Diet and BJJ: You Can’t Out-Train Bad Eating Habits


Jiu jitsu will help you get more healthy- you’re becoming more physically active, you’re probably getting a good sweat in…. especially if you are a white belt and you’re spending most of your time flailing around (sorry, but it’s kind of true)….

But just like the weight that you packed on wasn’t just from the ice cream you were eating, or just the late night pizza, or just the beers that you were drinking, or just the lack of activity that you were engaging in,  and just doing jiu jitsu isn’t going to magically rectify all the damage you’ve done. It will certainly negate some of the damage, but definitely not all of it.

I’m not going to go at length into what you should and shouldn’t be eating: but you should take a long hard look at your dietary habits and whether or not they are helping or hindering you. Do you find that after eating fried food for lunch make you feel sluggish and bloated during training? Maybe cut them out, at least for a while and see how you feel. Have you been eating late night Ben & Jerry’s as a part of your evening routine and you find that your gi is getting a little snug in the middle? Maybe check out HaloTop, or save the ice cream for a once a week treat. Ben & Jerry’s has also rolled out a lower calorie ice cream line, which I know for….reasons.

At the risk of starting to fall down the rabbit hole, I would also suggest that it helps sometimes to set a goal for yourself to give direction when it comes to changing your dietary habits. Also helps you answer the question “why shouldn’t I have that huge slice of chocolate cake” when the time comes. I could be something as immediate as “I have class later tonight and don’t want to feel gross when I roll” or looking to feel healthy for a tournament, or even something more abstract as “hey, I want to feel healthy overall”. Humans by and large seem to have trouble with more abstract concepts at times… so really, we’re sort of going back to the importance of having goals conversation like I talked about before.

While I am talking a lot about abstaining from bad choices, this also obviously applies to a conscious decision in making good choices. Eating veggies for nutrients, enough water or liquids to stay properly hydrated on and off the mats (actually a huge struggle for me too, so you’re definitely not alone on that score), making sure you get the right about of macros for your body and lifestyle goals, all of that is important. It’s just the more common pitfall seems to be eating things that don’t have the right nutritional content to push you towards your goal, rather than not doing the things beneficial to your health.

So, just keep in mind, jiu jitsu can certainly supplement some lifestyle changes, but you simply can’t just out-train a bad diet.

Have a great day everyone!

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