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

  1. Can the same weight loss rate and stratwgies be applies for a girl? I am fighting at the wrestling championships in 1.5 months and I need to lose 20kg to make weight.

    I know I can lose 10 of them safely via working out and dieting (i have done it before and since I am 90kg it’s really not that hard) however a few days prior to the competition do think I can achive the same results and cut the other 10kg (approx 20 pounds)

  2. I usually bring the New Year in fasting. This is something I do, for me, not required by church or anything like that. However it is very spiritual when you pray and seek the Lord. I ate nothing for nine days, and drank water, and I gained weight. How is that possible? Just assumed you might know since your article and the science behind was brilliant! BTW I am a 43 year old mother of 5 in great health who exercises regularly. Thanks in advance.

  3. You say no salt. I know chicken breast and salmon has sodium naturally in them. Is that OK or are you saying don’t add any additional salt. Thanks

  4. Hi

    i started this today. Done with arround 6 liters. But I have pain in my stomach now. I am not fighter or athelete, but ordinary person.

  5. As a high school wrestler having one weigh in during the week , sometimes two, and sometimes one on the week end, it was better to get down to the weight the week before your first competition and hover near the weight, maybe 2 to 3 lbs over before practice each day. When you have a weigh in the next day, just lighten up on the fluids and food a little. Of course, after weigh in, I would eat something and drink pop usually (lots of carbs). Back in those days, JV would go first (most teams only had half a JV team back then, so it went quick). If you were one the lighter weights you wrestled sooner, now they draw to see which weight group starts first. In college, we had 5 hours between weigh ins and the match for dual meets and for tournaments, we weighed in the night before. That was plenty of time to get a good meal and some hydration. I had friends that would bounce around and come in 10 pounds over the next day and I saw it affected them a lot. You have to look at your schedule and if there is another weigh in a few days later, limit yourself to gaining only about 4 or 5 pounds. This worked well for me and plus it eliminates the stress on your mind as well.

  6. Would you recommend doing the weight loss part of you are not a fighter? I am just looking to lose weight as quick as I can.

  7. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it, but I’ve heard that it’s best to consume that first liter or so of water before you start stuffing yourself with food. Your stomach needs the water first so that it can properly handle digestion when you begin eating.

  8. I’m a high school powerlifter and I need to lose weight to drop a weight class and I need to do it fast. I have never tried the water diet so I am a little confused on the food intake part. How do I know what to eat and how much to eat of it. Also do you do any type of workouts during this diet?

  9. Nive review!

    Thank you very much.

    I have tried it and I lost 11 pounds in 5 days, weigh in was yesterday and I am in my expected categorie (BJJ & Grappling).

    Now I am in gaining phase and I trying to eat only organic food and a lot of waterof course!

    Competiton is tomorrow.

    Thanks again.

  10. So far I went from 223 to 207 in 4 days with 2 left. I only struggled with one day last night at dinner but I still LOST Alot of weight. I’m not an athlete anymore. Is there a way to keep the weight off after you lose? I don’t want to gain any back. Mrs. Dash and garlic flavors my food enough lol. I’m wondering if these last 2 days will be as hard as they say.

  11. I actually have to lose about 20-30 pounds to qualify to the military, I don’t plan on putting my health at risk but I do intend to follow this plan somewhat of a degree. Well my question is if I follow this plan and keep a low caloric diet after will the weight will come back? I know it’s kind of extreme but I really want to go to military soon and don’t feel like delaying my ship out time by training for 6 months

    1. Andrew, if you read the article you’ll see that this is at best, a temporary fix – the weight you lose is not fat – it’s water, although you will lose some fat weight in the process due to having to eat very clean while you do it. I used this to get through a MEPS weigh in, but mine wouldn’t have kept me from coming in – mine was a point of pride so that I didn’t have to tape. Coming back in at age 44 and 6′ even, I needed to come in under 203 or I’d have to tape. I did it (came in at 201 or 202) but I knew that I’d be over the very next day.

      If you need to do this just to get in, your best bet would be to get disciplined and work hard to actually take the weight off and get under the bar for both weight and tape.

