Fat loss tips for BJJ
We’ve seen amazing transformation from people starting out jiujitsu. Regular Joe’s, business man, college kids, people from all walks of life. Many people start, but unfortunately, not so many people make it past the white belt, even less past blue belt.
Most lose weight when they start because they keep the same habits, but they train more than they did. The formula is simple, burn more than you eat and you’ll lose fat, only for a short while. There are a few rules you have to be reminded of when it comes to the basics of body composition and working out (whatever that may be).
In almost any type of sports and everything you have to do to improve performance, there is the law of diminishing return, which states that as an investment in one goal increases, but other variables stay the same, the return on investment will eventually decline.
Most people make the most substantial gains/fat loss during their first year of training. Inevitably, the gains slow as you reach a point your body has adapted to the stress you’ve placed on it, you use less energy, you start feeling like you can’t progress, enter the dreaded plateau. When you reach the dreaded plateau phase, it’s very tempting to increase the volume and just do more, invest more time in training but there are many ways to look at the program and goals as a whole.
All around performance is multifactorial. Performance is a matter of habits, nutrition, strength training, periodization and planning. If one of these elements is not included, short or long term, something is bound to happen. Lady luck has nothing to do with it.
Improving body composition for any given sports is a must. If you are carrying a fair amount of fat, you basically are carrying dead weight, but it doesn’t stop there. The more fat you have, the more estrogen you’ll have because fat tissue increases levels of the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone to estrogen.
To keep having results coming your way, here are a few tips to help you in the process.
- Meal timing.
For those who skip breakfast and eat whenever they can, this might be what is setting you back. Your body is set up like a clock. Aside from the circadian rhythm, which basically is your built in 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle. This cycle is influenced by light and regular sleep habits as well as the time you eat throughout the day. If you eat sporadically during the day, your body and blood sugar doesn’t know where to stand, having a huge impact on your fat loss and performances in the gym.
Make a schedule of when you have to eat. I always work my way around my eating schedule. I know where I’ll be during the day, so I plan my day around it and my rolling sessions. This way, I have plenty of energy throughout the day for my clients and I am able to have great workouts on top of that.
- Earn your carbs.
Carbs are only the enemy if you abused them for the past few weeks, or depending where you are at body composition wise. You need to lose fat, lose the carbs for a little while. I see it as a ‘’detox’’. Cut them out for a few weeks, 2-3 weeks at most, and then reintroduce them slowly into the picture. Which leads me to my next point.
- More carbs, less fat around your workouts, and off days, low carbs.
Keep in mind, that’s if you need to lose fat. Timing of nutrients can play a key role on performance and fat loss. Eating a meal higher in fat will slow down your digestion, really not a good idea especially if you want to roll in an hour or two. It is also not a good idea to increase fat intake right after a post workout. You need nutrients, and fast, so fast carbs, such as rice, potatoes, beets, and carrots and/fruits are better choices with the required amount of protein after a workout. Off days are low carb, to go dig into those fat reserves.
- ‘’But research said that it’s the best workout to lose fat?’’
I’m far from bashing research and science, however, every research have the average approach. Enter the ‘’bell curve’’.
The “Bell curve” refers to the shape that is created when a line is plotted using the data points for an item that meets the criteria of normal distribution. The center contains the greatest number of a value and, therefore, would be the highest point on the arc of the line. The important thing to note about a normal distribution is the curve is concentrated in the center and decreases on either side.
So let’s take a given protocol for hypertrophy as an example of research. We would have the average results at the top of the curve (let’s say 30 out 50 people) would have had a gain of 4-6 pounds of lean muscle tissue on that given program. At the extremities, we would have those who had far better results (6++ lbs) and those who even lost muscle (-2 lbs).
Usually, people look at the big titles, failing to read the small prints, which in this case, would be the elements and details of the study. As we all know, no one is the same, so expecting the same results would be stupid. What it gives us though, is clues that we can apply to our own system, programs, and/or protocols.
This is where experience comes in. When we coach, we aren’t coaching average’s, we coach everyday people, athletes, unique individuals. We bring experience, studies and expertise at once, while judging by the past and present results, ever changing lifestyle of one particular individual.
- Eating less is more
This is where the shit hits the fan. Most people think that you have to hit a caloric deficit to lose fat. There are exceptions to this rule and it could get complicated since no one is the same. I’ve seen people lose weight by eating more and obviously, some by eating less, usually less crap. Yet again, the nutrition plan has to fit with the lifestyle and training plan. If you have never trained before, and ate on average 2 meals a day, starting with a plan that makes you train 6 days a week and makes you eat 6 times a day is beyond stupid. You can’t learn to run before you walk.
Last but not least, You will give up after 8 weeks.
Actually, that’s where the magic happens. Don’t get me wrong, it is far from over. There will be good and bad weeks, probably more bad weeks than good ones. Those good few months (probably years) you just had eating whatever you wanted can’t be reversed in a few weeks. On top of that, you’ll be tapped, and crushed, and hurt more than a few times. It’s unavoidable, but you can do is make sure that you feed the body well to speed up recovery.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Realize that you are not on a journey. Don’t make it look harder than it seems. Neil Armstrong was on a journey. You just started on a freakin diet and training for few weeks. Make them count so you’ll never have to start all over again.