Jiu-Jitsu Diet Essentials: How To Plan Cheat Meals

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Adhering to a Jiu-Jitsu diet is no easy task. If you want to be in shape to battle the best, you need every aspect of the BJJ lifestyle to be in order. This includes training grappling, training strength, and conditioning, recovering and eating right. This last aspect is really important for maintaining weight, having energy and helping recovery. As you can see, a good diet can result in plenty of benefits for any grappler. However, sustaining a squeaky clean diet year long can be a really hard thing to accomplish. when you factor in all the temptations of modern food, plus the social aspects of life, keeping a 100 % clean Jiu-Jitsu diet is next to impossible. Which brings us to cheat meals.

Cheat meals seem to be a mainstay in almost every healthy diet plan out there. Whether it is a Jiu-JItsu diet aimed at a performance or a housewife weight loss diet plan, cheat meals are surely a part of it. To be honest, with all the “food” choices nowadays, not including some freedom in your diet is a sure way of making sure you’ll ditch it at some point. Cheat meals can save our sanity, help with the diet goals and improve metabolism.

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Jiu-Jitsu Diet

What should a basic Jiu-Jitsu diet have? In order to ensure success on the mats, you need to know what, when and how much to eat. Therefore, you should know that only unprocessed and sugar-free products fit the bill. So, all you can eat is lean meat (chicken and fish), some red meat, all kinds of veggies, fruits, and nuts and some grains, like rice and quinoa. You’ll have countless recipe variations to use plus everything is going to support your Jiu-Jitsu diet goals.

Jiu-Jitsu Diet Cheat MealsHowever, even with the most varied healthy eating plan, you’ll get into temptation sooner or later. Your mind is going to play tricks on you, convincing you to reach for something unhealthy. You might have a sweet tooth or might have a craving for dough-based fast food. Or, you could be a pancake person or even long for a bucket of deep fried chicken drumsticks. And it is ok. You can still have all these stuff, and even as apart of your Jiu-JItsu diet.

Cheat meals are strategically placed meals that allow you to go and eat whatever you want. The key moment here is to recognize the need for one. The second key moment is staying in control. In terms of knowing when you need vs. when you want a cheat meal, you need to answer one question. Are you lean enough to get a cheat meal? If you still have a lot of fat left on your body, there’s no need for one. Simply keep dieting until you reduce body fat. This is the time where that meals become mandatory on top of just a wish. Which brings us to control. Let me put it like this – the more prone you are to cheating, the less frequently you need to ahve a cheat meal.

Refeeds vs. Cheat Meals

Before we get into how to actually cheat, let’s make something clear. The phrasing here is “cheat meal” intentionally. If you do cheat days instead of cheat meals, you’re going about it all wrong. The amount of calories you can get in one that day is immense, and it can offset your Jiu-Jitsu diet significantly.

Incorporating cheat meals in your diet means allowing yourself to eat free for one meal, at a precisely predetermined time. What you eat is down to your discretion. If you want to go the true cheat meal way, you can eat anything here. You can even go for as much quantity as you like. However, it is better if you approach it with reason. If you want to eat unhealthily, you can at least limit the amount of crap you eat. Or, even better, you can go for a re-feed instead of a cheat meal.

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A re-feed is similar to a cheat meal but is much more controlled. here you might go for much of the same things you eat throughout the week or month, just go for more. Or add a dressing or something along that line. What you don’t do is eat stuff that your Jiu-Jitsu diet doesn’t normally include.

The benefits of a re-feed are much the same as those of a cheat meal. The thing with a re-feed is that you actually have health benefits in addition to psychological ones. IT is actually necessary as your body is going to let you know when you need one. The cheat meal is more of a meal for the mind and to satisfy taste cravings than anything else.

Cheat Meal Structure And Scheduling

First of all structure. If you decide to go for a cheat meal, then make sure it is in line with your Jiu-Jitsu diet. If you’re following a Keto, Primal, Paleo or similar low-carb plan, then you might opt for a high-carb cheat meal. This means that ice cream, cakes or something along those lines is, and should be, your first choice. On the other hand, if you are on a diet that includes carbohydrates, you probably eat small amounts of fat. Or you should, anyway. In that case, reaching for more fatty food, like cuts of red meat and or a portion of bacon makes much more sense.

Jiu-Jitsu Diet Cheat MealsWhat you should make sure is that you’re aware of any potential health issue you might have. if you have any metabolic-related disease like diabetes, eating a tub of ice cream might not be such a good idea. Just use common sense.

Furthermore, make sure you schedule cheat meals correctly. The rule of thumb is to go for cheat meals on training days, rather than the common practice of eating them on rest days. Even better, if you can schedule them post workout, you can enjoy them more. That way, they won’t get your Jiu-Jitsu diet off course and you’ll still satisfy your cravings. Also try and make it a lunch as opposed to a dinner, because overeating before bed is never a good idea.

And one final tip. When you do a cheat meal, restrict yourself to a specific period of time. The more prone you are to losing control, the smaller this window should be. For example, eat your cheat meal in half an hour. If you allow yourself unlimited time for a cheat meal, you’ll end up having a cheat day and even a week, for sure!

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