  12. During the last three days of this plan, is sauna time implemented on top of cardio work, or would this be too demanding on the body?



  13. What if your fight or tournament is the same day as the weigh in? Suppose you only need to lose ten pounds in 3 weeks since you’re not doing such a drastic cut?

  14. Hi, i have a boxing match in 10 days and i need to loose 6 kg would it be advisable to loose the weight via your method Nate? Thank you in Advance, i have lost 10 kilos about 1 month ago by dieting and have successfully maintained the weight loss my total weight currently is 87kg fed and before bed i fight at 81kg, i have access to a Sauna and i am using it daily for about 15 minutes

  15. i just did this. doing a weight loss competition at work and this is last week. i didnt follow it to an exact T, but i did for 90% of it… i weigh in this AM at 10:30. Fridays weight was 292.6. this morning was 279.1. i dont know if it wins me the competition, but it was worth a shot! thanks for the good info.

  16. i am about 131 lbs when i wake up in the morning and i fluctuate about 5 or 6 during the day so mid day i am about 136… i have to be 125 for a fight that i have next week will this program work? will you give me a few extra pointers as well i am female and i am 15% body fat thank you so much!

  17. Nate,

    I found this pretty interesting as I am very curious to try this. I am trying to be a male model. If you don’t know, male models typically are skinny to mild build. There waist is no more 32 inches at 6″-6″2 tall. Im 6″1 with a 34-36 inch waist depending on pant type (slim, skinny.) would this torture diet be a good idea to do to get those inches off of my waist? I also need my chest to be more filled out.

  18. Im on day 1 of this water cut and ive already failed miserably missed 2 gallons by a good 60oz. Not sure how day 5 is harder than day 1. Already noticed a 2lb drop hoping i can squeeze 10lbs for my weigh in. Looking forward to drinking less water and not going to bathroom 20 times.. but great article will post my dsy 5 results

    1. Ended up losing 7lbs during this 5 days which was ideal. Was already on a 11 week cut when i started and was down 24 lbs when i started it and prob more dry then most who start this..

      1. One more thing to add. I added dandilion root the last 2 1/2 days and it didnt help at all and i actually stopped dropping water weight and i barely used the bathroom after i started dandi root made me constipated and stopped the unrinary frequency..

  19. Im doing this experiment myself and I wanted to know did Nate work out while he was doing this dehydration experiment?

  20. I started this today does it trim your waist at all? I no this is not a good way to lose weight… But I have a weigh in for the military coming up and I want to know that if I don’t hit the weight I need I can still hit the tape in qualifications…. I’m literally 1 to 2 inches away

  21. Step by step instructions to rapidly get thinner is a standout amongst the most delicate inquiries one can run over and what a great many people neglect to comprehend is that lessening the day by day calorie utilization, Quickly Lose is all that it takes to shed the additional pounds. Keeping up an appropriate eating routine is key to accomplish the weight you can live with, yet doesn’t inexorably imply that you turn to starvation or an accident diet. *

  22. Hey Nate, awesome article! As for the diet plan, what exactly did you eat from proteins/fats to vegetables? Thanks!

  23. how would this work for same day weigh ins? You wouldn’t have 24 hours to regain it and you would fight same day.

  24. Interested in trying this but I noticed on the next to last day you used dandelion root. I’m unfamiliar with that and didn’t know if you could give me some advice on what to get, where to get it, and how much to take. Any help would be appreciated.

  25. After reading the article I have a question. Nate says you can eat veggies like spinach and you can eat a lot of it. 100 grams of spinach contains 90% water, so thats 90 grams or 90 ml. Same goes for the other veggies you gonna eat, they contain lots of water. Should you substract the amount of water you get from food from your daily amount of water you are suppose to drink?

