What is the best wrestling diet for weight loss? A lot of wrestlers will lose weight to get down to a lower weight class.

I would like to talk about a proper way to lose weight for wrestling.

Wresting nutrition is an important part of a wrestlers diet plan. If you follow a good weight loss plan, you will be the best wrestler possible and still keep all of your strength.

This article is not about starving, dehydrating yourself, or what age to cut weight. Crash diets make wrestlers weak when it comes time to compete.

Start Wrestling Diet Early for Best Results

Wrestling Diet - Best Wrestling Weight Loss Diet Plan|wrestling nutrition weight loss tips

Start your wrestling weight loss plan early. Don’t wait till a week before its time to compete or rank for a match. A gradual weight loss is the best wrestlers diet.

A lot of wrestlers will wait to lose weight. You are hurting yourself and not achieving your full potential. This only leads to you being an average wrestler. Make healthy eating part of your goals.

If you are going to lose weight for wrestling, you need to start eating right at least a month in advance.

Develop your weight loss plan early so you don’t have to starve yourself. This will allow you to lose a small amount of weight each week.

Proper Nutrition is Important

Getting the right calories is an important part of a good wrestling diet.

It is important to eat as healthy as possible.

Nutrition is even important to the heavyweight wrestlers. My son is a heavyweight and made some small changes to his food consumption. He added more vegetables to every meal and lost 20 pounds.

You should stay away from calorie-dense foods, such as pancakes and french fries.

Instead focus on nutrient dense foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

Wrestlers need to Drink Lots of Water to Lose Weight

A lot of wrestlers learn that the best way to lose weight is to sweat it off. This is the WRONG way!

You need water to support your metabolism and keep your body healthy. I recommend that you drink more water than normal. This will help you feel full, stay healthy and your body will burn more calories from the extra water.

If you need to lose some water weight, you can restrict your water intake 24 hours before an event to make weight.

Did you notice I didn’t say stop drinking water completely? You need water for your body to work properly.

I suggest a couple of ounces of water every three hours. You should only restrict water to lose less than two pounds.

Looking for water? I found electrolyte infused water on Amazon best sellers list.

Wrestling Weight Loss does not Include Soda Pop

Soda pop is not part of a wrestler’s diet. The calories in a soda are empty calories. I have seen wrestlers that stopped drinking pop and lost five pounds in a week.

Seriously wrestlers stay away from the soda and juice!

Focus on the Right Nutrients in Proper Proportions

Here is where your wrestling diet should focus on the right nutrients and proportions. You need to eat the right things to promote energy and efficient weight loss.

A wrestler should focus on consuming super foods. Super-foods are nutrient dense foods that promote a healthy metabolism and have anti-oxidant properties.

Here is a typical list of foods my son will eat to lose weight:

  • Whole grain pasta and cereals(avoid bread)
  • 2% cheese sticks
  • Skim Milk(Borland has a great skim milk)
  • Low-calorie yogurt
  • Walnuts and almonds(not a lot because they are high in calories)
  • Chicken breast, lean turkey meat, and a high-quality whey protein
  • Fruits – Apples, bananas, pears, oranges, etc … Fruit provides the necessary vitamins, fiber, and a lot of water.
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Baked Potatoes

Reduce Calorie Intake to Proper Level

Reducing your calorie intake is important to a wrestlers diet plan. Your body requires the right calories to drop weight and keep your strength.

If you cut your calorie intake too much, your body will go into starvation mode. Your metabolism will actually slow down and you will stop losing weight.

The trick is to cut your calorie intake enough so that your body will use your fat reserves and keep your metabolism firing at top capacity. I recommend that you only drop your calorie intake to 80% of your daily requirements.

For example, if you need 2,000 calories a day, then your reduced calorie intake is around 1,600 calories.

If you want an idea on what your calorie requirements are, you can see them here.

Monitor Food Intake or Workout More?

In my opinion, it is better to watch your food intake. There are 3,500 calories in a pound.

Do you realize how hard it is to burn 3,500 calories? Let me give you an example:

If you run 5 miles, you will only burn about 1,000 fat calories.

