How I Lost 25 Pounds In One Month, For Jiu Jitsu
First off, and most importantly, let me preface this piece by stating that I am not a medical professional. I do not recommend any diet plan without seeking the advice of a trusted health practitioner. This is simply my story of how I lost weight, and why I did it. Every person is different. What may work for me, may be unhealthy for you. So again, seek a doctor’s advice before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.
When I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 4 years ago I was 170 lbs and in really good shape. My academy has a lot of bigger guys that I would always be paired up with because I had “muscles”. It was frustrating being smashed every time I rolled as a new white belt so I decided to gain weight. I decided to do this the good old fashioned way with beer, steak, pasta and desserts.
Before I knew it I was 200 lbs. I still looked pretty good and my guard passing game did improve. My “invisible Jiu Jitsu” game was quite painful to deal with. However my new eating habits mixed with 300 calorie beers everyday caused me to get up to 225 lbs. This is the point where I said, “Oh heck no”. My health could start to be an issue and my guard game was lacking. You shouldn’t be laying flat on your back in guard but with a beer gut it was difficult to do anything but.
In order to drop weight I realized that I had to start exercising outside of Jiu Jitsu again, cut my caloric intake, and quit drinking. Every time I tried to lose weight by leaving out one of these components, it did not work.
You quickly grow accustomed to having a couple of beers every night and you eventually begin to feel off if you go a night without any. Step number 1 was to comfortably taper down the alcohol intake until I wasn’t drinking at all. This alone cut 1200 calories per day from my regular consumption. Not drinking in the evenings also makes it much easier to do an evening cardio session (which I will get to later).
Step #2 for me was to taper back what I was eating as well as find healthy things that I could enjoy eating every single day for a month. For me it was hard boiled eggs, salad mix with plain balsamic vinegar, raw broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and celery, Chipotle vegetarian bowls (that I would split into 3 portions), watermelon and strawberries. The only thing I would drink is carbonated mineral water with lemon and a splash of orange juice. To make the raw vegetables taste good I would dip them into a 0 fat cucumber dill yogurt (tzatziki). I should mention here that I went the vegetarian route for this diet because savory meats seem to make me hungrier.
Although people say it is bad to eat late at night, I would try to go as long as I could every day without eating until the evening. Eventually my stomach shrunk down so I wasn’t hungry at all until the evening anyway.
I would jog every morning before work on an empty stomach. At first I could only jog a mile or so. Every day I would increase my distance by a little until I was jogging 3 miles every morning. When I got off of work, still on an empty stomach, I would do another 30 minutes of cardio on a treadmill and do some light weightlifting. Finally after all of the hard work, I would enjoy my veggies, 1/3 of a chipotle bowl, and lastly some fruit for dessert.
Taking Jiu Jitsu classes were and are great for burning fat. I would easily lose 3 lbs per class. Some of this would return because the bulk of it was water weight, but some of it does stay off each time.
Adhering to this regiment was difficult for the first week but became a breeze soon after that. It really all boils down to willpower. It sucks running with a beer gut but I did it every day even when I didn’t want to. Soon you start to see results and it drives you even harder. After a month, the gut is gone and I’m back down to 200 lbs again. I can casually lose another 20 lbs now that the bulk of the hard work is finished.
I am sharing my story because it may inspire someone else who wants to lose weight but doesn’t really know how to. You don’t need fad diets, phone apps, fitbits, diet pills, etc. (I did take green tea extract because it has been shown in peer reviewed studies to naturally increase fat burning by almost 20%.) Losing extra weight is easy if you cut out the empty calories, workout, eat healthy and most importantly, do lots of Jiu Jitsu!
In just one month I feel so much better than I did before. I sleep better. I have tons of energy as soon as I get out of bed. I look great. At the end of Jiu Jitsu class I still have lots of energy. I have tons of extra money because of the diet and dropping the beer. All is good, and getting better!
Hope you enjoyed the read!