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Post-Weigh-In Eating and Drinking

By Gary F. Zeolla


        My most recent powerlifting contest was IPA PA States, Saturday March 5, 2016. For it, I lost 6.8 pounds in seven days, with four of those pounds coming off in the last 29 hours. I weighed in at 11:15 am on Friday (the day before the contest), at 114.2 pounds, 0.3 pounds under the limit for the 114-pound weight class (which is actually 114.5 pounds due to being converted from 52 kilograms).

        I lost that weight by slightly reducing my overall food intake Friday through Monday evening, eating only low-fat protein foods and low-calorie veggies the last 3-1/2 days (Monday evening to Thursday morning), by eliminating sodium as much as possible the last 48 hours (starting Wednesday lunchtime), and by almost completely stopping fluid intake and eating only turkey breast the last 24 hours (starting Thursday lunchtime).

        As a result, by the time I weighed in I was depleted in glycogen stores due to not consuming carbs, in fluids due to not consuming sodium and water, in potassium due to not eating even veggies the last 24 hours, and even my testosterone levels would be low due to not consuming fat. All of this is what enabled me to make weight. But I then needed to replenish all of these in the 22 hours before the contest started.

        Saturday morning, the morning of the contest, I weighed 118.2 pounds, so I regained 4.0 pounds in 20 hours, and that was before eating or drinking anything that day. The contest started at 9:30 am. I felt very good during it and went 9/9 (meaning I successfully completed all nine of my attempts), even with it being an overly long contest, causing me to pull my final deadlift 12 hours after I had arrived at the contest site. I broke several records, as detailed in the above linked to contest report.


Food Intake


        What I ate and drank post-weigh-in obviously worked well. As such, I thought it good to write it all down before I forgot it, so below is my fluid and food intake on weigh-in day and contest day. Hopefully, what worked for me will give someone else cutting weight for an athletic event an idea of what do in this regard.


Friday (day of weigh-ins):

5:30 am (Pre-weigh-in in my hotel room)
2 tbs. almonds
Small sips of water over next two hours, then no water after that

11:15 am (immediately post-weigh-in at the contest site)
1 quart of water
quart of orange-carrot juice

11:30 am (still at the contest site)
2-1/2 cups Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch (a natural cold cereal), with:|
cup pecans
cup raisins
2 scoops whey and casein protein power reconstituted with 16 ounces of water

12:30 pm (in my hotel room)
1 cup of water 

2:00 pm
Chip steak sandwich, using:
3 ounces chipped steak
2 slices Ezekiel bread (a sprouted, while-grain grain)
1 cup salsa

6 whole wheat graham crackers (full sheets), with:
1 tbs. peanut butter
1 tbs. brown rice syrup
1 scoop protein powder reconstituted with 1 cup of water

3:00 pm
1 cup of water

5:00 pm
Chip steak sandwich (same as above)

2 sprouted grain pancakes
3 tbs. brown rice syrup
quart of orange-carrot juice

7:30 pm
Chip steak sandwich (same as above)

9:30 pm
6 ounces strawberry yogurt, non-fat

Saturday (contest day):

5:30 am
1 cup Oatmeal, with:
tsp salt
1 large banana
cup peanuts

1 scoop protein powder reconstituted with 1 cup of water
1 cup of water

8:00 am (pre-squats, still in my hotel room)
1-1/4 cup Nature’s Path Heritage O’s (another natural cold cereal), with:
2 tbs. pecans
2 tbs. raisins
1 scoop protein powder reconstituted with 1 cup of water

12:00 pm (pre-benches, in the warm-up room)
1-1/4 cup Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch
2 tbs. pecans
2 tbs. raisins
1 scoop protein powder reconstituted with 1 cup of water

1 cup of carrot-orange juice

3:00 pm
3 cups of carrot-orange juice 

6:00 pm (pre-deadlifts, in the warm-up room)
1-1/4 cup Nature’s Path Heritage O’s, with:
2 tbs. pecans
2 tbs. raisins
1 scoop protein powder reconstituted with 1 cup of water

1 large cinnamon-raisin bagel
Also 2 quarts of water sipped throughout the contest.

 Midnight (back in my hotel room at bedtime)
cup almonds
1 large banana



        Below is an analysis of each day for relevant nutrients.

Calories: 3618
Fat: 102 grams, 23% of calories
Carbs: 573 grams, 58%
Protein: 181 grams, 19%
Sodium: 4,007 mg
Potassium: 6,.907 mg
Fluids: 133 ounces

Calories: 2789
Fat: 85 grams, 25%
Carbs: 394 grams, 53%
Protein: 164, 21%
Sodium: 2,388 mg
Potassium: 3,990 mg
Fluids: 106 ounces

For comparison, my normal intake is (average for 2015):
Calories: 2242
Fat: 93 grams, 31%
Carbs: 260 grams, 43%
Protein: 158, 26%
Sodium: 2,573 mg
Potassium: 4,716 mg
Fluids: 116 ounces


Reason for Each Item


        The water was of course for rehydration, as was the carrot-orange juice. The juice is also very high in potassium, as are the raisins and to a lesser degree the salsa. The cold cereal, bread, pancakes, salsa, and of course salt provide sodium. The oatmeal, cereal, bread, pancakes, graham crackers, and brown rice syrup all provide carbs that are effective for replenishing muscle glycogen. The juice, raisins, and salsa also provide carbs, but they are in a form that is not as effective in that regard, but they are good for the stated reasons. The juice also tastes very good after weigh-ins and during a contest, while the salsa makes the sandwiches more palatable. The chip steak and nuts provide saturated and monounsaturated fats, which elevate testosterone levels. Red meat is especially effective in that regard. For explanations of all of these points, see my book God-given Foods Eating Plan.

