Weight Loss vs Cutting Weight
Surely they are the same, yes? Nope, they are not.
In this post I wanted to approach this subject broadly first but secondly with more emphasis on carbohydrates, I hope you find it helpful......
You may be looking to cut weight for a competition to improve performance or just get below the maximum weight for your specific weight bracket. Sports like combat sports or horse racing (the jockey's weight cut, not the horse's) are the most common that spring to mind. This type of weight cutting often - depending on how much you need to lose and your physiology - requires a lot of commitment and can be extreme and punishing on the body.
'Cutting weight' can involve huge drops in weight in small amounts of time, with athletes getting to sometimes dangerous levels of dehydration and malnourishment. With the added pressure of more frequent and intense training, it stands to reason that the two do not necessarily compliment each other.
Alternatively, you may want or feel like you need to lose some weight and have taken the decision to drop some pounds and more importantly keep them off! Well, this is weight loss rather than cutting weight.
But what is the fundamental difference? One is temporary (weight-cut) and one is, ideally, permanent (weight-loss). The other big differences are the time it takes to achieve each of them and the most vital, the methods that are used to achieve each.
drop the carbs at your own risk!
Carbohydrates are your friend, not your enemy.
Occasionally I happen to listen in to a conversation the students are having or someone may ask me a question relating to carbohydrates, and I quite often find myself either reminding or informing people (both competitors and non) that carbs don't need to be cut out from their diet. In-fact, in a lot of cases they shouldn't. Depending on how you deal with them as an individual, you need not restrict them at all. Food = energy and carbohydrates are a vital source of this energy. So why would you cut them out when you are going to need even more energy than usual to achieve your training goals? You can, for sure, get a quality, fast and effective weight-cut without cutting out vital sources of energy such as carbs. Equally you can achieve and maintain weight loss without cutting out carbohydrates. It's never a good idea, for most people, to cut out any major macronutrient (carbs, protein or fats) from their diet, it can lead to some long-term health issues.
Weight loss will be covered in many other posts but in the next post regarding this particular subject, I want to look at some more extreme forms and methods of weight cutting for Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling etc and then look at how better to approach it. Something that could be more enjoyable and more importantly, easier to manage.