  26. I’m a sogobujutsu figther trying to go down a weight class for an upcoming event and then stay in that class.. if I drop this weight utilizing this method, and then maintain the diet and go back to normal water intake and exercise what would be my result? Any ideas or advice? Thanks

  27. Thanks for the weight loss plan. Our office was having a weight loss competition and I wanted that last little competitive edge. I followed the plan pretty close. Our weigh in was at 9am Monday morning, slightly different than the afternoon weigh in of your plan. I ended up losing 10 pounds in 5 days.. this is my first time trying to cut water weight. Not sure what kind of exercises you were doing but mine looked like this:

    Saturday: 2.5 hours of indoor cycling in a few layers of clothes. 45 mins of as much sauna as I could take (going in and out), and about 15 mins of the hot tub. All performed at the gym. Starting weight: 166, ending weight: 164.8

    Sunday: 1.5 hours of indoor cycling, 30 mins of sauna, and 15 mins of hot tub. Starting weight: 164.8, ending weight: 162.5. The hardest part of the last day was how dry my mouth was. I drank my last bit of water around 7pm and didn’t have any until 9am Monday. I ended up taking fiber pills to help lose the last 2 pounds Monday morning. I didn’t have any bowel movements for about 3 because of the lack of fiber.

    In total I went from 180 to 160 in 6 weeks! Lots of cardio and watching my diet fairly carefully.

  28. hello… im a guy that has grown up on a little bit of the hefty side……… i will stay on the workout thing if someone is their with for motivation ……. the diet i can do……… all it is is drinking water ……right?

  29. impressive tips for losing -20-30 pound in just 5 days. i will definitely use these tips and recommend to my friends.

  30. If I weigh 230 lbs and have a body fat percentage of 30%, what will my bf% look like after I use this technique to drop 20 lbs? I am 36, and 70 inches tall, if it matters. Just in case you are curious, I am prior service military, and need to drop 40 lbs or 7% body fat to pass the physical to get back into the guard. I know this isn’t a long term solution but all I need to do at this point is pass the physical, I will had up to a year after that to lose it right.

  31. hi, i’m not an athletic person but i want to loose my weight quickly ,is it safe to start this diet with exercise ? if yes how should I keep my weight stable?

  32. How much and what type of exercise did he incorporate during the five days of cutting also how much time in the hot ?

  33. Thank you so much, this has helped me get out of the worry of making weight after an injury and a boost to my continued weight loss after.

  34. can any person use this protocol to lose weight or this protocol is only a method used for fighters ? and does the weight stay off permanently if you continue with a healthy life style?

    1. No this weight will come back almost right away, this is water weight you are losing not fat. Basically you are dehydrating yourself to a dangerous level. As soon as you reintroduce sodium to your system it will come back.

  35. Hello, your article is very intresting and useful, but there is one thing i want to know else. In your weight cut schedule you says: ” Carbs: Less than 50 grams per day. No fruit, starches, or sugars.” At first it seems to be clear, but when I tried to find out food which is satisfy necesary qualities it was very difficult to me(no starches and less 50 grams especially). Also, where you said: “Protein and Fat: As much as you want in 3 meals” I guess if you will eat protein and fat as much as you want you probably would not lose your weight)

    So, I just ask you, if it is possible, write the same weight cut schedule, but include there what exactly did you eat and how much during the each day. You also wrote: “Rehydration Beverage: Drink 1 liter of water mixed with 1/2 scoop of carbohydrate/protein” again, can you write please, what exactly carbocydrate/protein you had mixed with water.

    I am really looking forward for your answer, because I am young (17 years old) judoka, and often I need to lose some weight, and I want to try your methode on myself (certainly after discussing it with my coach, and losing no more than 6 kilos).

    P.S. I am sorry if there are any mistakes. My english is not very well.

    [Moderator: Email removed]

  36. I started this yesterday, 2 gallons, pretty much no salt, less than 50 carbs. I woke up pissed and weighed 1.2lbs heavier than yesterday morning. Any idea why? I dont wanna miss weight on Friday. Help.

