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How To Lose Weight With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Jiu Jitsu is a great way to lose weight. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and it keeps you accountable. I used to hate going to the gym and running on the treadmill. I struggled with my weight a lot, and I always had these unnecessary extra pounds that seemed never to come off. That changed with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Since then, my mind and body are healthier, and I’m happier with my weight than ever.

In this article, I’ll share with you why Jiu-Jitsu is such a great outlet for losing weight.

What Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that has become more popular over the years. It’s a combat sport where you use submissions to end the fight. You don’t use any punches and kicks.

When using Jiu-Jitsu, you aim to bring the fight to the floor, control your opponent, and either choke them out or break one of their limbs – a submission.

The beauty of Jiu-Jitsu is that you see all weight classes, all age ranges, and all genders in one class. It’s the most inclusive martial arts out there.

1.      The Jiu-Jitsu Way to Weight Loss:

You don’t go to BJJ only to lose weight. You go to have fun, to learn a new skill, and to challenge yourself. Shedding pounds is only a side effect. And that’s great! I love that losing weight is not the main focus, like when you go on a treadmill. 

It makes it easier to show up. If your only motivation is to lose weight, it’ll be harder to be consistent.

2.      Mindset Shift: From Casual to Athlete:

Once you start taking Jiu-jitsu seriously, you’ll think more like an athlete. You develop a mindset of health. I noticed that by introducing BJJ into my life, I started eating and living healthier. I wouldn’t eat that extra dessert, I wouldn’t go out clubbing or to a bar, and I wouldn’t eat before practice.

BJJ gave me a reason to live healthier, and it took me less effort to do so.  

3. Consistency is Key

In Jiu-Jitsu, you need to stay consistent to get better. That’s the same for losing weight. Both acquire you to be consistent. But BJJ motivates you to stay consistent because you’ll feel tangible results if you come to practice week in and week out.

Staying consistent in physical activity is essential to losing weight.

4. Community and Support: The Jiu-Jitsu Family:

If you go to the Gym, you normally work out alone or with your friend. But in Jiu-Jitsu, you have a whole team. This makes going to practice way more fun. It makes it engaging, competitive, and supportive. It’s a whole new energy than in a regular Gym, motivating you more to go to practice.

5. Jiu-Jitsu calms you

I’m a stress eater. The regular Gym didn’t seem to calm my stress as much. But Jiu-Jitsu does. BJJ Practice is a great physical outlet that helps to calm stress and negative thoughts. I noticed that I snack way less after practice. Practice is a great physical outlet. My eating habits changed just by going to practice.

How many calories does BJJ Burn?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu burns somewhere around 700-900 calories per class. That’s amazing! So you get one heavy meal for free. Of course, you need to watch still what you eat, but if you focus on having 3 meals a day without snacking in between, you’ll lose weight if you combine that with Jiu-Jitsu practice.

Mistakes To Avoid

Don’t use Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as an excuse to overeat. You need to watch your food still. Focus on eating a lot of proteins. No sugary drinks, not much bread, rice and pasta, and a lot of meats, eggs, fruits, and veggies.

Remember that BJJ is not a magic pill. You still need to make the effort to eat healthier.

Also, you need to understand that you won’t build muscles with BJJ. If you want to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, you need to complement your BJJ training with regular strength training. Strength training will make you look good and benefit your Jiu-Jitsu game.

Final Words

I found it never easier to lose weight than with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s a challenging sport, but I think that’s what we need. Jiu-Jitsu made me think differently. It motivated me to lose weight, made me want to compete, and made me more consistent and productive with everything else in my life.

If you failed many of the diets out there and you’re tired of going to the regular Gym, I’d recommend you try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It might just become your favorite activity.

Author Bio

Heythem is a psychologist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast. Heythem’s Blog focuses on the intersection between mind and body. He combines professional expertise with a personal narrative to help others to improve their well-being.