Copa Jiu-Jitsu provides a one-of-a-kind blend of physical conditioning and practical self-defense in a supportive and fun environment. One student chose to document his experience with our methodology over 60 days to see how quickly our system produces results. These are his unedited journal entries.
As promised, I’m going to discuss how diet will play a part in the weight-loss challenge. This was tough for me, because I’m really not sure I’ve ever learned how to eat properly. As a kid, I was rail-thin, and could eat pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and not gain an ounce. As I worked my way through my 20’s, my eating habits remained the same while my waistline expanded. Exercise helped, but it couldn’t remedy the effects of what I was putting my body through due to poor dietary
choices. I’ve tried Weight Watchers a few times, but found that the constant “point counting” and measuring was tiresome, and didn’t really change what sort of foods I was choosing to eat. I also tried several New Year’s resolution diets, where I’d do great for a week or two, making all my own rabbit food. This would ultimately end miserably when I’d return home from work after a tough day and grab my phone and credit card and order out.
I asked Jim and Mack for pointers with regards to diet. If I was going to be training at least 3 days a week, I also needed to be putting food in my body that would maximize my weight-loss and performance results during training. Jim told me that he has had amazing results on a modified “Paleo” diet. He explained that this diet is based on the idea that if you cut out sugar and processed foods from your diet, while increasing your intake of healthy fats, your body will begin to utilize fat as a fuel source (rather than glucose/sugar, which is in abundance in processed foods, foods with gluten, and our society’s high-sugar diets). I have always been skeptical of diets with names, celebrity endorsements, and those that make living a normal life impossible (due to cost restrictions, nutritional limitations, etc.). I asked Jim to send me some literature for me to study (links to this literature can be found at the bottom of this blog).
I read through the literature that Jim showed me about the “Bulletproof” paleo diet, as well as doing some reading of my own. While I remained cautious, I also appreciated the simplicity of this diet. I downloaded a single pdf (3 pages) which showed a list of foods across a spectrum: The foods I could eat were at the “green” edge of the spectrum, while the foods that should be eaten sparingly were in the middle or “yellow” part of the spectrum, with the foods to avoid falling on the “red” edge of the spectrum. There is no calorie counting involved, and a good percentage (roughly 60%) of your food intake is supposed to come from healthy fats (which your body converts to energy, once you break free of sugar). I spent a couple of hours at my closest Whole Foods in order to make sure I could purchase grass-fed beef, organic vegetarian eggs, organic produce, and MCT (coconut) oil and grass-fed unsalted butter (more on this later).
I spent a hell of a lot of money this first time out. “Whole Paycheck” lived up to its moniker, but the food itself was great, particularly the steak and ground beef (which I made some tasty dishes out of). My wife and I did a little extra research, and found online sources which sold many of these food items for much less. As for the MCT oil and grass-fed butter: One of the dietary options of the Bulletproof Diet was to do “Intermittent Fasting”. Essentially, you have your last meal at 8pm the night before fasting. Upon waking, you brew 16oz of coffee (the type of coffee is kind of important, check out the link below), add 2 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter, and 1 tbsp of MCT oil. Put everything in a blender, and mix for about 30 seconds. I put this into a to-go mug, and that’s all I eat until 2pm that day. Amazingly, this “Bulletproof Coffee” kept me full and energized until 2pm the days I fasted (I chose to fast only on the days I didn’t train: Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday). As weird as it sounds, it didn’t taste bad at all. As my wife (who is also doing the diet) pointed out, “It’s like it’s just got a lot of heavy whipping cream”. I put a packet of Stevia in to sweeten the brew, but it’s also fine as is.
I was slightly concerned this week about how the diet would affect my energy level during training. Towards the end of the week, I found that towards the end of my work day, I was growing a bit tired and cranky. However, I wasn’t suffering any of the insulin/sugar-withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling shaky and dizzy. Just a bit tired. Jim told me that for the first 10 days of his Paleo experience, his energy was very low, but once he adjusted to it, he felt better than ever. I was able to train Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with minimal trouble. The only physical complaints I have were that my arms throbbed after class on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday was much better, which I attribute to getting used to the pace of training (following such a long period of not training at all).
What I can say about the diet thus far is as follows:
- I am eating enough, and I am enjoying what I eat.
- I feel that this diet is more cost-effective than eating out several times a week
- I do not have overwhelming cravings for junk food, and I don’t feel as though I am “denying” myself the pleasure of eating well
- I feel like what I eat is better fuel than what I had been putting in my tank previously
- I feel that this diet is sustainable, in that I could eat this way long-term
- It works, in that I have lost 10 POUNDS IN MY FIRST WEEK of being on it.
I’d like to spend some time next week talking about a topic that I’ve struggled with in my jiu-jitsu training, as well as in other areas of my life. This has to do with the mental/emotional aspect of training—pushing oneself, developing a competitive mindset, and learning that there are no shortcuts to success. Thanks for reading.