Being big or heavily muscled can be a disadvantage in fighting sports like boxing, but being strong and powerful is always an advantage. With contact sports, you want to be strong and powerful, while remaining agile enough to be able to use that muscle power on your opponent in the boxing ring. So developing a good meal plan is crucial for all boxers.
As it isn't possible to gain muscle size or strength while in an energy deficit, and that it isn't possible to lose fat whilst in an energy surplus, the trick to weight loss whilst gaining muscle is to fluctuate your body between energy surplus and deficit at different times of the day, or on different days of the week, through proper diet and exercise. However, if your goal is to lose body fat as efficiently as possible, then it is not possible to gain muscle at the same time as losing body fat, as energy reserves are far too insufficient for muscle growth. Here the priority is maintaining muscle mass. So, as you're wanting to maintain or even gain some strength whilst losing fat you'll need to be in energy deficit for much of the day, but have excess calories for growth in the hours post boxing weight training.
Meals for boxers must be small but regular, and in order to keep your strength for boxing training and fights, it is essential to keep protein intake high. The key to effective fat loss for a boxer lies in careful manipulation of your intake of carbohydrate foods, i.e. carbs should be low, but not omitted. Consume low glycaemic starchy carbohydrate foods regularly, but in small portions only, avoid treats and junk food.
Following a regimen such as the boxers meal plan below should keep a boxers body fat down, both weight and cardio training must remain intense. You will be able to continue to train hard as your calorie intake will not be mega low and you'll have regular carbohydrates. Sparring, pad work or cycling will help you achieve results; try to up the intensity and make sure your boxing training and sparring is done on a different day or at a different time of day to weight training so as not to interfere with nutrients required for strength gain.
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Large bowl porridge made with 250ml skimmed milk + 2 tsp sugar
3 egg whites + 1 egg yolk scrambled
100g chicken breast
200g tuna (canned in brine, drained) + 2 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt (to bind)
2 slices granary bread toasted + olive oil-based spread
Tbsp sunflower seeds
A serving of MRP in water
(MRP = Meal Replacemant Providers, which are 'complete' nutrition commercial formulas containing high protein, moderate carbohydrate, essential fatty acids and all essential vitamins and minerals. They are an invaluable aid to the boxers and bodybuilders as they can be used to substitute one or more of the many meals he/she has to consume in a day. MRPs can be made up with water only or skimmed milk, and quality can vary between brands with many have additional ingredients. Although they are called 'meal replacements' they are not a substitute for all food, and no more than two or three per day maximum are suggested, replacing smaller meals rather than main meals. Most come in portion sachets, but some are available in tubs)
45 mins pre-workout
100g chicken breast
TRAIN – weights or fight training.
Immediately post workout
2 scoops whey protein
150g white fish or 120g lean steak
3-4 small boiled new potatoes or 3-4 pieces sweet potatoes or
50g boiled basmati rice
Large serving of vegetables
2 oatcakes + 40g low fat soft cheese
Celery, cucumber and/or raw carrot
150g cottage cheese
As with all the boxers meal plans, this is merely a guide and must not be stuck to rigidly! A boxer must eat a variety of different meats / fish / alternatives, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water. Adapt the meal plan to suit your own needs according to your results in order to attain a steady loss of body fat and respond to how you feel strength-wise. Varying portions from day to day, along with hard boxing training will help maximise progress.
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