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3 Tips to Stay in Shape this Holiday Season

By: Jim Broucek – Zombie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Abilene, TX

The Holiday season is right around the corner and we all know what that means; being out of shape and gaining weight! The good news is that any BJJ practitioner can avoid these circumstances simply by hitting the mats, watching what you eat, and for those who are competition-minded, staying near our weight classes.

1.) Be Consistent!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be classified as high intensity exercise, and one great thing about using energy during exercise, is that it raises the amount of calories burned after your exercise over your resting metabolic rate (RMR) . In other words, getting in that high-intensity exercise every day will have you burning more calories while you’re sitting around afterwards, than if you had not exercised that day. Burn while you sit!

2.) Eat Right!

-It’s not a secret that eating right helps maintain proper body weight. However, in conjunction with your daily session on the mats, it is critically important to fuel your body with nutrient packed foods that limit the bad stuff. But exactly what is that bad stuff? Let’s start with the basics… your body needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fluid to fuel it for exercise. However, what that balance consists of is dependent upon each individual.

In general, if you are trying to maintain your weight, you’d want to consume the same amount of calories per day as you burn. If you’re trying to lose weight, then you’d need to either burn more than you take in, or consume less than you burn in a day. It sounds simple, but the quality of the calories that you take in is just as important as the amount that you take in. A quick guide according to the Harvard School of Public Health:

So eat right for that competition, keep goals to keep yourself at that weight class, and balance your plate accordingly so that you can be set up for success!

3.) Sleep More, Weigh Less.

– Ok, we all know that when we’re sleepy we don’t make the best decisions or the fastest decisions, but did you know there are much worse effects from lack of sleep? Probably the worst of all is the fact that when you skimp on sleep, your muscles do not get a chance to recover, but equally as worse, your hormone levels are affected. From WebMD.com:

“Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Get less than that, and your body will react in ways that lead even the most determined dieter straight to Ben & Jerry’s. Why? Because insufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin. Leptin, on the other hand, cues your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels plummet, signaling your brain to eat more food. Put the two together, and it’s no wonder sleep deprivation leads to overeating and extra pounds. Then there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours.”

What’s the moral of the story? Train hard. Every day. Tire yourself out for when you get to bed and sleep accordingly. This way, you’ve got ample energy to keep your consistent training going.

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