Top 9 Tips: How to Cut Weight for Boxing?

You might be wondering: how do boxers cut weight? Well, you came to the right place: this is the ultimate article on how to cut weight for boxing. Specifically, you will learn about different practical tips you can implement straight away for cutting weight for boxing when you have just 1 to 5 days before your boxing bout.

Imagine the following: it is a sunny Friday afternoon, and you are having a barbeque with your family. While you are enjoying your buffalo wings and steak, your phone starts buzzing—oh no, it’s your coach.

‘There is a show on Sunday, I finally have an opponent for you for your first bout—can you make it?’

You realise the opportunity for you to shine has finally come. However, you know it is Friday, and you also know that you are unprepared and eating chicken wings. You are in full realization of the fact you should be running instead of filling yourself, but you do love the sport and say ‘of course coach, Sunday it is’.

You are returning to your room to check your weight and realise that you are 4, 5 or 6 kilograms overweight. 

A picture of a man panicking.


You have two days to lose weight and need to do it rapidly. If you are having this situation right now, you are in a good place as this article will provide you with 9 ways of losing weight fast.

As a boxer, coach, and personal trainer, I want to add a disclaimer: some of those methods are neither the safest nor the healthiest ones. None of them puts your life or health in danger, but you must understand that losing a few per cent of your body mass within 24, 48, or 72 hours is never healthy. Please make sure to consult your coach or an expert when doing this.

Before proceeding, some of these have important timing associated with each tip. Make sure you follow not only what to do, but also when to do it.

Weight Cutting Tip #1: Do NOT Stress and Plan Well

One of the most important things to do and even before starting your cut is not to stress.

One of the main side effects of any weight cutting is that you will lose energy, be tired, and feel lethargic. Knowing these facts, stop stressing and start acting, as you do not have extra energy to worry about doubting or questioning yourself during a short-term weight cut. Moreover, stress makes a lot of people munch and eat more. You do not want to feel extra hungry on the weight cut.

A practical solution to this is to practice mindfulness: a Stanford psychologist has done research on stress and found that people who reframed stress as “positively enhancing” rather than “debilitating” improved their performance and lived longer.

A man meditating in the sunset and being stress-free.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to cut weight rapidly, tell yourself that you’re excited about the fight and regardless of the pain you will endure during the weight cut, you will make the weight anyway.

This prepares you for the pain but also takes away the stress and overthinking.

The second component of not stressing is planning your weight cut well.

Start by precisely checking your weight on different scales, learn what time is the weigh-in and calculate how much time you have. What is also crucial is finding out if you fight on the day of your weigh-in or not. If you fight the next day after you weigh in, you can dehydrate and rehydrate and cut weight more drastically as you have time to recover.

If you fight on the same day as your weigh-in, you cannot allow yourself for a harsh cut.

Knowledge of the situation allows you to form a base and a plan for the weight cut which is extremely important.

If your coach tells you the weight is on Sunday, that is partial information. The weigh-in might be at 8 am or 6 pm and that makes a humongous difference.

Find out all the information and plan accordingly.

Weight Cutting Tip #2: Dieting

Dieting is the simplest and most obvious method, yet one of the most effective ways of decreasing your weight at a fast pace.

Every time you find yourself in a situation like the one presented in the introduction, the first thing you should do is significantly cut down on food consumption. 

If you really want to lose 4 kg in 2/3 days for the weigh-in, you simply must eat as little as possible. 

Again to make this very clear: we are not talking about a long-term weight cut here, but rather we are talking about less than 5 days before the weigh-in.

In such a situation, you do not have enough time to plan a great diet and so you need to minimise the amount of food you eat. If you are knowledgeable about dieting and calories that is a plus, but most of us are boxers, not nutritionists and as a rule of thumb, you need to eat as little as possible.

Everybody is different and everyone has different meals that one needs to eat.

Some people cannot function without breakfast, while others cannot fall asleep without eating a meal. Some boxers (or maybe everyone!) must have a coffee because they cannot function.

With some exceptions, it is up to you what you want to cut and what you don’t want to cut.

The key is to minimise.

For example, when I cut and I know I basically cannot eat, I would usually skip breakfast, eat a small lunch—chicken breast with broccoli to keep me going and finish the day with an egg. I naturally do not feel great, and of course, that amount is not enough, yet when you need to cut weight fast, you have to do it.

However, the most important diet tip is to AVOID fibre (vegetables, pasta, starches, and some fruits) as the lack of fibre results in short-term weight loss since it removes the fibre from the intestines that hold food particles. Instead, try to concentrate on calorie-dense food that is protein-rich, such as peanut butter.

A jar of peanut butter.

Finally to wrap up this tip: simply try to eat as little as possible and weigh yourself constantly to see your progress—this will give you additional motivation.

Weight Cutting Tip #3: Cut Sodium

Sodium, or salt, is a common component in your diet.

While some sodium is good for your health, excess consumption is unhealthy and can lead to weight gain in the long run.

However, even in the short run, it’s important to cut your sodium or even eliminate it.


That’s because sodium is a substance that helps the body retain water.

Reducing or eliminating sodium even for two days can have a noticeable effect on your body weight.

Therefore, 72 hours before the weight-in, you should change to a diet that has reduced or lacks any sodium. Reducing sodium can be further helped by the next tip we’re going to discuss.

Weight Cutting Tip #4: Overhydrate and Then Dehydrate

Disclaimer: Please carefully consult an expert if you plan on doing this!

Interestingly, more than half of our body weight is made up of water.

