Congratulations, if you are taking up Jiu Jitsu for weight loss you have found an ideal solution…. For part of the problem.
Usually when people are talking about weight loss it’s because they are not happy with how they look. Muffin top, saggy gut, etc.
I get it. It’s nice to look good. Shouldn’t worry about it too much but if you can be in good shape and do something that makes you a better person at the same time then why not.
Looking fit is about two things. The amount/kind of food you eat and muscle tone.
The diet isn’t something we can fully break down here but here are a few resources: Paleo. Slow-carb
Now you can be skinny and look terrible. It’s a sad fact but true. You can also be incomplete in your fitness. For example, body-builders with giant arms who also rock twiggy legs and couldn’t run a mile to save a life.
Jiu Jitsu for weight loss really solves the fitness side of the equation perfectly. It gives you a high level of functional fitness. Functional fitness meaning you can actually use it for something. Like choking people :). Or building a house. Or playing with your kids. Whatever you do, training Jiu Jitsu for weight loss will improve your performance.
To put it simply you get the strength to perform complex tasks by performing challenging complex tasks. Jiu Jitsu requires that you be strong in every angle of movement. You have to be able to perform at aerobic and anaerobic extremes. The training will have you scrambling in a whole body sprint one moment and then doing resistance work by throwing someone else’s body weight the next. It is truly a complete workout.
Imagine feeling physically capable of doing anything you want. That’s the kind of fitness the BJJ lifestyle gives us.
The workouts can burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories an hour. Beyond that the added muscle density will boost your resting metabolism. Train Jiu Jitsu and you’ll even burn more calories when you’re sleeping. 🙂
Now you can also be fit and fat. If your nutrition is way off the mark then it can shoot down your best efforts to lose those extra pounds. A lousy diet will also mess with your performance, your mood and your motivation.
The next unspoken piece of the fitness puzzle is that motivation. If you love tracking every single calorie and skipping the dressing on your salads then good for you. I mean it. Some people can get into that kind of rule based, calculated living so the usual diet path can work and be sustainable for them. For the rest of us dieting is something we’ll tolerate if we have to but it’s miserable. Once we’ve hit our goals of competition weight, or the beach body, wedding, etc. it becomes difficult to maintain the diet. It’s difficult because our motivation is gone. We’ve already hit our goal so we’re left dieting just because we should. That is a recipe for failure. Sooner or later the diet will break and the weight will come back.
This is the final point I’ll make about Jiu Jitsu. When you take up the art you are taking up a lifestyle. An art form with a natural series of goals that will keep you engaged and motivated for years. This means permanent, natural weight loss. The rewards of the practice go far beyond looking trim. You are much stronger. You know how to fight. You have a competitive outlet. You have a positive focus. I could go on but you get the idea. If you’re still on the fence about taking up Jiu Jitsu for weight loss then just try it. Call up a good gym near you and get out on the mat. You’ll never look back.