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One key part of my Stay Healthy Guide
One of my most dedicated wrestlers, Cole, helped us get in the Christmas spirit this past week.  Thanks, Cole!

One of my most dedicated wrestlers, Cole, helped us get in the Christmas spirit this past week. Thanks, Cole!

With the holidays here, and big Holiday Tournaments around the corner, I wanted to remind wrestlers to Stay Healthy.  I've mentioned this Stay Healthy Guide that I am working on, but I'm afraid it won't be done for a while yet.  Holiday time is Family time here at the Simpson household, as it is for most, so some of these things will have to wait because I'm just running out of time.

However, there are some key health-related things you can do now to stay healthy during this seasonal season.

Today, let's discuss Diet and Weight Management.  Every athlete's favorite subject!  Here are a few guidelines:

  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Eat Healthy
  • Dehydration should be the very last resort thing you do
  • Know your body and take a scientific approach to the scale

Now in detail…

Avoid Skipping Meals

When you skip meals, your body adjusts accordingly by slowing down its metabolism (making it harder to cut weight) and burning muscle for energy. This is why many wrestlers get weaker as the season progresses, by the way.

Eat Healthy

You are what you eat, as they say, and if you put junk into your body, you very well might wrestle like junk! The food you eat is energy for your body. Would you gas your car with the wrong kind of fuel? If you put dirt in the gas tank your car won't go. Wh would your body be any different?

Dehydration should be the last resort

Your body is made up of about 60-65% water. Dehydration does all kinds of negative things to the body, including organ damage. Without water your body starts to shut down. If you dehydrate to make weight, at least limit it to the last possible minute. Do not get pulled into the habit of dehydration all week long – and limit it even on the last day.

A Scientific approach to the scale.

Here's something I did when I was a kid, trying to monitor my weight…

First, I would weight myself on the school scales. Then I'd go home and weight myself on my home scales. That way I'd have a baseline to compare to. Keep in mind, you have to be wearing exactly the same amount of clothes – whether that is some, or none at all – so your baseline is accurate. You also have to avoid eating or drinking anything between these weigh-ins. And, it goes without saying – the weigh-ins have to be close together in time.

Next I would weigh myself right before bed. I'd note the time. First thing in the morning, another weigh-in. Again, same level of clothing both times. From these two weigh-ins, I would calculate how much weight I would 'drift off' in a particular amount of time. Drifting is the amount of weight you will lose simply by existing, not counting working out.

By doing this I figured out that I would lose, on average, one pound every 8 hours. Then I'd go the math: If weigh-ins were 24 hours away, I could count on drifting about 3 lbs in that amount of time. Armed with this knowledge, I would know exactly how much weight I could gain through eating and drinking during the time I weighed, to the meet's weigh-ins. This allowed me to put together a consumption plan – what I would eat, and drink, during that time. Oftentimes that plan also included me working out at some point (I even had a scientific approach and a specific workout designed to lose weight, and I'd know exactly how much weight I was going to lose from that particular workout. But that's for another time.)

That's it for now, have a great holiday and Stay Healthy!