When training for a competition, especially your first ones, try and give yourself 1 to 2 month (ladies) to try and clean up your diet. See blog “Eat well, stay strong” for nutrition ideas. You will surprise yourself what healthy conscious eating (not restriction eating) can actually do to your weight without affecting your strength. This will give you an idea of what weight class you can safely and easily compete at. With experience, you will learn to tweak your eating habits and establish what works best for you. Asking your friends and teammate, how to drop 20lb overnight is not the way to do it.
My rule of thumb is NO alcohol for at least 1-2 month before competition and I don’t put anything in my body that has no beneficial effects. Carbs are good before training, you need that sugar to fuel you up and keep your muscles strong and energized. However, not all carbs are created equal, sugar from fruit is much better then cookies. Drink lots and lots of water, competitors who dehydrate them-self 1 week before competition, are only making them-self weaker. Second, listen to your body, you shouldn’t feel like your going to pass out, that does not make for a great competitor.
Talk to people who have successfully been able to compete at their optimal weight to strength ratio. Keep in mind what works for them might not work for you. Experience will help you develop what is good for you.
Most important HAVE FUN!