  37. Dang! What a great article! I love MMA and I actually am really against all this weight cutting. I’m glad they banned the use of I.V. Rehydration. I like seeing the fighters compete at their natural training weights. Their performance is at its best and there’s no weight manipulation to go wrong. Plus, and this is the biggest reason, there is mounting evidence that the brain cerebrospinal-spinal fluid does not replenish that fast. This sets the fighters up for increased risk of brain injuries from blows to the head. Nevertheless, this was a really cool article about how the weight cut is done. I agree with Joe Rogan that this is something that needs to become a thing of the past. Change the weight classes, weigh the fighters in a few hours before the fight and then have them step on a scale right before they get into the cage. The fighters will perform better and reduce the risk to their brains.

  38. Hiiii well I was skinny when I start my high school but now I have gain 20extra pounds.I want to loose all of them and gain back my true me.I try doing diet plans but they are not that efficient.what do you suggest me to do before summer comes????

  39. Hello, My name is Lori I’m a wrestler who gained weight with my new room mates. Being so hot lately we drink allot of water and we all have high blood pressure. We don’t add salt to our food at all and we don’t eat that much. But we do have our binge moments. Being a girl with high blood pressure when I work out it seems like I get blown up even more in the belly area. I’m about to hit my 50’s and would like to know if this lose 20 pounds in 5 days is good for me. After reading how much water you guys drink wow that’s way more then i drink if i tried. I can barely drink 2 to 3 8ozs then i’m full. But I always feel water gained and blown up. What am I doing wrong and what should i do to do it right. Please help I would love to lose 15 to 20 pounds. Thanks

  40. This is an old thread, I hope someone is still watching. I will be tackling my first cut next month, and I have a couple questions:

    How do you avoid severe cramping while doing this, especially in the last couple days?

    What adjustments/suggestions would you recommend for someone who has to do this while maintaining a 40 hr work week? I’m sure I won’t get the maximum cut because I can’t dedicate enough time to it, but I’d be happy with 15 lbs or so.

  41. I do not want to sustain this weight loss as I know it isnt healthy. But I have a weigh in this week and also a weigh in the next week. Can I do this twice.

  42. Quick question, is this information still the same if still working out the last week of the weigh in. Work outs may still be tough 5 – 2 days before the fight, and break a lot of sweat (daily 6 mile runs, sprints, sparring , bag work, sauna, jump rope, complete exercises, weight lifting, etc) I’m curious because you didn’t include mate working out one time through this weight manipulation process. Please let me know, thanks..

  43. hi this is amazing..

    I have a fight 19 november.

    and I have a 20 pound..

    i will try it..

    now Im 170 lb. and my fight in 145 pound.

    you think after weigh in, i need some of i.v?

    thank you this is important question for me..


  44. The best post I’ve seen. I want to ask you one question,I am amateur boxer,I am 67kg,for the weigh in I need to be 64kg max what’s the long term process for losing weight without losing important energy, I would pay for info. Thanks.

  45. Question, Dr. Berardi, states 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. Q#1 Doe’s this hold true when starting on day, one, or can you push the two gallons through you at a faster rate, Q#2. How effective is hot water and sauna?

  46. Was just curious to as if I want to keep this weight off and not gain it back what is the best solution with the water intake? And to also keep eating healthy of course… and should carb intake stay the same?

  47. I tried this, but with only 5 days. It didn’t work. The flushing thing never happened. Tell me what I did wrong:

    Day 1, two gallons of water, rode a bike for an hour.. At about 1500 calories of spinach, chicken thighs, eggs and peanut butter. No salt added.

    Day 2, Two gallons. Ate about the same number of calories, but substituted unsalted nuts for the eggs. Ran thirty minutes.

    Day 3, One gallon. Cut back my calories about 750. Just eggs and baby carots, uncooked. Rode the bike an hour.

    Day 4, 1/2 gallon, plus dandelion root (three pills once, as directed), ran three miles, 750 calories of peanut butter, and chicken.

    I’m in day four now, and expected to be peeing still, but I’m not. It’s 4p.m. and i’ve peed once. What did I do wrong? wrong diet?

  48. Hello,

    What types of goods did you eat? Obviously you avoided anything with sugar, salt or starch. What do you suggest as good foods to eat when cutting?