Dehydrating your body is one of the most horrible yet effective ways of cutting weight. However, the moment your body is deprived of water, you will very quickly appear smaller on the scales.

This method of cutting weight for boxing is never a smart idea and can sometimes lead to death as was the case with an MMA fighter. But boxing is not smart either, so let’s leave science to scientists and go back to weight-cutting.

Here is a practical way to implement this tip: between the period of about 72 – 20 hours you will OVERHYDRATE yourself.

That’s right, you do the opposite of what we recommend.


This results in your body needing to go to the bathroom very frequently. This leads to your body getting rid of sodium and conditions itself to excrete water excessively.

Then, about 20 hours before the weigh-in, you will cut water. Your body will still excessively pee out the water, but it will not be replenishing the lost water and therefore you will rapidly lose weight.

During this, you will also need to cut out watery foods such as oranges. Instead, you will go for calorie-dense, protein-rich food such as peanut butter as discussed previously.

This weight-cutting tip can be further complimented by the next few tips we will discuss.

Weight Cutting Tip #5: Sauna

If you are lucky enough to have a sauna, or you live near a spa, swimming pool, or gym with a sauna—you should make the most out of it. 

Hitting the sauna is an effective method of cutting your weight for boxing, especially if you want to do it fast.

The sauna can be really pleasant!

Of course, when you cut weight, you usually must stay there so long that it stops becoming pleasant, but at least it can be pleasant at the beginning contrary to all other ways of cutting weight.

What we recommend regarding the sauna is also not to do it alone.

The sauna can make you dizzy, and it is risky to stay there too long on your own. If you have a friend who can go with you and watch over you, then use him/her!

Weight Cutting Tip #6: Hot Bath

Again, if you are lucky to have a big bath tube at home, you can use it for weight cutting. Being in a hot bathtub works very similarly to a sauna.

You are just in a hot place that makes you sweat. Moreover, it can also be pleasant and what is important, is a lot safer.

To cut weight in a bath tube you simply need to fill up the bath with the hottest water you can withstand sitting in and sitting for as long as you can.

When the water gets colder, and you get more comfortable, fill the bathtub with another batch of hot water and enjoy your cut.

An athlete being drenched in a hot tub.

This method is a very good one before a competition, as it is not that invasive, and it can help your muscles to recover.

Weight Cutting Tip #7: Sleep in Warm Clothes

One of our favourites method and has never disappointed!

One of the best ways to lose weight without losing too much energy is sleeping in warm clothes and ideally, constantly.

Regardless of if it’s in the middle of the summer or the middle of the winter, you can try the following if you must cut weight fast: put on two pairs of thick socks, thick sweatpants, one or three hoodies, and a winter hat.

It is very hard to fall asleep when you do this and sometimes you can end up waking up at night from the heat. However, if you are able to survive this, you will lose weight fast by sweating and you will save up energy.

This is one of the best ways to cut weight for boxing. It does not consume too much of your energy and can be done at night while sleeping.

It is very underappreciated and should be popularised more.

Weight Cutting Tip #8: Jogging

Nothing helps to lose weight better than a good old run.

The tip is simple: run as much as possible on the first day of your weight cut so that your legs have as much time to recover as possible.

You want to be as rested as you can before the competition and so running the night before is not a good idea.

The type of run that is best for weight cutting is long, slow, and steady-paced runs. A recommended run workout would typically be a single 10-12 km or two sets of 5 km with a rest in between.

An athlete jogging during sunrise in a road.

Nothing helps to lose weight better than a good old run.

The tip is simple: run as much as possible on the first day of your weight cut so that your legs have as much time to recover as possible.

You want to be as rested as you can before the competition and so running the night before is not a good idea.

The type of run that is best for weight cutting is long, slow, and steady-paced runs. A recommended run workout would typically be a single 10-12 km or two sets of 5 km with a rest in between.

Weight Cutting Tip #9: Supplementation

I am not going to lie—I am not a big fan and believer in using supplementation and cutting weight through pills. Therefore, this one is the last method to be mentioned.

However, there are certain medications and supplements that could help you cut weight.

One recommendation I have that I personally used in the past is Piperinox.

You can read about it here, where one of our staff tested it and outlined his experience.

Putting It All Together

Now that you know the practical tips on how boxers cut weight, here’s a practical plan you can implement that makes use of most if not all the tips discussed.

More than 5 days before your weigh-in, you must practice mindfulness if you are feeling worried or stressed and actively frame it as a positive situation. During this period, you will also need to plan well about how you will cut weight and how much you need to cut.

Less than 5 days before the weight, you should cut on food and focus on calorie-dense, protein-rich foods all while avoiding high-fibre foods.

72 hours before the weigh-in, you should cut on sodium. At the same time until 20 hours before the weigh-in, you should drink water excessively but not to the point of passing out!

20 hours before the weigh-in, you should cut on water and practice any of the techniques mentioned between tip #5 to tip #8.

Wrapping Up

Cutting weight fast is a difficult, somewhat dangerous and certainly unpleasant chore.

If you can avoid it—please do. It is always beneficial for your body, health, and performance to have a more prolonged and calmer weight cut.

Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to cut fast—the discussed tips in this article will certainly be useful.

Here, we mentioned the best and the most effective fast weight-cutting tips, nonetheless be careful whenever you cut and make sure you do not overdo it.

Boxing is important. But nothing is more important than your health and long-term well-being.

If you are currently cutting and have a fight in less than a few days or hours: do not worry, you will make it. Good luck and smash him.

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