Frequent mistakes

SO, you’ve made the decision to move down to a lower weight category, and you’re dietary intake is now “clean”, disciplined and well planned. Sometimes, however, we may think we’re doing everything right… and still get no results. This blog is aimed at addressing issues and mistakes that frequently occur when boxers aim to lose weight.

Have a look at the following list of frequent mistakes. They are accompanied with short simple solutions. Many athletes fall into the same traps that prevent them making progress, so have a look to see if your problem can be quickly and easily solved…

Are you:

Are you:

  • Eating very little, or skipping meals?
    • o Portion your carbohydrate, protein and fat portions and eat frequently. This will help you train harder without breaking down. The weight-loss will follow
    • o Be meticulous with your serving sizes – eating “clean” is not enough for an already fit, lean athlete to lose weight. You have to eat specifically for your training load.

  • Eating high fat proteins in place of carbohydrates?
    • o If consuming unmeasured portions of meat and fat (forgetting portion sizes and just “going low carb”), it’s likely that you will consume too much energy for weight loss, as well as depriving yourself of high intensity fuel. Plan and portion your carbohydrates, proteins and fats to allow high quality training.
  • Eating little & often as suggested, but still unable to lose weight?
    • o If this is the case, look again to your portion sizes. Eating little and often only works if the portions are small. Be wary of the size of your servings of dressings and starch.
  • Accounting for hidden-calories?
    • o Tea, coffee and hot drinks can often be a weight-making athlete’s friend as drinking can provide a food-free ritual to prevent boredom eating. However, look to control sugar and milk in hot drinks. Each tsp is 20Kcal of energy. How much milk have you consumed in a day? Remember – a pint of semi skimmed milk in addition to added table sugar is the equivalent of another small meal.
      • Look out for squash, fruit, milk and small snacks. None of these sources of energy need hinder your progress, but they need to be accounted for and recognised as sources of fuel.
    •  Dropping high carbohydrate foods completely?
      • By omitting starchy carbohydrates completely throughout your entire training programme, you will be unable to train at maximal intensity. Plan and portion your carbohydrates to allow high quality training. This gets you fitter, leaner and lighter.
    • Aiming to sweat, without drinking fluids throughout training?
      • Fluid losses are short term – you will put the weight back on when you drink. Stay hydrated to train harder.
    • Accounting for vegetable portions?
      • For recreational athletes, and even boxers at an early stage of weight-loss, I’d advocate “filling up” on veg. However, as you get leaner and weight-loss becomes harder every calorie counts. You may need to monitor vegetable servings and limit to 1-300g, depending on body mass. In addition, be extra careful with high-energy/carbohydrate vegetables such as peas, swede, parsnips and all root vegetables (roots should be seen as you carbohydrate portion, rather than a vegetable side-dish).
    • Trying to lose weight too quickly?
      • Rapid, short-term weight loss will be more likely to impair performance and result in the loss of lean muscle. Plan your weight loss to be gradual – leave yourself enough time to lose less than 1Kg per week.


Freddy Brown is an elite nutritionist. For more information you can contact him on 0774 607 5161 or