5 Reasons Why BJJ Can Help You Lose Weight
If you are thinking about starting a martial art like jiu jitsu, you might be asking yourself, “Can Brazilian Jiu Jitsu help me lose weight?” Many people have lost weight simply by joining a BJJ gym, even when they didn’t follow a dietary plan. Does that mean Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can help you lose weight? Well, sort of. Though it is not a cure-all weight loss solution, it can help immensely, and it comes down to a few different reasons.
Before we get started, understand that diet can be a complicated topic. It is important to note that I am not a doctor, and you shouldn’t accept this as medical advice. If you are thinking about starting BJJ, you should consult your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough. If your doctor has given you the go ahead, here are some reasons why doing BJJ can help you lose weight.
1. You’ll Burn More Calories From the Increased Activity
One of the core concepts of losing weight is calories in vs. calories out. Essentially, if you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Even if you aren’t tracking calories, you may notice that you’re losing weight by training BJJ. This could simply be due to your activity level increasing and your food intake staying the same or close to the same. It could also be that you’re eating more than you were, but you’re still at an overall caloric deficit when you factor in your training. It can be incredibly difficult to track calories burned during a BJJ class, even if you are tracking the calories you eat.
2. You’ll Spend Less Time Eating and Drinking or Going Out
Since you are now spending evenings (or mornings/afternoons) at the gym, you will have less time to sit on the couch and eat or drink calories. Sure, you might still go out to dinner or a bar with friends on the weekends, but most of your free time during the week will be dedicated to drilling, sparring, laundry, and sleep. This is time you may have otherwise spent sitting, drinking, or eating, and that difference in calories will start to add up over the course of months or years of training.
3. You’ll Only Have the Energy for Work and Training
Once you get addicted to BJJ, you might find yourself frequently exhausted and lacking the desire to do much other than work and BJJ during the week. Even when your friends invite you out, you might find yourself wanting to stay in, do meal prep, get in laundry, and go to bed early. BJJ can be hard on the body, and you will need a lot of rest to stay healthy and keep training. Your friends might pester you to socialize, but your phone will be turned off, and you will be fast asleep.
4. You’ll be Around Healthy People who Will Influence You
There is a good chance that when you go to a BJJ class, you’ll be surrounded by people who are healthy, health-conscious, or actively working on getting healthier. Simply by being around these types of people, you may find yourself influenced by them, and it might help you make healthier choices. If you end up making friends and hanging out with these people outside of the gym, you will likely be even further influenced by them. Some people who start training BJJ find that their entire friend group becomes centered around the sport, and their old relationships begin to fade away. In some cases, these older relationships were unhealthy, and it can result in positive changes.
5. You’ll Feel Better and Want to Keep Getting Healthier
You might find that as you start to eat and drink less, get more activity, and make better choices, you like the way you feel. Especially for people who have never experienced this before, this can result in a snowball effect in which you just keep making healthier and healthier choices in all areas of your life. Even if you decide to splurge every now and again, you’ll likely find that you aren’t as reliant on sweet treats or binge eating as you used to be. This kind of revelation can be incredibly powerful, as you might end up deciding that you just don’t feel good when you’re not eating clean and getting in lots of training sessions.