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. In the Military and have to worry about making weight every 6 months. This works for me and gets me under every time. Thanks for the great article. It has helped me so much.

    1. I’m curious on what you ate as well I am struggling with a half can of low sodium tuna for breakfast, 1 serving of peanuts for lunch and a chicken breast with no seasoning for dinner. It’s HARD to find food that is even close to what is listed.

  2. I did this twice in a month after losing 25 lbs on a diet. Was in a weight loss challenge at work for $1300 to winner. First time I did it, I added low carb beer for 1st 2 days. Didn’t hit the sauna, but did shadow box in shower room for 45 min on weigh in day and took a hot bath night before weigh in. Weighed in at 7am with 14.6 lb loss. Second time I drank more low carb beer in 1st 2 days,case total. Stuck with bath longer night before weigh in. Shadow boxed in shower room for 90 minutes before weigh in. Weighed in at 7am with 18.8 lb loss. I did no other working out beside cutting grass. 90% of weight was gained back in 24 hrs. This cut sucks. Very hard to limit water intake last 2 days. But I won my contest.

  3. So is true that you’re not drinking anything else but water?

    My question is on days like #3,4 and 5 can you drink anything else other than water?

  4. Very useful information! I really enjoyed reading this.

    Could you please tell me if the measure of water you are using is American gallon ?

    I’m from Ireland and I think our gallons are different measures to yours

    Please and thanks

  5. Excellent article. Loved the data with the baseline numbers, compared to dehydration and hydration. Awesome job on doing this experiment. and very glad for you that you’re hydrated now.

  6. If I have 5-7 days to lose 4 inches or 30lbs…. with an endurance test on day 2….. is this a safe effective way to meet my marks?

    1. I currently lift every other day and do cardio everyday. Should I continue with this and just add this diet?

  7. Hi there, great article and very informative. I’m 37 yrs old, 270 lbs and 6’1″. If I was to try this, but just extend out the rations over say a 4 week period instead of 5 days, would that cause and internal damage, and is it even possible? I’m very motivated to lose weight, ideally about 50 lbs. How much could I lose by doing this considering it is a possibility?

  8. Hey Tim, it’s now 2017 and ur blog is the only llegit…not trying to sell junk, that I could find on The whole web! I know what you did this for, but it’s 100% what a chick needs for her wedding or about a million other things. But I Love how you made sure u explained it step by step & how you felt, going down & coming back up. Because girls dont want the weight back, but you explained its a horrible feeling & we will die if we jgnore the rehydration! So 13yrs later…Thank You for your sacrifice and your time documenting jt! Serious people for whatever reason that need to cut weight, if they dig enough will find this blog forever. Pretty sweet dude, if you think about it. To bad or hopefully people wlll start to realize there words have meaning and what you put on the web, lasts forever!!! Thank You for ur help I will follow it to a T!

  9. For sodium intake, when it says “no sodium”, is that essentially no added sodium?, reduce sodium? Seems like everything under the sun has some sodium, even chicken or beef without additives. Is there a guideline, kind of like carbs to stay under or just shoot for lowest level of sodium possible?

  10. Hello, Tim

    Thanks for your detailed explanations.

    I learn a lot from the article.

    However, there is a question in my mind.

    If I wanted to cut down 40 pounds, should I carry out the “same” schedule for 2 weeks ?

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Bad idea. There’s a limit to how much you can lose with each technique of weight cutting. Doubling everything will just kill your body.

      [Moderator: link removed.]

  11. I have a few questions. Is it okay to workout during this? I’ve tried this and I believe I did something wrong cause it hasn’t worked. I’ve been going to the gym and I have been taking pre workout (C4) but i don’t know if that has any effect . And is water the only thing you drink? Cause I’ve had protein smoothies. And I was in the sauna everyday. Can someone let me know asap I’m restarting the diet today. I woke up late caus a guy at the gym told me I need a rest day so I got those 2gals

  12. I want to keep the weight off permantely. So if I do this to lose 20 pounds will I gain it back in 24 hours??

    1. Yes. This is the difference between weight cutting (temporary) and weight loss (permanent).

      [Moderator: additional text and link removed.]

  13. What would happen if you didnt gain the weight back? Im at a very unhealthy weiht and need to lose it badly. nothing has worked for me yet excercising dieting nothing.

  14. Do you think the endurance boost was due to a stronger mental belief in your physical abilities or do you actually stand to improve encourage through this method?

  15. Great article I was at 217lbs on Friday, it’s Tuesday today and I’m at 197lbs, it’s a torture but great way to make weight if you follow the steps.

  16. Interesting read. Thank you.

    I would do some things differently, for example not ignore carbs the days before the weigh in, and starts dehydration a bit later.

