Dramatic and quick weight loss is never a great idea. The long game dietary intervention alternative is always a better option. That being said, service members have a height and weight requirement that they must meet yearly.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to lose those last few pounds quickly, here's how to do it in a safe way. This method has nothing to do with those fat burners that have zero efficacy and that usually just induce fever-like symptoms in order to "burn" fat.
WARNING: This protocol, although safer than other methods, is still risky. Only attempt this if you have an actual reason to and with someone closely monitoring your progress. *This is not medical advice. I take no responsibility for any potential adverse effects.* In fact, I recommend you don't do this. This article is just to show a safer method of cutting weight than individuals typically conduct.
For that dietary intervention alternative, check out The Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide in my Free Resources Vault, where I lay out the process in a step by step easy to follow protocol.
The name of the game is water manipulation.
(Photo by Cpl. Anthony Leite)
What you'll be manipulating
Water intake: You're over half water. By reducing the amount of water you drink, you are inherently reducing your weight. The other two factors that you'll be manipulating are simply ways for you to reduce your water retention. More on why you should be drinking water here.
Carbohydrate intake: Every gram of stored carbohydrate stores an additional 3-4 grams of water. This is why the word hydrate is included in the word carbohydrate. When you eat a higher carb diet, you may feel that you look softer, it's because you're holding on to more water. The extra water retention makes you look less cut in general.
Sodium intake: Electrolytes transport electrical signals throughout our body, it's how we work. When you manipulate your intake of electrolytes, especially sodium, you can trick your body into excreting more of them than usual, which will, in turn, expel more water and help reduce your weight.
The process starts 8 days before your weigh-in.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Burrell Parmer, Navy Recruiting District San Antonio Public Affairs/Released)
8 days prior:
- Double water intake- This teaches your body to pee more. You're training your body to excrete more and retain less
- Increase sodium intake- Eat as much sodium as you can with your food and even in your water. This will teach your body to excrete more sodium than usual and in turn, more water even when you start to cut sodium intake.
6 days prior:
- Cut water intake back to normal- At this point, you'll still be peeing more than usual and will start to excrete more than you're taking in.
- Lower carb intake to 50-100 grams per day- Fewer carbs in your diet will create a deficit and get rid of some of those water storage spots in your body.
- Decrease sodium intake (get rid of all extra salt in your diet)- You'll continue to excrete more electrolytes than you're taking in.
5 days prior
- Cut water intake in half- Even less water, this continues your deficit.
- Keep carb intake low
- Keep sodium intake low
3 days prior
- Cut water intake in half again- Now you're getting very low on fluid intake. Don't push yourself physically. Your primary physical stress is coming from this fluid deficit.
- Keep carb intake low
- Keep sodium intake low
- Hit the sauna for 15-20 minutes- Start sweating out anything extra that isn't leaving you naturally
2 days prior
- Cut water intake in half again- Pay close attention to how you feel and don't do anything dramatic.
- Keep carbs low
- Keep sodium low
- Hit the sauna 2x for 15-20 minutes- Have someone with you. You don't want to pass out in the sauna
Day of weigh-in prior to weigh-in
- No water
- Carb intake stays low
- Sodium intake stays low
- Eat 1-2 very small meals prior to weigh-in
- Use sauna if necessary
Day of weigh-in and post weigh-in
- Start drinking water immediately (no more than 50 oz per hour with meals)
- Continue until your body weight is back to normal
A shiny trophy may be a great reason to cut weight. Make sure you don't cut so hard that you can't perform though.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Hamlin, 2d Cavalry Regiment)
This is a protocol very similar to what professional fighters and other weight-class athletes use to cut weight prior to a fight. Those individuals have coaches and medical professionals at their disposal to help monitor and implement the protocol. This is not the type of thing that should be undertaken flippantly.
If you want to lose fat, this is not how to do it. This protocol simply rids the body of water weight. All the weight you cut will be put back on in a matter of days, if not hours.
To lose fat, read my nutrition guide, The Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide. It's free and you can get it in my Free Resources Vault.
To understand why diet manipulation is a better method for fat burning than exercising more read my article The key to your body goals here.
To learn what type of exercise burns the most fat and can compliment a caloric deficit, read this.
If you find this article helpful share it with a friend that needs to lose a few more pounds to make weight.
Email me at email@example.com if you want a professional to help guide you through this process or if you have more questions concerning the intricacies of the protocol.
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