Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. During sleep your body goes through a long period of time without nutrients which leads to muscle breakdown. To minimize this breakdown you must replenish these nutrients as soon as possible upon waking. Breakfast also stimulates your metabolism which causes you to burn more calories throughout the day. This slows fat storage. Speeding your metabolism is the first step to leaning out. People with fast metabolisms store less fat.

To build a healthy breakfast, follow theses 3 steps.

  1. Choose a carbohydrate source: Carbs are essential to an athlete's diet and must be included in each meal. Carbs are the body's main source of energy and play a vital role in hydration. They cannot be eliminated even for weight loss!
  2. Pick a protein source: Breakfast is a good time to include a low fat protein source. Lean protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) necessary for muscle growth and recovery.
  3. Hydrate: Breakfast is a good time to start the hydration process. Just 12-16 ounces at this meal can promote fat loss, increase recovery, and reduce fatigue. Limit fruit juice because it contains extra sugar that may make it harder for fat loss.

Breakfast Examples: choose 1

  1. 1 cup of low fat yogurt, 1 apple, and 1 packet of oatmeal
  2. 3 boiled egg whites and 1 piece of fruit ( boil eggs the night before to save time)
  3. 1 slice of whole wheat toast w/ 1 tbs. peanut butter


****Wrestlers should take a multi-vitamin with breakfast****


Mid-Morning Snack

This snack will stimulate your metabolism, provide energy and keep the body in a positive energy balance to reduce muscle breakdown. You must include this snack to stimulate fat loss.

Hydrate: It is essential that you maintain good hydration

Examples of good items for hydration:

  • 1 glass/bottle Water
  • 1 glass Skim Milk
  • Propel®

Examples of good morning snacks: choose 1

  1. 1 piece of fresh Fruit
  2. 1 handful of baby carrots
  3. 4 Fig Newtons®



Lunch is an important meal because it is usually the last real meal before practice/workouts. This means you must consume nutrients needed to provide energy for practice/workouts and reduce muscle breakdown. Remember, leaning out takes dedication so don't be tempted! Your goal is greatness!!!

Good Lunch Options: Choose 1 main entrée
This provides a bulk of your calories and protein.

1 Turkey or ham Sandwich on whole wheat bread
1 Grilled chicken sandwich
1 can of tuna on whole wheat bread with mustard
1 Spinach salad with egg whites and low fat dressing
***Use small amounts of mayonnaise (if you have to have it)***

Good Lunch Options: Choose 1 side dish
2 Fig Newtons®
55 goldfish crackers
1 granola bar
15 Pringles

Good Lunch Options: Choose 1 whole food
This provides fiber which slows digestion which limits fat gain and vitamins for overall health

Baby carrots
Raw veggies

Hydrate: Lunch is a good time to pre-hydrate for practice/workout. Just 12-16 ounces at this meal can prepare you for the sweat loss of a practice. You must also drink fluids during your workout to replace fluid lost and cool your body temperature.

Examples of good items for hydration: Water, skim milk, Propel


Post-Workout Snack

This snack is very important to the recovery process and is probably the second most important meal of the day. This meal replenishes energy loss during the workout and prepares you for the next workout. This meal also stops the breakdown process associated with hard workouts. This meal should occur immediately (even before you shower)! Do this with-in 30 minutes of finishing!!!!

Hydrate: You must continue to replace the fluids lost during your workout

Examples of good items for hydration: Water

Recovery meal: Choose 1

  1. Whey Protein Shake (120-180 Calories)
  2. 12 ounces of low fat chocolate milk
  3. 1 handful of trail mix



Dinner is an important meal because it provides a large amount of nutrients that play a big part in recovery. This means you must consume the nutrients needed to benefit from your workout/practice. This meal will look a lot like lunch except it should contain more fruits and vegetables.

Good Dinner Options: Choose 1 main entrée
This provides a bulk of your protein.

  • Roasted/Grilled Chicken or turkey
  • Fish (not fried)
  • Lean beef (sirloin >85% lean)
  • Meat loaf (made with 90% lean beef)
  • Soups or stews (no cream based soups)

Good Dinner Options: Choose a whole food. You should eat this portion of your meal first! This provides fiber which slows digestion which limits fat gain and provides vitamins for overall health. Eat as much of these as possible

  • Baby carrots
  • Salad w/ veggies (use small amounts of dressing)
  • Fruit
  • Raw veggies
  • Steamed veggies

Hydrate: Continue the hydration process by drinking lots of fluid.