    Interesting thing about the loss of power, most research shows that there’s not supposed to be any, unless you didn’t recuperate well.

    [Moderator: additional text and links removed.]

  17. So, is canned tuna a no-go? Because it has sodium in it. For the proteins, only cooked meats is appropriate, correct? I’m trying to do this for an upcoming military weigh-in that I have to shed at least 15 by next week. We don’t have the exact date but were told to be prepared.

    1. I am in the same boat but it’s 5lbs. Height and Weight is next week. From what I understand with tuna you can “wash” it yeah it takes away a lot of the taste. Also the packets of tuna come in low sodium so that is a option. As for the cooked meat vs raw when it comes to protein from what I have read it depends on the meat. But for the most part it doesn’t change it by much.

  18. Hi, Im a Thai Boxer and im 45 days away from my 2nd Pro fight. I weigh about 64.5 kilos(142Pounds) now. Since i have decided to fight in -60.5 Kilo category i’m trying to cut weight but because i’m already very lean and i really don’t think there is hardly any fat to be burnt. Could you please suggest a diet plan so i would be ready to step on that weighing scale without much hesitation on weigh-in day. i train 6 days a week. Im trying to eat clean and since im naturally lean i never put on a lot of weight in any phase of my life eventhough i ate a little bit of junk food(No junk nowadays). I would really appreciate you helping me out. P.S. Nice article.

  19. Hello guys.I have a fight in 8 days, and i have to cut 5 kilos (11lbs). Its not as much as the method you explain is used for ,so i would like your opinion on how to perform the weight cut. (how much water to drink,how many days before the weight i should start cutting,etc.)

  20. I’m on a 6 meal a day meal plan would it affect results if I stick to 6 meals with the same protein and carb intakes? Or is it necessary to do 3 meals for best results?



  21. Hi I fight a feather weight 145lb. I have done this now twice and both times I lost 14lb and made weight when I woke up on the morning do you think I would be able to cut more healthily,what do you think would be a reasonable weight to cut?

  22. I’m on day 2 of this. I’m in a weight loss competition and this is my last week. Did you work out any week of weight loss/de hydration?

  23. My daughter is a wrestler weighing 106lbs. She has a difficult time cutting weight or I guess maintaining weight. I feel she’s not going in with energy because she will not eat before weigh in. Like 1-2 days. Her weigh ins are usually an hour or 2 before matches. What should we do?

  24. I was wondering, when looking at the re hydration and weight loss protocol, what it means whenever it says that the exercise was “as per martin”?

  25. When dropping the weight, what exactly did you eat in the way of carbs and protein and fat each day? Thanks.

  26. So say if i did this, would it only be losing water weight or is there any fat loss in the process?

  27. I’m not even sure anyone will answer this seeing as most comments and responses are OLD. But here goes anyway…. would this work for someone that isn’t a “fighter”. I have been busting ass to lose weight with the military and it’s slow going. We have a weigh in coming and I am on the line (off by 2.7lbs) We’ll do weight in THEN it’s 3 days before we do our PT test. This would work great for me IF it works on someone who isn’t a fighter and honestly I’m not.

    1. CJ, I just crossed over my 3-year anniversary for getting back into the national guard after a 10 year hiatus, and I had to do the MEPS physical all over again. As a 44 year old dude, it was a matter of personal pride to not have to tape – I weigh in under my maximum allowable weight, which for my age/height was 203. I started at about 216-217, and took it down to 202, according to their scale. (On my home scale that morning I was 196)

      In any case, this will absolutely get you there. I didn’t go as extreme as he did, which is why I only lost about 15 lbs total. Just drink lots of Gatorade and eat well after the fact and you’ll do fine on the PT test.

      1. You have no idea how much I am loving you right now! Aunt flow starts tomorrow and will be here till after I weigh in and she isn’t helping shit. I weighed this morning and have gone up by 2 lbs, I know it’s water weight (bloating sucks) but still it’s a mental hit! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am going to hit this shit hard and I WILL pass! Thank You!

  28. So I am on day 5 of this…. come to find out they bumped back our weigh in for another 24hrs and I am struggling on this diet. Basically existing on low sodium tuna and a piece of chicken twice a day is slowly getting to me. Not to mention limiting water intake after settling in at a gallon a day is rough. On day 4 I was 152 from 160. It was kind of shocking. That was a morning weigh in before I had ate anything or drank anything so I weighed in again that night after hot yoga and eating/drinking and was back up to 155.

