Everyone has a different goal when they place their feet on that smooth metallic surface. Momentarily pending. The number that will appear on the screen usually signifies another sweaty lap around the neighborhood or a beaming smile that takes the form of a smaller-size swimsuit to the beach this year.

For wrestlers and boxers, however, this number means so much more. Weight is the underlying factor determining their ability to continue their passion. Weight drives their competition — and weight itself is often their main competition.


Photo by Armin Nayak

When faced with the sudden heart drop as the scale deems you ineligible, fighters often resort to different methods of temporary weight loss to be able to compete.


It sounds gross—it’s probably not healthy. But if they need to lose temporary weight, it’s the simplest way wrestlers keep ridding themselves of the water that builds up in their mouths. Often a wrestler will chew gum solely to continue to able to spit until he has reached his desired weight (but this will only take off about a half-pound maximum).


Photo by Armin Nayak


The more layers, the more sweat. Another way to cancel out water weight is to put on sweatpants and sweatshirts in an attempt to sweat out as much as possible in a short amount of time. Some wrestlers even wear a trash bag over top of their layers to add to the accumulating heat in order to continue sweating at maximum capacity possible (although this is not recommended for dehydration issues).


The goal is to burn more calories than you are intaking. But if you need to eat something before your match, it is no longer about how many calories you are consuming, but rather how much the item physically weighs in your stomach upon consumption. For example, bread contains more calories than a cup of water, but eating the bread would literally weigh less than the water would in your stomach an hour before weigh-ins.


Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

All of these methods aside, the healthiest route to weight loss is to exercise regularly and stick to a low-calorie, wholesome diet in order to ensure consistent weight and continuous energy.

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