Here is a great in-season wrestling diet designed by a mom whose son I worked with in years past. The author is a wrestling mom and college professor who made it her mission to understand how to help her wrestler shed a few pounds and maintain his weight during the season while also still having the nutrition, hydration and energy needed to train during the week and compete on the weekends. Once on the diet, her son steadily lost weight and enjoyed a healthy season competing on a nationally competitive schedule. While he might not want to see grilled chicken breasts ever again, he stayed healthy, balanced his academics and even enjoyed a few special foods on Saturday and Sunday simply by sticking to the plan and CUTTING OUT all of the bad stuff.
I hope this is helpful.
Here is Mom's email describing her research and in-season approach to feeding a growing teenage boy:
So we are constantly fine-tuning this. He is working with a trainer who trains MMA fighters. He feels very strongly about cutting out gluten and rice which cause inflammation in the body. Also he said the WORST THING that a wrestler can consume is soda. The high amount of sugar causes havoc in the body, but it also breaks down muscle mass.
Rule #1--Keep Metabolism going strong--eat smaller meals throughout the day. Don't go more than a few hours without eating something.
Rule #2--Hydration--gaterade has a ton of sugar. Drink water 2-3 quarts a day depending on how much they are sweating. This flushes out all the toxins and helps with weight loss. Also lemon in the water helps assimilation. Most folks are chronically dehydrated and it causes headaches, low energy and muscle cramping.
Rule #3--Immediately after exercising--have some type of refueling--protein bar, protein shake. If cutting weight, we stay away from protein shakes, since they can keep weigh on, but 1/2 cup of chocolate milk or half a protein bar with help muscles recover.
Overall--lean proteins, no refined or processed foods, complex carbs, lots of fresh veggies & fruit. Snacks--carrot & celery sticks, fruit. Try to eat organic whenever possible.
STAY AWAY FROM FAST FOOD. It is full of fat, high calories and low nutrition. In a pinch, choose an option that has good quality protein and veggies.
Breakfast: 1 fruit, 1 protein, 1 carb
Fruits: grapefruit, pear, strawberries or any kind of berries, banana
We also usually have a 1/2 cup smoothie with chia seeds. It helps for taking/swallowing any supplements or vitamins and the chia seeds are very high in omegas and increase energy.
Protein: 1-2 eggs any style, or 2 chicken or turkey sausages (He really likes Applegate chicken & maple flavor)
Carb: 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with local honey. Can also have hot quinoa or amaranth or multigrain hot cereal.
Avoid cold cereals--not much nutrition. Same for frozen waffles, bagels, muffins, breads.
Lunch: Protein, veggies--salad, steamed or grilled veggies, chicken breast, fish. 1/2 avocado has a lot of nutrients and is good for brain.
Avoid sandwiches, lunchmeat which has nitrates and super high in sodium.
Fruit for snack
Dinner: Lean Protein & veggies, 1/2 cup organic brown rice or quinoa
Sample dinners: 6oz grilled salmon, 1 cup leaf lettuce with vinegarette, 1 cup broccoli with 1 tbsp asian/teriyaki sauce (this is high in sodium, so don't use much). garlic, lemon, pepper are great for seasoning.
Veggies: zucchini, broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, spinach, kale, bok choi
STUDIES SHOW LEAFY GREENS ARE VERY DENSE IN NUTRIENTS. Now you can buy a big bag of prewashed super greens and saute with garlic, pepper and a tiny bit of soy sauce or chicken broth.
Protein: Grilled Chicken Breasts, Grilled Tuna, Mahi, Shrimp (high in protein, low in calories, but does have some toxins depending on where it came from)
Stay away from pasta which is refined gluten and causes inflammation
Saturdays after tournies are always steak nights and Sundays are always pancake mornings just to have a break. We eat roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes,but usually stay away from them during week for weight cutting. However for the weekend, they provide good quality carbs.