Cutting Weight with and for BJJ: The Healthy Approach!

In most combat sports, it’s common for athletes to lose significant body weight in the days and weeks leading up to a competition. This practice is known as weight-cutting.

A study on weight-cutting in combat sports revealed that 60% to 80% of competitive combat sports athletes engage in some form of weight-cutting. This includes athletes from combat sports such as mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jujitsu, taekwondo, boxing, judo, etc.

Although they are crucial to ensure that athletes are physically fit for the match, extreme weight cutting can lead to adverse physical and mental health effects. Read this article to learn how to cut weight correctly, either with or for BJJ tournaments.

Is It Safe to Drastically Reduce Your Weight for a Combat Sport?

An article on extreme weight cutting explained that energy and fluid restriction, rapid weight-loss methods, can reduce an athlete’s brain and nervous system function.

Moreover, it reduces their muscle’s speed and capacity to work when necessary, meaning they will need more effort to perform athletic activities. This will lead to detrimental effects on one’s health and athletic performance.

So instead of drastically losing weight, it’s better to have a healthier weight-loss method that ensures you’re getting sufficient energy and nutrients while achieving your goal.

Are There Healthy Ways to Lose Weight with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an excellent workout for losing weight and burning fat. Here are some beneficial actions to consider to lose weight while training in BJJ sport:

Determine Your Caloric Demand

Too much calorie intake is unhealthy for you, but calories are still necessary nutrients to enable your body to perform rigorous exercises.

Therefore, Knowing your caloric demand means you’ll understand how many calories you need to consume without feeling exhausted or gaining extra weight. This is because you need to consume fewer calories than you usually burn from your exercise routine to lose weight effectively.

If you’re an athlete or a highly active individual who trains intensely, you may need additional calories per day compared to the average less active individual.

Otherwise, if you perform BJJ exercises for weight loss, it’s important to remember that it results in more caloric burn than any other form of exercise.

Depending on the intensity of your jiu-jitsu training, you can burn 700 to 1,000 calories per session, so you might need to increase your calorie intake.

Get the Right Nutrition

Once you know how many calories you need depending on your exercise routine, it’s time to plan your meals accordingly to ensure you’re getting sufficient energy and strength to meet your training demands.

When preparing your meals, avoid food with empty calories. These are solid fats and added sugars, which have little nutritional value and can disrupt the weight-loss process.

In most weight loss programs, eating fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats is essential as they promote healthy eating habits while supporting your overall health.

For instance, lean proteins are necessary if you perform BJJ exercises because increasing your protein consumption avoids muscle loss while reducing your calorie intake. Proteins are also more satiating, which means you feel less hungry, and you can consistently adhere to your weight-loss plan during training.

Practice BJJ Weight Loss Exercises

Our previous article on martial arts for weight loss shared that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of the effective methods to help you burn fat and calories.

With only one hour of BJJ workout, you can already burn up to 1000 calories because the discipline follows a high-intensity workout that engages nearly every muscle.

But like any other exercise, consistency is key to achieving your weight-loss goals. Some of the top BJJ exercises for weight loss are stretching exercises before and after training sessions, such as lunge hip flexor stretch, hip car stretch, and lying hamstring stretch.

You can also do sparring and rolling rounds to improve your fighting techniques while losing weight. The number of calories you can burn will differ based on your exercise type.

For example, stretching exercises can burn up to 362 kcal per hour, and rolling can burn 974 kcal per hour. However, most moves in BJJ are generally calorie-burning.


Combat sports such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jujitsu, and taekwondo assist participants in losing weight.

Although, it is critical to cut weight healthily for competition or weight management.

Related Article: Are you interested in training BJJ for weight loss? If so, you should read this article first to learn more about BJJ classes.

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