Most people consider Brazilian jiu-jitsu to be a martial art focused on self-defense and personal safety. While those are certainly important aspects to the sport, there’s more to it than meets the eye. In this article, we will discuss the important role that Brazilian jiu-jitsu plays in relation to weight loss, and how you can put this knowledge to use in your own fitness routine.
The Benefits Of BJJ For Weight Loss
Some people have questioned the role that BJJ plays in relation to weight loss. After all, this art was developed for battle, not for working out. While it’s true that BJJ is a sport that you play for fun and entertainment, this doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful tool when it comes to losing weight. Here are just a few of the important benefits that come with training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu:
1. Relieves Stress
Let’s face it, life can be stressful. Whether it’s the stress caused by school, work, or family issues, training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu can help. Learning to control your anxiety and fear through proper breathing and muscle relaxation helps you to focus on the present moment and block out all other thoughts. This, in turn, helps you to lose weight. Studies have shown that those who practice a form of martial arts, like BJJ, have lower cortisol levels (a hormone that makes you feel anxious) than those who don’t exercise in this manner. Cortisol is typically higher among people who are overweight or obese, so practicing BJJ regularly helps to reduce the internal conflict caused by stress, making you a happier and healthier person.
2. Builds Strength
Stress and anxiety restrict the body’s ability to grow and repair itself. One of the best things about BJJ is that it forces you to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll be doing a lot of standing up and sitting down on the mats with your muscles constantly on display. This, in turn, makes you work harder than you would if you were just following a traditional weight loss routine. The more you work out, the stronger you get, which, in turn, helps you to lose weight.
The Japanese have actually coined a word for this concept – hikiotonomia. It refers to the idea that exercise can make you feel happier, and that your body will respond by changing in accordance with that mindset. While this may be difficult to define, hikiotonomia embodies the connection between exercise and mental wellness, which, in turn, leads to a calmer and healthier life.
3. Improves Focus
Have you ever looked at someone and thought to yourself “I hope I don’t have to work too hard in that meeting, so that I can pay attention to what they are saying.” Focus is an important factor when it comes to weight loss, and practicing BJJ can help you to develop the ability to pay attention to detail, as well as stay on task. The more you focus, the more you’ll be able to accomplish, which, in turn, helps you to lose weight.
Martial arts require you to focus on your posture, breathing, and movements, as well as the training partners you pair with. In many ways, BJJ is similar to a traditional exercise routine, but there are a few key differences. First of all, you’re not alone on the exercise mat – your partner is there to help you stay motivated, and to offer guidance when necessary. Second, unlike a regular workout, your instructor will be checking your technique, and praising you when you do well, and correcting you when you don’t. This, in turn, helps you to develop better focus and attention to detail. Most importantly, you will learn to value and prioritize your health, as well as the health of those around you, making you a happier and healthier person.
4. Burns Fat
Many people think that in order to lose weight, they have to make a massive life change and severely cut back on the food they eat. While this may be true for some people, it isn’t for all. Exercise, proper nutrition, and life changes are all necessary, but they aren’t sufficient to produce the perfect body you’re looking for. In addition to these pillars, you have to change how your body interacts with food. For instance, did you know that the human body is 60% water? Eating large meals will pull this proportion lower, causing you to feel heavier than you actually are. This is why small eating sessions throughout the day are so important – they help to keep your body in a homeostatic state.
Water ensures that your body’s cells work in harmony – if you want to lose weight, drinking sufficient amounts of water will help you to do so. One of the best things about BJJ is that it requires you to drink plenty of water. The constant up and down of the mats will help you to keep your fluids in check, making you a slimmer person.
How Does BJJ Fit Naturally Into A Larger Life Change?
BJJ is not a standalone activity that you can do to lose weight. It is, however, a tool that you can use in conjunction with other forms of exercise and life changes to help you to reach your goals. Some people choose to lose weight before starting BJJ, while others start with the intention of using the sport to help them reach their weight loss goals. Either way, losing weight is not the central theme of BJJ – it’s more like the cherry on the top.
Studies have shown that those who practice a form of martial arts, like BJJ, have lower cortisol levels than those who don’t exercise in this manner. Cortisol is a hormone that makes you feel anxious, so practicing BJJ regularly helps to reduce the internal conflict caused by stress, making you a happier and healthier person. As a result of all this, BJJ helps to improve your outlook on life, and helps you to see the positive side of the world – something that is very beneficial for those who want to lose weight.
Put The Psychology Behind The Exercises
The other pillar of BJJ that makes it different from a traditional workout routine is the fact that you’re learning from the ground up. Most gyms focus on basic moves and muscle building, but BJJ lessons focus on the thinking behind the movements. This, in turn, makes you a better, more efficient person, able to carry out your workouts with more ease, and with less strain. It’s difficult to express the importance of this in purely physical terms.
The Role Of BJJ In Transformation
It’s well-established that cortisol levels are higher among people who are overweight or obese. This is why BJJ is such a useful tool for weight loss – by lowering your cortisol levels, and teaching you to relax and control your thoughts and actions, you can not only lose weight, but you can also transform the way you look. Even more amazingly, those who practice BJJ seem to lose about as much weight as they would if they had never started at all, which suggests that this could be a long-term solution for those who are looking for weight loss.
The Final Word
Simply put, whether you’re interested in weight loss or not, practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a good idea. The psychological aspects of this art are second to none, and the fact that it forces you to be active, and to take your health seriously is a priceless gift. If you want to learn more, or if you’re already a BJJ practitioner and want to shed a few pounds, check out the BJJ Diet Plan to see what others have to say about using this art to guide your weight loss efforts.