How to Lose Weight for Muay Thai

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Muay Thai is a fierce martial art, a form of kickboxing emphasizing power, strength and cardiovascular development. For practitioners it's as much a lifestyle as a form of fighting. As a weight-class-based sport, it's important for fighters to control their weight. As some fighters have several hundred matches in the course of a career, it's important to stay close to their fighting weight. However, poor habits will lead to fatigue and over-training syndrome, the arch-enemies of fighters. By cultivating a few key habits, you'll ensure weight loss while maintaining your strength and stamina.

  • Eat a whole food diet: meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Meat provides protein and fat. It will also promote healthy testosterone levels. Red meat, chicken and fish are all smart choices. Leafy vegetables will provide healthy antioxidants. Consume root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash. They're calorically dense and high in carbohydrates. Low calorie diets aren't practical for fighters. Even though the diet itself may be high in calories, approximately 3,000, they'll be spent during training, rather than absorbed as fat. Drink plenty of water. Avoid added sugars.

  • Follow a regimented strength and conditioning program such as Martin Rooney's "Training For Warriors." You want a program designed specifically for fighters. It should emphasize compound movements such as the deadlift, squat and bench press for the development of strength. Limit metabolic conditioning like sprints or Crossfit routines to twice a week. Going beyond this could lead to adrenal failure. This will lead to fatigue and over-training. You'll lose strength, stamina, and probably gain body fat.

  • Sleep eight to 10 hours a night. Do this in total darkness. Sleep is important for all weight control goals. Failure to sleep properly has dire metabolic consequences. The body will shift into a state similar to that of a type 2 diabetic, throwing your insulin levels into chaos. You will undermine the hard work invested in your diet and training. Proper sleep has the added benefit of improved focus during training. If you're an insomniac, take a magnesium supplement.

  • Focus the majority of your training time and energy on Muay Thai itself. Round work will raise your heart rate. Classic Thai drills like performing 60 kicks and 40 knees within three minutes taxes the body anaerobically, while sparring provides an aerobic challenge. Doing so prepares you for the sport specific challenge of Muay Thai combat and burns body fat.

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  • Photo Credit Kristian Dowling/Getty Images News/Getty Images Max Oppenheim/Photodisc/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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