  49. Thank you so much. I am a United States Marine and i use this technique to make weight since i do lift weights and rather not be taped for body fat percentage.

  50. Hi what an interesting blog.

    May i know, in that 5days, can we consume coconut water lets say 500ml 2times a day(in the day that we allowed to drink water)?


  51. Hello I am a female dropping 10 lbs of what I believe is water. Anyways, you said as much protein and fat as you would like, is two meals of 8 oz of lean beef be too much?

    1. Not unless you want heart disease.Fat makes you fat,Can’t eat a high protein diet,unless you are eating high fat too.I wouldn’t listen to this information.Atkins diets,have been known to be unhealthy.Atkins himself,had on set coronary disease.

  52. Hi, I’m currently 128 and trying to drop 10 pounds to 118 at least and cut from 10% to 5-6% fat. My main question is would I still drink 2 gallons of water on the first day and so on, or would I scale back the amount of water proportionally to my body weight.

    Thanks, tim

  53. What would be a good example of foods to eat that is high in protein, high in fat but low in salt and carbs? A template please

  54. I need to loose 12 lbs in 4days I weigh 135 I need to get to 124 by Monday morning and it’s already Wednesday night! Help

  55. I would like to know how to apply that to it’s best when your weigh-in’s are 3-5h before the fight. As an amateur boxer I fight on the same day that I have to be at my weight. The max I can be (and still train optimally) over my weight class is 7-10 kgs.


  56. Hey I am a weightlifter trying to drop to the 139 pound weight class this season. We have a total of 4 weigh ins spread out, February 28, March 8, March 22, April 7. Each weigh in is day of Meet. The schedule goes weigh ins at 10:30am and meet at 2pm. I currently weigh 145.4. Would this work for me or should I adjust it? First meet is this coming up Tuesday on the 28th. Feel free to email me response. Thank you!

  57. On day 2 of this program.

    Started at 226 yesterday morning, Did my 2 gallons of water and no salt.

    Woke up this morning 221. Goal is 206

  58. I know MMA fighters do this all of the time. And of course Nate performed it, but what I can’t find are the exact foods that he ate. It seems like everything has sodium and carbs.

    The only thing I plan on eating is almonds.

  59. Sorry,but I spent 5 years training Muay Thai fighters,in Thai Land.Also worked with the IOC,international Olympic committee,on nutrition for athletes.Sad to see this miss guided information,being sold to people,who don’t have any idea,about nutrition,and how the body works.Did you know that the only time your body will double in size,is at the time,when you are born to 4 years old.In your mothers breast milk,..your food,..the protein ratio,is only 4-5%.The rest is carbs and fat.Your protein requirements,along with the carb intake,is way off,old school thinking,and debilitating for an athlete.If you had any idea,what the body uses for fuel,your ideas would change.

  60. Exercise as per Martin? Could you elaborate.I am on 8 week program at week 6 and cutting for 2 weeks with rest period in middle on unlimited water. We still have our fitness groups and one to one with instructor. Any advise on maintaining fitness throughout and water restrictions. Fluid wemail take on at gym is this included in restrictions?

    Female 58kg 164cm and 46 year old martial artist

  61. Then they should do the weigh in right before, or like a few minutes to an hour before, to counter this kind of cheating.

    But done right, can this kind of rapid, short term weight loss also help patients if doctors want their patients to lose a certain amount of weight before certain kinds of surgeries?

  62. So I’m a competitive rower and my coach wants me to lose a lot of weight so I can be the same weight as the other boys I really want to do this but I can’t really afford to lose power also the weight I’m at is causing back problems cause my stomach is pulling my spine out which is giving me back pain and I’m trying to lose my stomach, I can’t lose muscle mass cause that’s what helps me row and rowing is an endurance sport and we have regionals and then nationals and my coach wants me to lose weight quick I was just curious if this would be good for me to do.

  63. Unbelievable what can be done. The article shows how important it is to know the right people or mentors. In any case, cool live hacks. Thank you for sharing!

  64. Hi, when you say “as much protein and fats” in 3 meals, would avocados and nuts be ok? What else would you recommend?