Fighters not making weight is probably one of the most debated topics recently, as several just can’t make the drop to a promised weight class. Some may not be suited to go down further, but some have been unable to cut properly to be on weight and look and feel healthy doing it.
Dr. Nichole Teering is hoping to help in the latter case in her new book “The Weigh”. Teering’s background in nutrition and alternatrive medicine has found a more natural way of losing pounds so fighters can be their best and recover after hitting the scales. She has helped several fighters include WMMA prospect Erin McDougall make weight on a consistent basis.
We took some time talk to Teering about the book and issues we have seen in weight cutting.
Wombat Sports: How did the book come about?
Dr. Nichole Teering: The reason for publishing this book was because as a nutritionist for athletes I could not stand to watch fighters put their bodies through such turmoil prior to battle. I began making programs to lessen the impact of starving and dehydrating. I became very busy customizing plans so I decided to make it accessible to the masses by publishing a book for purchase.
Wombat Sports: What is the most common mistake a fighter does when cutting weight?
Dr. Teering: The most common mistakes I see when fighters cut weight is that they are very extreme about the entire process. A) They believe they need to starve and dehydrate in order to make weight, and B) they are always in a rush to do it. They go from heavy training and eating accordingly then suddenly minimal training and drastically reducing calories. Then sweating too many pounds; or worse (laxatives) to finish off the cut.
W.S.: Is there any signs that a weight cut isn’t working?
Dr. T: Signs that a weight cut might not be working are that the athlete simply isn’t losing the required pounds, or things look like they are going in the right direction and then suddenly the fighter bloats at the wrong time.
W.S.: Can you talk about the complications in cutting with women versus men?
Dr. T: The biggest complication for women cutting weight as opposed to men is that there is a hormonal shift that happens once per month with females. Women can tend to retain more water at a certain time per month. If this happens to start during the weight cut then modifications are necessary.
W.S.: There are times when fighters never seem to make weight and aren’t even close. When do you feel there is a line between trying to cut and simply going up a weight class?
Dr. T: Good Question! I personally feel if it is that hard to make weight and the fighter has attempted various ways of making weight with failed results then its time to go up a weight class. I truly believe that weight does not equal strength within a weight class. If the fighter knows how to access his or her true strength, that few extra pounds an opponent might have in the cage is not going to make a difference.
W.S.: People have different metabolisms and may have certain healthy conditions that causes them to lose weight slow or keep weight on. How important is it to know your body and what things in the book do you have to address it?
Dr. T: This protocol helps the fighter to understand their oxidizer type which helps to understand how they can customize exact macro nutrients to suit their metabolism. Everyone is different so they need to find what works for them.
W.S.: What makes your techniques different than others?
Dr. T: The biggest difference in the technique you will find in The Weigh Protocol is that it is a more gradual process in comparison to other techniques. It is broken into 5 phases and gives the athlete a chance to experience how they respond to a more optimal way of making weight. It is designed with the athletes long term career in mind.
W.S.: What feedback have you been getting from your book and techniques?
Dr. T: The feedback thus far has been tremendous! Competitors are finding it easier and easier to make weight each time they attempt this protocol.
W.S.: Anything you want to add?
Dr. T: As with any new technique I highly recommend a practice cut before it is implemented prior to a fight. With slight modifications, I have also provided this technique to many other athletes with a weight cut component in their sport.