        The cereal, pecans, raisins, and reconstituted protein powder is my normal pre-workout snack. I thus consumed one serving of this mixture before each lift to keep things as normal as possible, but a double-serving after weigh-ins for the extra calories and other stated reasons.


Additional Comments


        My hotel room had a fridge and microwave, so with one exception I brought all of this food with me. That way, I could eat exactly what I wanted when I wanted, and I knew I would not have a problem allergy-wise, as I am allergic to many foods. All of this food was all-natural, and most was organic.

        Even though things went well, I did make some mistakes. First, for my previous contest I had used pre-packaged roast beef in the sandwiches, but the co-op where I got it at no longer carries it, so this time I bought chip steak and cooked it before leaving. But the chip steak was not salted like the roast beef, so I should have taken a salt shaker and salted it myself. After cutting sodium for 48 hours, I didn’t feel like I took in enough sodium. But I asked at the co-op, and they said they could special order the roast beef for me, so I will do that next time. A Subway roast beef sub would be another option. I’ve eaten that after weigh-ins a couple of times, and it works well. But of course, that would not be organic, so I’d rather not take the risk if I don’t have to. As such, I already filled up a salt shaker and put it with my hotel stuff for next time, just in case. Note that the oatmeal was measured out in zip snack bags and salted when I was packing for the contest.

        I also did not drink enough and was thirsty throughout the contest, so next time I need to plan on drinking more. But the problem is, if I drink too much too close to mealtime, then that fills me up and I cannot eat as much. I thus need to space things out. In fact, that is the reason for the indicated schedule. I have found I need to leave at least two hours between meals and to drink water at least half an hour before eating and at least an hour afterwards; otherwise, I feel stuffed and bloated.

        A way to fix both of these problems would be to consume soup with the sandwiches instead of salsa. I often consume tomato soup with a sandwich at lunchtime, dipping the sandwich into the soup instead of using a condiment like salsa. Since packaged soup is very high in sodium, this would add both sodium and liquid. And with using tomato soup, it would also provide potassium. So as not to have to take a can opener, the co-op sells soup in a carton, so I will use that next time.

        The strawberry yogurt at bedtime made me sick in the stomach, and that disturbed my sleep. I often eat yogurt at bedtime without problems, but that is plain, low-fat yogurt, not fruit-filled, fat free yogurt like this was. I buy the plain yogurt in a quart-size, but I wanted smaller containers to take with me to the contest, but the co-op did not have plain yogurt in that size. I’m not sure if that small difference is why I felt sick, or if it was just due to being stuffed. But next time, I will time my last meal for about an hour before bedtime and not eat right at bedtime even though that is my normal practice. But then, I am not normally already stuffed at bedtime. I also will not consume something even that little different from normal.

        But most of all, I did not take enough food with me to the contest. That was because I was not planning on a 15-hour contest, but still, I should have been prepared. As a result, I bummed the bagel off of another lifter. That kept me from getting hungry during deadlifts. However, when I bit into it, I was worried as it contained cinnamon, which I am allergic to. But fortunately, there was not too much cinnamon in it, so it wasn’t a problem. But still, as indicated, that is why I take all of my food with me to a contest, to avoid just that potential problem.

        However, normally after a contest after I get back to my hotel room, I order a pizza and pig out on that, as at that time I am not worried about my food intake. But with as late as it was by the time I got back and showered, I just ate the small indicated snack and went to bed. But that means that day’s intake is less than it would normally be for a contest day.


Next Contest


        With the above minor changes, I will use this intake schedule at my next contest. It will also have a 24-hour weigh-in rule. But this time, weigh-ins will be even earlier, at 9:00 am. As such, I should be able to include a meal in the mid-morning. Here’s praying things go as well next time as they did this time. For specific brands and where to order them from for many of the foods mentioned in this article, see iHerb Natural Foods Reviews. The protein powders are Optimum Nutrition's Natural Whey and Natural Casein, both available at Amazon.

Post-Weigh-in Eating and Drinking. Copyright 2016 By Gary F. Zeolla.

Nutrition and the Bible

    These three books look in-depth at what God give to human beings for food and what the Bible teaches about diet and nutrition. They also compare these Biblical teachings to scientific research on nutrition and degenerative disease like heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

God-given Foods Eating Plan: For Lifelong Health, Optimization of Hormones, Improved Athletic Performance

Creationist Diet: Second Edition; A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition

Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods According to the Bible

See also this series on Amazon (#ad).

The above article was posted on this site June 1, 2016.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: My Diet/ Eating Plan

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