2 1/2 Months to Experiment...


Purple Belt
Jan 30, 2008
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Hey all, my first post in the nutrition section. I'm looking for some advice for a diet to follow until mid-June. I'm a collegiate rower, a senior, and I'm looking to transition to MMA once I graduate. As this is our most intense part of the year, I have no time to do any training that's not rowing-related, but in the interests of my future athletic endeavor I'm thinking about at least working on my diet.

Currently I'm around 194 lbs (6'0), haven't checked in a while, but regardless of the exact number I'm carrying a little baby fat, probably around 15% body fat. Rowing at this point in the season involves some short, high intensity work couched in a huge volume of moderate stuff, so obviously I'm eating a ton of food, at least 4500 calories a day. We lift 2-3 times a week, mostly for endurance (40 seconds on, 1:00 off, max reps), but the vast majority of training is endurance/power endurance cardio.

Anyway, I've been toying with the idea of dropping some weight all year, but I have this idea in my head that you can't improve fitness while also losing weight, due to the calorie deficit (if anyone has a definitive answer on that, please share...). Now that we're on the water, losing some weight might lend me more speed than any extra fitness could.

How much weight could I realistically lose in 2 1/2 months, given that my primary goal is to not sacrifice performance? Will I inevitably lose strength/power given that I'm fairly highly trained right now? And for when I start training MMA, is it better for me to start lean and build up, or be a little heavier but stronger? And how should I alter my diet to allow for weight loss, while still keeping my glycogen stores consistently high?

My current diet is probably 50% carbs, and 25% each protein and fat. I eat lots of veggies and whole wheat stuff, but also plenty of sugars in both sports drinks and dessert type foods. I have developed a habit of eating pretty soon before bed, not sure if that's good or bad given that I need to have a lot of energy in the mornings. I usually start the day with either cereal and skim milk, or an egg-white omelet with spinach and cheese. If I have morning practice I'll usually eat a bigger breakfast afterwards, with a muffin and an apple. Lunch is usually a whole wheat sub with roast beef, turkey, or tuna. Dinner is whatever's on the school menu, usually either pasta or some kind of homey meat/potatoes/veggies thing. I generally keep snacking until bed time, and most of my calorie intake is from dinner on.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
i dont mean to sound rude but there is a ton of info on diet here. Read up, search, come up with a plan (basically so it looks like you put some effort into it) and then i am sure the people here will be more than happy to help you.
I agree. Your background and goals are a lot more thought out than most people that post here looking for advice, but you can find a great deal in the FAQ. Pretty much anything here that involves a diet that is completely undisclosed is going to be sent to the FAQs on account of being way too broad of a question that has potential answers in the FAQ.

As far as the losing weight and maintaining strength, it is very difficult to lose weight and maintain high level strength at the same time. You're going to have to lift and set yourself up with some very solid workout nutrition (including row practice).

To point you in the right direction, one of the major keys to maintaining strength during a cutting phase is protein and BCAAs.
Alright, thanks guys, I'll take a closer look at the material already on here. I'll post again with any specific questions.