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How to Lose Weight for Muay Thai

By Patrick Dale ; Updated July 18, 2017

Muay thai is the national sport of Thailand and is a type of kickboxing. Like most combat sports, including boxing and wrestling, competitors in Muay Thai fight in weight categories. Many fighters gain weight between bouts and have to lose weight before a contest so they can fight in their preferred weight division. This is best done by following a logical and progressive process spread over several weeks as losing weight too fast can lead to weakness and fatigue.

Increase Your Cardio

Increase the duration and the frequency of your cardio workouts. If you aren't doing much cardio, start with 20 minutes a day, four days a week and increase gradually from there. You can run, row, cycle or swim according to your preferences, but jumping rope is one of the most popular forms of cardio for Muay Thai training and sparring gives you the opportunity to hone your Muay Thai skills.

Decrease Your Caloric Intake

By decreasing your caloric intake as you increase your activity levels, you force your body to burn more fat and, subsequently, your weight will go down. Start with a small reduction to avoid low energy levels for Muay Thai training. Reduce your food intake a little more week by week to maintain steady weight loss. Adjust your food intake up or down as your progress dictates. Reducing your fat and sugar intake is an easy way to cut calories without excessively reducing the quantity of food you eat.

Do More NEPA

NEPA stands for non-exercise physical activity, and while this does not count as training, activities in this category can help you lose weight as they all burn calories. Examples of NEPA include walking, cycling for transport, doing garden chores, playing with your children or washing your car by hand. The more NEPA you do during the day, the more calories you will burn and the more weight you will lose.

Manage Your Fluid Levels

Ideally, you should reach your weigh-in very close to the weight you want to fight at -- preferably slightly below to allow for a margin of error. However, if you are still over weight, you can lose those extra pounds by temporarily ridding your body of excess water. This is done by reducing your fluid intake in the days leading up to your fight, performing light exercise while wearing a plastic sauna suit and sitting in a sauna. Aim to lose no more than 2 pounds per day for two to three days maximum. Once you have weighed in, it is essential that you rehydrate and replace the lost water. This sort of strategic dehydration is not recommended without expert supervision from an experienced coach or doctor.

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