Don’t worry… I’m under. I haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. And I went for a run after practice.
Eating nothing. Drinking minimal water. Running with trash bags and several layers of clothing. Sitting in the car with the heat all the way up on a hot day. Taking laxatives.
These are all methods my very own teammates have used to lose weight in two or three days to make weight on race day, none of which are sustainable.
In high school varsity rowing, there are two categories: lightweight and heavyweight(or open weight). The cutoff for women lightweights is 130 lbs, and 150 lbs for men. As a lightweight rower, one must make weight every single weekend at every race, which may mean cutting weight for half a week every week.
These methods are unsustainable and dangerous
- Running With Trash Bags – trash bags prevent the sweat from evaporating, telling the body to sweat more to lower the body temperature. This is effective in losing water weight, but not fat.
- Laxatives – results are only temporary and can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and dependence.
Healthy, Effective Ways to Make Weight on Race Day
- Reduce sodium, causes you to retain water (bloat)
- Eat whole, healthy foods in proper portion sizes
- Eat according to your body’s caloric needs and activity levels
- Start cutting weight as early as possible to take off pounds safely. Have a long term plan of losing no more than 1 lb a week and maintaining it.
- Consume foods high in fiber, such as salads, fruit, or vegetables that will help flush out intestines
- Rehydration between weigh in and racing; sip water and replenish electrolytes
“Athletes & Eating Disorders.” National Eating Disorders Association, 26 Feb. 2018, www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/athletes-eating-disorders.
Cooper, Melissa. “How to Lose Weight for Lightweight Rowers.” Woman, 14 July 2016, woman.thenest.com/lose-weight-lightweight-rowers-12948.html.
“Laxative Abuse.” National Eating Disorders Association, 22 Feb. 2018, www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/laxative-abuse.
“Losing Weight, Making Weight, Rowing Fast.” http://www.usrowing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Losing-weight-Making-Weight-Rowing-fast.pdf.
Vulcan, Nicole. “How to Lose Weight for Lightweight Rowers.” Chron.com, 5 Apr. 2018, livehealthy.chron.com/lose-weight-lightweight-rowers-3696.html.
“What Are the Side Effects of Not Eating?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/134155-what-are-side-effects-not-eating/.
“Will Wearing a Trash Bag Help You Lose Weight When Working Out?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, www.livestrong.com/article/432720-will-wearing-a-trash-bag-help-you-lose-weight-when-working-out/.