Examples of good items for hydration: Water, skim milk, fresh fruit


Night Snack

This snack will curve late night cravings and stimulate your metabolism, provide energy and keep the body in a positive energy balance through most of the night to reduce muscle breakdown.

Hydrate: It is essential that you maintain good hydration

Examples of good items for hydration:

  • 1 glass Water
  • 1 glass Skim Milk
  • Propel®

Examples of good morning snacks: choose 1

  1. 1 piece of fresh Fruit
  2. 1 handful of baby carrots
  3. 10 ounces of skim milk with 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

dinner recipes

Bell Pepper Pizza

5 oz bell peppers
1/4 cup pastorelli pizza sauce (Walmart has this or another pizza sauce without sugar)
2 oz Italian shredded cheese
2 oz uncured pepperoni ( super one sells this)

Place topping on bell pepper slices and bake
 Calories for all:450

Weight control

Wresting nutrition is an important part of a wrestlers diet plan. If you follow a good weight loss plan, you will be the best wrestler possible and still keep all of your strength.

This article is not about starving, dehydrating yourself, or what age to cut weight. Crash diets make wrestlers weak when it comes time to compete.

Start your wrestling weight loss plan early. Don’t wait till a week before its time to compete or rank for a match. A gradual weight loss is the best wrestlers diet.

A lot of wrestlers will wait to lose weight. You are hurting yourself and not achieving your full potential. This only leads to you being an average wrestler. Make healthy eating part of your goals.

Start Wrestling Diet Early for Best Results

If you are going to lose weight for wrestling, you need to start eating right at least a month in advance.

Develop your weight loss plan early so you don’t have to starve yourself. This will allow you to lose a small amount of weight each week.

Proper Nutrition is Important

Getting the right calories is an important part of a good wrestling diet.

It is important to eat as healthy as possible.

You should stay away from calorie-dense foods, such as pancakes and french fries.

Instead focus on nutrient dense foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

Wrestlers need to Drink Lots of Water to Lose Weight

A lot of wrestlers learn that the best way to lose weight is to sweat it off. This is the WRONG way!

You need water to support your metabolism and keep your body healthy. I recommend that you drink more water than normal. This will help you feel full, stay healthy and your body will burn more calories from the extra water.

If you need to lose some water weight, you can restrict your water intake 24 hours before an event to make weight.

Did you notice I didn’t say stop drinking water completely? You need water for your body to work properly.

I suggest a couple of ounces of water every three hours. You should only restrict water to lose less than two pounds.

Wrestling Weight Loss does not Include Soda Pop

Soda pop is not part of a wrestler’s diet. The calories in a soda are empty calories. I have seen wrestlers that stopped drinking pop and lost five pounds in a week.

Seriously wrestlers stay away from the soda and juice!

Focus on the Right Nutrients in Proper Proportions

Here is where your wrestling diet should focus on the right nutrients and proportions. You need to eat the right things to promote energy and efficient weight loss.

A wrestler should focus on consuming super foods. Super-foods are nutrient dense foods that promote a healthy metabolism and have anti-oxidant properties.

Here is a typical list of foods my son will eat to lose weight:

  • Whole grain pasta and cereals(avoid bread)
  • 2% cheese sticks
  • Skim Milk(Borland has a great skim milk)
  • Low-calorie yogurt
  • Walnuts and almonds(not a lot because they are high in calories)
  • Chicken breast, lean turkey meat, and a high-quality whey protein
  • Fruits – Apples, bananas, pears, oranges, etc … Fruit provides the necessary vitamins, fiber, and a lot of water.
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Baked Potatoes

Reduce Calorie Intake to Proper Level

Reducing your calorie intake is important to a wrestlers diet plan. Your body requires the right calories to drop weight and keep your strength. If you cut your calorie intake too much, your body will go into starvation mode. Your metabolism will actually slow down and you will stop losing weight.

The trick is to cut your calorie intake enough so that your body will use your fat reserves and keep your metabolism firing at top capacity. I recommend that you only drop your calorie intake to 80% of your daily requirements. For example, if you need 2,000 calories a day, then your reduced calorie intake is around 1,600 calories.


Monitor Food Intake or Workout More?

In my opinion, it is better to watch your food intake. There are 3,500 calories in a pound.

Do you realize how hard it is to burn 3,500 calories? Let me give you an example:

If you run 5 miles, you will only burn about 1,000 fat calories.

You are already practicing five days a week. Don’t make things harder on yourself, by consuming more than you need.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

A good weight loss plan is a long-term plan. You should focus on eating right and changing your lifestyle.

I know you want that big T-bone steak or that greasy burger and fries. Keep your eyes focused on the prize. That prize is having the best wrestling season possible.