BACK in 2011 when Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury met in the ring for the first time, Chisora weighed in at a career highest of 261lbs. In the first few rounds this extra weight worked to Dereck’s advantage as he managed to break through Tyson’s defences on numerous occasions. However, as the 12 rounds progressed the weight started to take its toll as Chisora slowed and fatigued at a greater rate than his counterpart, eventually losing the fight on points, with Fury becoming the new British heavyweight champion.
Sportskitchen by Soulmatefood have worked with Dereck from the first week of the camp in preparation for the crucial fight with Malik Scott, leaving nothing to chance in a fight that if he had lost, may have spelt the end of Chisora’s career.
Since the Fury fight and weighing in at 261lbs Chisora has weighed in at much lighter weights of 242lbs versus Scott, 235lbs against Edmund Gerber, 235 1/2lbs v Ondrej Pala and 238lbs opposite Kevin Johnson.
Whilst working with Chisora, as with any boxer or athlete for that matter, weight loss is not just an issue of how many pounds are lost on the scales. Anybody can lose weight, but doing it properly can make the difference between a win and a loss. The important factor in this is ensuring that as much lean muscle is preserved as possible, whilst aximising body fat loss. Other important factors to consider are maintaining training intensity, immunity, bone health and morale, plus many others.
One issue to overcome with Dereck was the fact that he became bored easily with meals, and while improving his nutritional intake was a top priority of his, he shared many boxers’ thoughts that the only way to drop weight is to have porridge for breakfast and chicken, boiled rice and broccoli for three-four meals per day, seven days a week. However much commitment you have, after two or three days or a week at the most, you will more than likely be sick of the sight of porridge, chicken, boiled rice and broccoli. The same went for Dereck. An intake like this is not only boring and likely to bring your mood and morale down, but is also not varied. The issue with an unvaried diet is that you are very unlikely to be consuming the required amount of vitamins and minerals to support your training, adaptation to training, recovery, immunity and health in general.
If you are looking to drop weight in a similar fashion to Dereck, try sticking to the following basic principles:
- Aim for a protein intake of 2-2.5g per kg bodyweight per day, spread evenly over fivesix meals to help maintain lean muscle.
- Consume carbohydrates only in the window of three hours before and one hour after training to help fuel training, and improve adaptation to exercise.
- Keep variety in your meals; choose different meats, varied colours of vegetables, mix up your carbs – don’t just stick to rice, go for quinoa, couscous, lentils, beans, chickpeas.
- Have a few good servings of dairy each day.
- Stick to healthy fat as your intakes of fat e.g. nuts & seeds, oily fish, fish oils, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil. Avoid margarine and lowfat alternatives; these usually contain transfats and hydrogenated fats plus added sugars and additives to replace the taste that has been lost by removing the fat.
- Fill the rest of your plate up with vegetables and salad to increase fullness and get those needed vitamins and minerals.
- Make your meals enjoyable! If you enjoy the meals you are much more likely to stick to the plan and less likely to cheat or crave other less nutritious and calorie-dense foods.
- If you don’t like vegetables, blend them up, add some fruit or a small serving of fruit juice and drink them down quickly. Do not skip the veggies!
Here is a rare insight into one week of Dereck’s personalised meal plan:
BREAKFAST Pear and raisin muesli
AM SNACK Pinenut and sunblush tomato hummus with pitta
LUNCH Oriental salmon stirfry with rice noodles
PM SNACK Beef bites with sweet chilli dip
DINNER Spanish lentils with prawns
BREAKFAST Granola, berry yoghurt and fruit
AM SNACK Edamame with teriyaki and Vitality smoothie
LUNCH Za’atar chicken with cranberry tabbouleh
PM SNACK Chilli and rosemary spiced nuts and seeds with protein shake
DINNER BBQ turkey with sweet potato wedges & corn
BREAKFAST Peach and raspberry yoatie
AM SNACK Dark chocolate and cranberry crunch pot with protein shake
LUNCH Fennel and broad bean salad with chicken
PM SNACK Sesame chicken bites
DINNER Herbed chicken and white bean hot pot
BREAKFAST Raw cacao and hazelnut granola with vanilla yoghurt
AM SNACK Mixed fruit pot with protein shake
LUNCH Pea and watercress soup with spinach and pine nut wrap with hummus
PM SNACK Greek spiced chicken with tzatziki
DINNER Quinoa-rusted salmon with greens
BREAKFAST Mango and coconut muesli
AM SNACK Mini turkey sausages with mustard dip
LUNCH Italian beef pasta salad
PM SNACK Lime and chipotle hummus with chicken dippers
DINNER Sesame crusted cod and beetroot chips with crushed peas and green salad
BREAKFAST Pina colada yoatie
AM SNACK Sweet potato bites with sweet chilli dip
LUNCH Chicken tikka, lentil and spinach salad
PM SNACK Popcorn trail mix and protein shake
DINNER Turkey goulash
To find out how Sportskitchen by Soulmatefood can support your training with our meal plans see www.soulmatefood.com.