Tag Archives: food

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

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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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Experimenting With Food

Eating it before training, that is.

I’ve had enough unpleasant experiences before training to be extremely wary of eating before class. This may have gotten a little out of hand however, since now there is usually at least a 5 hour span between when I eat lunch and when I train, to ensure training goes smoothly.

Sometimes this backfires and I seem to run out of “gas” before training is over: or even before it begins. There have been days where I have experienced trouble concentrating on a move that is being shown before class because I didn’t eat enough during the day.

This is also the “homework” posted on JoshJitsu’s blog: keep track of what you eat and drink about 2 hours before class, and track how you feel during and after class.

Usually the only thing I’ll drink before class is water, and the occasional cup of coffee, but no food. Today I think it’s going to be a banana and a cup of Trader Joe’s Peppermint tea.

I’ll let you all know how it turns out!

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And The Truth Shall Set You Free

I glanced at the Freshly Pressed section this morning, and felt that I needed to add this post to my blog, because it’s pertinent and made me laugh in that kind of mirthless way:

Actresses admit to always being hungry

Honestly I am not surprised, and truly believe there needs to be a change in the mindset and perspective of the human body, for both men AND women. We hear mainly about women and their eating disorders, because let’s face it, we are the most vocal about it and we are the ones most struck by the disorder. But as a woman who grew up with an older brother, and someone that seems to hang out more with the boys than the girls, it’s amazing to hear what men will say about their own bodies. I believe their one saving grace is that instead of the waifish look that women are supposed to attain, men are expected to put be muscular, and that requires eating to feed the muscle they are expected to show off. But, I have known men to go on crazy diets, to push themselves to the extreme, and talk down on themselves and the way they look. Ladies, men are just as insecure about their bodies as we are, don’t let any of them fool you.

I am not really referring to jiu jitsu here because yes, without a doubt there is some serious weight cutting going on, especially women (at least in my opinion, I could be totally wrong). There is also however a realistic view (usually) of what your body can and cannot take, and what weight class you should fight in. I currently fight in medio (about 150 with gi, so like 145)-my goal is to compete in leve (about 140 with gi, so about 135), but I have no dreams or fighting in Pluma  (118 with gi, so about 115) and no one has encouraged me to get to that weight, and with good reason. There is the pressure to lose weight, sure, but it is also tempered with the cold hard fact that it doesn’t mean anything if I get onto the mat and can’t do a damn thing because I’m too weak. And I think that’s the point some of these women miss-yes, you may look nice in that dress, but you’re not going to have a good time in that dress if you keep fainting from starvation.

I admit, the idea of so many women who develop eating disorders saddens me, partially because they are destroying their bodies in the process, but it is also the symptom of something deeper that is not being addressed, denying that person of a happier, more fulfilling life. No eating disorder I believe is purely cut and dry “well that’s what society tells me to do and look and they tell me this will make me happy in life.” There are some deep seated issues that need to be resolved, and the eating disorder I feel is a symptom or outward sign of the internal struggle going on within the person.

I wish there was some simple answer, but there is none, only steps that can be taken in the hopes that it will effect someone’s life.

Get these women to eat! (would be step #1, of course)

Integrate a more reasonable body image into magazines and other media-and for Pete Sakes, stop with the damn Photoshopping.

There are a number of others, but what do you think?

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Dreamin’ About Freedom to Stuff My Face

It’s gotten to that point before the tournament where myself and several of my teammates have been talking about the foods we’re going to eat after we compete much like a prison inmate talks about what they are going to do when they get out of the slammer.

“Man, when this is over, I’m gonna have me a huge ice cream sundae, with a box of donuts, and…and…”

I even asked Max to save some Easter candy for me when I get back from my trip. I also find  myself prowling food blogging websites and community websites based on baking, planning out the few delicious things I can consume during my short break before I have to get back on the diet.

Come June, oh man, am I going to get fat.

That, or I really am going to have to man up and take Capoeira like I mentioned I would, just to burn the extra calories.

For now, almost every meal is a protein shake, every calorie is scrutinized, and I have been drinking a gross powder form of BCAA to keep my muscles happy (which is a post all on its own) and everyday at some part of the day I think about how the clock is winding down to judgement day.

It’s a vicious cycle we put ourselves through, for a sport that we enjoy doing so much, that we grit our teeth and wear that extra long sleeve shirt in practice so we can sweat out that extra pound.  Or do that extra 1/2 hour of cardio that we really don’t want, and develop mild eating disorders for 4 to 6 months out of the year.

We all go a little crazy sometimes for the things we love.

For now, I’m going to just sit on my cot, play my harmonica and dream about all the delicious chocolate I’ll be eating in less that 2 weeks.

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