 fat 130protein 525 sodium

      I start tomorrow!

      1. My arithmetic may be quite off as I just woke up 😉 but seems to me for health of kidneys etc you would want considerably more fat and less protein. Also, too much protein intake can block ketosis from occurring as you will burn it (in a most dirty and unhealthy way) to make glucose! 70-80% calories from fat would be ideal though 60% would likely do the job

      2. Day 1 is 14% carb, 50% fat, 36% protein.

        Day 2 is 11% carb, 50% fat, 39% protein.

        I think those breakdowns are

      3. Got it Thanks! I will make those adjustments! I’m doing it for both fat loss and water loss. Plus fat is easier to eat than protein…more avocado.

    1. Aeerb, I love avos! Your body will be much happier and that way you will actually lose excess fat rather than just pump water in and out of your cells and get dangerously dehyrdated just to make a needle move on a scale. Only reason I can imagine to force water loss is if you job depended on it like an MMA fighter. And then I just might rethink my career!

  62. Hi i weight 114kg and I have started this weight cut program, but instead of losing 2kg a day, I only losing 1kg.. really want to lose 10 kg by saturday.. im only eating broccoli chicken & tuna & ive bern drinking the exact amount of water each day, I started sunday & its tuesday today.. is it possible to lose the 10 kg by saturday morning?

  63. I am curious since no one seems to be mentioning, why are so many people jumping on this? Are you all MMA fighters trying to make weight?

    It seems to me so profoundly misguided, health damaging, dangerous, pointless really. What you want is healthy body composition i.e. lean:fat ratio, not squeezing out all the water and dehydrating your body. All the latter does is make you weak, tired, and potentially does long lasting damage to your body. And the “weight” will be right back on in a couple days!

    Change your diets!!!!!!!! Eat healthy, whole foods, mostly plants, high nutrient density, low calorie density. Get some solid exercise to your capabilities. Change your body comp. Do NOT dehydrate!

    1. Yes! Pro mma fighter, fighting in 7 weeks need to lose 25lbs total. I wanted to test out the water, no sodium and follow the first 4 days of this, without the sauna to try it out, so i did that last week( 8 weeks before my fight to see results and how I felt.) Now I’m just following the low carb aspect to lose bodyfat, I want to have less than 8 lbs to cut fight week.

    2. Yes, Pro mma fighter, fighting in 7 weeks need to lose 25lbs total. I wanted to test out the water, no sodium and follow the first 4 days of this, without the sauna to try it out, so i did that last week( 8 weeks before my fight to see results and how I felt.) Now I’m just following the low carb aspect to lose bodyfat, I want to have less than 8 lbs to cut fight week.

  64. I’m an amateur boxer, and I just found out I could potentially have a fight in 6 weeks. I need to drop 30 pounds in the next 6 weeks to get to the weight my trainer wants. I’m a female. What’s the best way to do this properly over the next 6 weeks?

  65. Does this weight cutting technique actually work. Because I have about 15 pounds to cut before my fight and have two weeks so should I start this a week before my weigh ins?

  66. Hi Berardi,

    My husband is a starting this and since I do most of the cooking and shopping I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more specific information as to what meats and fats he should be eating..? Is no salt added canned tuna ok? Red meat or lean meats? Also, what kind of carbs? natural carbs found in veggies? He is in a weight loss competition at our gym and has ranked in the top 5% in the country with 2 people ahead of him and the prize is $15,000 so needless to say he’s willing to do whatever it takes. I appreciate any help you can pass my way! We have 6 days until final weigh in on Friday. Thank you!!

    1. There is really one BIG issue w/ tuna which is the mercury contamination. It is very high and cumulatively quite dangerous. Even conservative, business oriented CDC strongly recommends limiting intake! I know several people who have been made quite severely and chronically ill from eating a lot of tuna over time. Once in your tissues/central nervous system, mercury is not easy, simple, nor safe to get out. I would go w/ wild game meat, line caught, deep water north Pacific ocean fish, pastured/grass fed, beef, pastured (not so called “free range”) poultry…

  67. I followed your plan to a T, and wow thanks for the great advice. I went from 195.6 on Sunday morning to 178.3 on weigh ins Friday night!!!!

  68. Will how would a person go about keeping that 20 pounds off? Instead of gaining it back? Basically if someone needs to lose as much weight as possible in a 25 days and would like to keep that weight off, how would they transition back into a regular diet without gaining so fast?

    1. I think since what you have lost is just water by dehydration you must gain it back or risk serious illness or organ damage. Really the only way proven to provide long term, sustainable weight loss is to control the calorie density of the food you eat on a regular daily basis. Go for .owest calorie density/highest nutrient food i.e. beans, whole grains, sweet potatoes, vegetables lots of vegetable, and fruit. And mostly do not eat or only very small occasional amounts of high calorie density foods i.e. anything from animals, extracted oils, added sweeteners, flour products, anything manufactured or created in a factory. Below are a couple links for more info.

      1. He mentions in the article this is not for real life application, rather for athletes who need to cut to make weight. This is not an article about how to lose weight.

  69. Excellent article, currently cutting weight for a BJJ tourney…. not nearly as strenuous as this, however I must ask… Not sure if I missed this somewhere in the article, but were you doing any physical activity to speed up the weight cut – jogging, stationary bike, jump rope, elliptical, etc…. any thing like this with several layers on? Just curious if it was done without any activity. Thanks!