    I wonder what is the biggest hit here the excess water, the cutting salt, cutting carbs, cutting sugar? This is definitely without a doubt NON sustainable at the same time I don’t mind cutting a lot of this but cutting all of it is just crap. I have lost time on my run, finding a lot of the more difficult positions in yoga hard to do and also having some dizzy spells. Hard to keep up with chores on the farm along with keeping up with my kids. Also my temper is SHORT.

    TMI AHEAD: For females this also delayed my period, when I found out they moved our weigh in back 24hrs I broke and ate a cookie(yes one) and had some lightly salted almonds. My period started after eating(almost immediately) but it has been A LOT WORSE then a usual menstrual cycle. It feels like there is a LOT more bloating and while my mouth has been bone dry things are “heavier” along with a terrible headache and fatigue. This has been eye opening for sure.

    If anyone has info on what is the biggest contributor to losing the weight in a program like this (I am not even after eating my cookie and almonds) I would appreciate it. I am not sure I can continue on this eating style and still do my run after 6 days of this. Hell I tried push ups last night and where I WAS doing great I now struggle to do the bare minimum. (prior to this I was kicking out 35 easy and quick) I want to add something food wise back in but question what would be healthy and not contribute greatly to weight gain.

  29. Great article. You removed the mystery.

    And thank you for walking us through the weight-cut experience.


  30. You look so fit and I am so jealous. But losing weight at an older age so hard because of the metabolic system slows down and that is why it is hard to lose all the calories from the body. But still there are ways to fight this situation. Like eating foods that helps to boost metabolism and doing yoga or cardio or any kind of workout daily. Thanks for posting this, it’s a very informative post.

  31. Thank you for sharing this diet with the world! it’s proven successful for me! couldn’t be happier

  32. First of all – Great article! I am a MMA Athlete from Germany and I used your strategy for my weight cut the last 4 times. It worked great. For my next fight I only need to cut 6.6 lb but I only got 2 or 3 hours time after the weight in to recover. What do you recommend to eat and drink after the scale?

  33. A very informative article… especially with the performance testing measures that were conducted to give an idea of just how weakened someone is when so dehydrated and also just how much they get back right away once rehydrated.

    But I was curious to know just how much actual size you lost from your baseline and then gained back after rehydrating… especially since one of the pics at the very top of the article shows a tape measure around your chest and shoulders. Quite frankly you really didn’t appear to have lost hardly any size despite the the dramatic weight loss. Did you take before and after measurents in addition to the performance tests?

  34. that’s almost a 30lb drop in bench….. granted less than you would lose cutting 20lb of weight but doesn’t seem massive to me. the most convincing thing about this protocol is that top athletes use it and it works for them not the raw numbers

  35. So it is written here that one shouldnt attempt this because it isnt safe. Even with consuming all the protein while doing this diet and making sure that adequate food is being consumed

    What would be the safe recommended way of this diet then?

    Follow all steps excluding hot bath and sauna?

  36. I have cut weight using this method 5 times now im on my 1st day of my 6th fight. But the difference is I just started doing intermittent fasting, is it okay doing this while fasted? This time I did not pee a lot compared to the 1st 5 times and im light headed, I did not feel light headed the first 5 times i did this.

  37. What happens after 5 day program? I would like to continue loosing weight, should I go to drinking water for second, third round? After how long?

    1. You will die if you keep going on this is not for losing weight. This method is for cutting weight for people who compete in mma, wrestling etc. all the weight you lost will come back. You are just losing water weight so athletes gain thier strengh after getting hydrated.

  38. Everyone finds easy steps to lose weight for a wedding as soon as possible. But due to today’s busy life, nobody can take out time to lose weight for a wedding. Thereby, weight is increasing, so what do you do?

  39. I am 6’0” tall and currently walk around at 170. I am looking to cut to a walk around weight of 159 and fight (amateur kickboxing) at 145. I figured since most people fighting at 145 are shorter, and I have a (some would say freakishly) long wingspan, I figured it would give me a good reach advantage. Do you think that is a reasonably safe goal or should I consider fighting at 155?

  40. Was there daily training as well, or did the weight fall off simply as a result of the diet and water changes? I know that the last few days call for hot baths and sauna, but did you exercise on each day as well? Thank you

  41. So, I was curious about excercise and supplementation leading up to and during the week of cutting. Specifically, creatine, bcaa 1-1-2, beta alanine, caffeine (such as capsule forms) , and l-citralline. I regular use these for my pre workouts and have a weigh in in 20 days, I’m planning on water cutting in the last 5 days and was curious about the effects of these on water retention and ability to cut

  42. I tried this to cut weight for Moms Tournement (fundraiser for girls USAW Team Alaska) its just for fun but, I wanted to cut to the next lower weight class. I didn’t have as extreme results but, I cut a few corners, no sauna I kept drinking coffee like normal (exept the day of weigh in I had one normal cup and them just 2shots of espresso the rest of the day) I also had very small amounts of salt here and there. That being said, I lost 12 lbs total Sunday-Friday. 2-3 lbs a day and ended up going down to weight classes. I also kept training all week lone normal.Thanks, for the article, this was very helpful, and if I had needed to drop more and added the sauna & hot baths I’m sure I would have lost more. It kind of freaked me out how fast it worked.Now to rehdrate and go back up, hopefully will have an edge on the other moms on the mat👍

  43. I love the way you point out real fact about how to loose weight. This information will really help me to loose my weight and stay fit and healthy. Keep on writing on fitness and thank you for sharing such a valuable information for fitness.