You are already practicing five days a week. Don’t make things harder on yourself, by consuming more than you need.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

A good weight loss plan is a long-term plan. You should focus on eating right and changing your lifestyle.

I know you want that big T-bone steak or that greasy burger and fries. Keep your eyes focused on the prize. That prize is having the best wrestling season possible.

Healthy Eating vs Supplements

Healthy eating will get the best results. This takes planning and commitment. Otherwise, you will be on a yo-yo diet and you will be battling your weight all season. I would recommend eating real foods to help you with your weight loss plan.

I realize that a lot of wrestlers choose supplements as part of a healthy diet. If you’re going to use supplements, you need to strike a healthy balance to achieve the best nutrition. If you’re looking for supplements, I would recommend the following:

Whey Protein

Gold Standard Whey Protein – This is a protein powder that is sold by Optimum Nutrition. It has over 13,000 reviews with a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars. It has 24 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAA’s, and over twenty flavors to choose from.


Amino Acids – in a previous article, I wrote about amino acids for weight loss. Check out the article.

If you’re looking for a good amino acid supplement, I would recommend AminoHD 1000. It is by far the most popular amino acid and does not contain any extra ingredients.

Wrestlers will need to experiment to find the diet that works best.

Special Offers

If you’re looking for supplements, Amazon always has special offers on sports nutrition products. Check out the link below for more information.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here for more details.

Meal Plans are Key to Weight Loss

Meal planning is essential to getting to a healthy weight. During wrestling season, every calorie counts when you are trying to lose body fat. Failing to plan, will most likely lead to a wrestler consuming empty calories.

When my son is cutting, I like to plan every meal a week in advance. In order to do my planning, I like to use cookbooks. One of my favorite cookbooks is full of 400-Calorie Recipes.

Most wrestlers need to consume at least 1,500 calories day.

I consider meal plans to be a long-term tool for weight loss, but sometimes you need to lose weight quickly. In that instance, you may need to reduce calories to about 1,200 a day. EatingWell magazine created a 7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight that is designed by nutrition and culinary experts to offer delicious, nutritionally balanced meals for weight loss.

Here are some other great cookbooks to look at:

101 Weight Loss Recipes – 100 weight loss recipes formulated to taste great while providing excellent nutrition.

100 Healthy Food Recipes – Eliminate Fad Diets and Embrace the Sustainable Clean Eating Lifestyle

28-Day Meal Plan – This simple starter guide gives you four weeks of clean eating meal plans.

Additional Weight Loss Resources

We have spent close to 400 hours researching, writing and updating this article. We have used numerous resources to make this the best article on wrestling diets. Here are some additional resources that we feel can help you in your weight loss goal.

Cutting Weight 101 – Step by Step Guide to Weight Loss & Sports Performance. This book was written by Carlos Sumulong, who is the co-founder of a Strength and Conditioning Company known as VQ Fit-Pros. As of the latest update, the kindle book was only $2.99. It’s worth 3 bucks to get some tips on cutting weight.

The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Nutrition: Maximize Your Potential – By Joseph Correa (Certified Sports Nutritionist). Learn to accelerate your metabolism as well nutrition plans to improve wrestling performance.

Superfoods Everyone Needs – Webmd.com has an article that talks about how incorporating a variety of the super-foods can help maintain weight, fight disease, and live longer. One thing all super-foods have in common: “Every super-food is going to be a real and unprocessed. The article covers a list of the top super-foods and goes into great detail about the nutrition of each type of food they listed.

Championship Nutrition and Performance: The Wrestler’s Guide to Lifestyle, Diet, and Healthy Weight Control

Nutrition Ideas For Wrestlers: Iowa High School Athletic Association wrote a great article. It talks about how to eat healthy every day.

Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely – Webmd.com wrote the article to offer healthier options to lose weight safely and effectively.

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Best Wrestling Diet for Weight Loss and Maximum Performance — 5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. I’m about to start my Freshman wrestling season and there are a lot of guys on the team that should read this.

  2. My son is a 9th grader, this is his first year wrestling and he is in the heavey weight class. He wants to cut weight, but thinks he can just not eat. I told him he needs to eat foods that work with him not against his body, so this arricle is excellent. Thank you!!!

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