  44. Have you considered using IV fluids during the rehydration process during the sleep cycle to stretch out the 13 hour window stated in the article?

  45. I have an experiment I want to try with you. THC is stored in fat, which is why it can take 30-60 days to leave your system. Using this weight cutting method, my theory is you could beat a THC test in a week or less. Let’s test it together. I will fill up on THC, stop naturally to see how long it takes, fill up again, then we can try this method and see how quick I can get rid of all the THC in my system. You in?

  46. wow! that was amazing article i ever read give all information which i wanted to lose weight. Thank you for such a important article regarding weight lose tips.

  47. How long do these fighters go between fights? Wondering why they only try to lose the weight–quickly–a week before the fight, rather than lose it more gradually in the time between each fight

  48. Female 29 single mother needing to lose weight current 237lbs to start becoming a fighter any tips on how to do that?

  49. This is a great insight we always tell folks to stay focused it’s not a mind over matter it’s a mind does matter philosophy.

  50. Plz describe Excercise schedule or (how much calorie burn) during these five days (plz explain each day schedule)

  51. Thank you for sharing your experience Tim!
    When I read your article I was thinking, how can we can apply this approach into a normal workday? 
    Since many people want to lose body fat, especially for the summer’s beach days.

    The key point is to focus on losing body fat and not muscle mass.
    What I found that works well is to take supplements and foods rich in proteins, and also a yogurt kind of product which name is skyr. Not sure if you had tried it? It contains only 68 kcal for 100 grams and 12 grams of protein. This is an excellent way to provide to your body the crucial proteins it needs to keep the muscle mass in check.

  52. Very pro post. The weight cutting is very dangerous for common people. It comes to very serious consequence.

  53. Did you work out during the dehydration process. Or just no salt no sugar and sauna with lots of water etc.

  54. Hi Tim,
    Amazing article.
    Yes your idea of loosing weight and the gaining weight is great. I havent read this post until now. Even when I am often at your blog, but mostly I read only the newest posts.


  55. Sure wish this worked for me as it did you. not even close. and i have been busting my ass to drop weight for a powerlifting meet. with the water i was aslo doing steady state cardio and infrared sauna 2x a day and very restricted calories. im talking hard boiled eggs and tilapia w/ spinach.

  56. How to lose 20 to 30 in 5 days…Chop off a limb! This is so toxic to have an article labeled this! Shame! And this comes from a guy who lost 100 pounds healthily!

  57. I enjoyed your experiment but also had some questions. What was your diet looking like? What kind of meals were you eating through the process? A little late to the party but an answer would be pretty cool.

  58. I’m trying to understand how just having the extra weight of water and food gives you any of your strength back. I would have thought you’d be slower

  59. What are the negative side effects of skipping meals during weight cutting? Why is it not recommended?

  60. I found your blog very informative. The tips you shared to loose wait will work for me. Keep writing such amazing blogs.

  61. This made my cutting routine feel way more structured reading it from this point , really helped me prepare for my fight

  62. Awesome! The truth be told- about how to really manage this business of weight and body fat “manipulation”- very helpful. -gracie❤️

  63. This is a question for Dr.Berardi
    What do you think of coach Greg Doucette’s method of drinking up to 10 liters of water and cutting it off suddenly, his method is completely against tapering off the water intake.

  64. Regarding the MMA weight cut/re-gain process, I have just a few thoughts: it’s dangerous and in my opinion, it’s cheating. Forced dehydration can (and often does) cause dangerous heart arrhythmias which can (and DOES) lead to death. If not fatal, it can lead to damage to the heart. Risky business, to say the least.

    Secondly, to cut weight to make the class limit and then to quickly regain the weight loss (possibly adding more weight) can make the fighter significantly heavier than either what’s allowed or significantly heavier than his opponent. THAT, in my opinion, is cheating. I don’t care if both fighters do it. I don’t care how widespread it is. If I had the opportunity, I’d weigh every fighter two hours before the bout. Keep the fighters healthy and safe; keep integrity in the sport.