Monday, April 30, 2012

Best Weight Loss Tip for Dieting

I have gone on several diets, trying many different approaches and I have found one thing that seems to make dieting much easier: Drinking lots of water!

Why drinking water helps you diet

plastic bottle of water
Drinking water helps you lose weight for two reasons. It fills you up and it helps you avoid calories. Studies have shown that drinking water reduces your apetite, especially if you drink 8 to 16 ounces right before a meal. It makes sense that if there is something in your stomach that you will not be as hungry. The water will not help you burn fewer calories, if just allows you to feel full with fewer calories, so prepare smaller meals and drink water before you eat.

Replacing other drinks with water is the easiest way to cut calories out of your diet. Instead of drinking soda, juice, milk or something else with your meal, drink water. You don't need those calories, and you will be better hydrated and feel better if you just drink water.

Don't just drink water right before and during meals, drink it all the time and your whole body will feel better. After a few weeks your body will start craving water all the time. I think this state of super hydration makes sticking to your diet easier. The only downside is frequent trips to the bathroom.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avoid Beginner Mistakes: Don't be "That Guy"

A few days ago I read a post about the annoying types of people people who do Brazilian jiu jitsu. I wanted to link to the article but I didn't save the link. I realized after reading it that I was similar to many of the "annoying guy" types when when I was a beginner.

My Beginner BJJ Mistakes

flying armbar submission
Don't spaz out and hurt people
When I first started I was super spazzy, I would use raw power at all times trying brute force moves and attempting to jump over guard. Looking back I feel like a total jerk because I put so many people at risk of injury because of my ego. As I gained skill and realized that injuries happen I have gotten my rolling under control and act much calmer and safer.

My first couple of weeks I would wear my gi like 3 times before washing it. I honestly don't think my gi ever smelled that bad cause I would air it out and sniff it but it is still not a good idea. It wasn't till after I got a staph infection that someone mentioned that not washing your gi is dangerous and can spread disease.

 The one thing I still struggle with is trying too hard. I am naturally a really competitive person, and that is why I'm so interested in grappling tournaments. It is hard for me to just let go of my ego and take things easier. I am working on it but I still have room to improve in this department.

Advice for BJJ Beginners

 As a jiu jitsu beginner it is only natural to not realize you are being annoying and pissing people off. Unless someone complains or you read a list of do and don't for BJJ you aren't going to realize what you are doing wrong. If you are new to BJJ I highly recommend asking a higher belt you trust if you are making any new guy mistakes, preferably a purple belt or up so they have seen plenty of new guys that have ha d annoying habits.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weight Loss: Paleo Diet Basics

The paleo diet is one of the greatest diets ever created. Pretty much any diet will allow you to lose weight if you increase your exercise and limit your calorie intake, but what sets the paleo diet apart is that it makes dieting easy. Other diets have I have done were painful and I was always hungry, but that wasn't the case once I adopted the paleo diet.

What you can and can't eat on Paleo Diet

The problem with starting on the paleo diet is that it is so restrictive and hard to adjust to at first. The basic idea is to eat similar foods to what cave men would eat thousands of years ago during the paleolithic era.

You can eat Meat and Eggs

meats picture
You can eat pretty much any type of meat you want including beef, chicken, seafood, turkey and eggs. It is ok to eat some ham and bacon but it is best to limit your intake of pork products.

You can eat Fruits

All fruits are ok to eat on the paleo diet but limit the quantity of fruit you eat. Although fruit does not have refined sugar, it does still have a lot of sugar in it. I eat a lot of apples, pears and grapes. I love pineapple but it is a pain to cut or expensive to buy pre-cut.

You can eat Vegetables

vegetables imageYou can eat pretty much unlimited vegetables. Personally I eat a lot of broccoli, spinach, carrots and peppers, but most vegetables are ok. The only vegetables that are not ok are corn, peas and any beans.

You can eat Nuts

All nuts except peanuts are ok. Cashews, almonds and walnuts are all good options for nuts you can eat. Be very careful with nuts because a small quantity can contain a lot of calories. I can eat a pound of salted cashews (about 1600 calories) in one sitting because they are so addictive.

You can drink Water

Pretty much all you can drink is water. A limited quantity of natural no sugar added juice is ok but not necessary. When you switch to only water you will notice your grocery bill drop nicely.

You can't eat Carbs

Carbs are the devil, avoid them like the plague. You cannot eat bread, corn, potatoes, rice, pasta, tortillas or anything that has flower or wheat in it. It is hard to adjust to but it makes dieting easier in the long run.

You can't eat Refined Sugars

You can't eat candy, sodas, chocolate, cookies, or anything else that has sugar added. No sugary juices, just natural juice like orange juice.

You can't eat or drink Dairy

Don't eat cheese or ice cream and don't drink milk. The no cheese part can be hard to adjust to but it is good for two reasons. It helps with your diet and also most people are mildly lactose intolerant. If you tend to fart a lot, avoiding cheese helps reduce it. Avoiding dairy also seems to help people who have bad skin.

You can't eat Processed Food

If it doesn't look like it was grown on a farm, don't eat it. If you go to the grocery store, all of the natural foods will be on the outside with the processed foods in the inside aisles. Don't even bother going down the aisles, there is no healthy food in there.

You can't drink Alcohol

Alcohol is empty calories, avoid drinking all alcohols.

You can't eat Legumes

Legumes include foods like beans, peanuts and peas.

Why the Paleo Diet works

The paleo works because it prevents you from eating foods that raise your insulin. Insulin sends a message to your body telling it to get hungry and to store fat. Both of those are really bad when you are on a diet. When you start following the paleo diet your food cravings go down, this is why it is easy to follow. It is almost as if the weight just starts melting off.

Paleo Diet success story

I dropped 28 pounds in 3 months following the paleo diet. It is by far the best and easiest diet I have ever followed. Everyone I have ever talked to that has tried it has had similar success. I will write a follow up in a few days with tips on adjusting to the paleo diet.

Link to site I got vegetables picture from. Link to site I got meats picture from.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weight Cutting Strategies for Grappling Tournaments

Weight Loss vs Weight Cutting

Weight loss is when a person burns calories which leads to losing fat and body weight. Weight loss is important for people who are overweight or obese in order to improve their health. Weight loss takes a long time because a person can only burn half a pound of fat per day maximum. If you try to burn more than half a pound of fat per day, instead you will burn muscle. If you are competing in BJJ tournaments it can be helpful to lose weight in order to drop weight classes. This strategy take weeks or months to drop a weight class.

man wearing a sauna suit
Man wearing a sauna suit.
Weight cutting is when a person who is competing in a sport that requires weigh ins loses a significant amount of water weight in order to make a lower weight category. It is very common in wresting, MMA, and grappling tournaments to employ weight cutting. The amount of weight you can cut is proportional to your normal body weight, for example a person who ways 200 lbs can cut more weight than a person who weighs 100 lbs because they have more water to lose. Excessive weight cutting can be very dangerous, consult a doctor before attempting to cut weight. 

Weight cutting is a short term strategy that is done during the week before a tournament. I have cut up to 10 pounds of water weight before a weigh in. Keep in mind the more water weight you cut, the more unpleasant the experience will be and the more dangerous it is. The extreme dehydration can also hurt your performance in your competition if you do not have sufficient time to recover.

Weight Cutting Strategies

Water and Salt Intake

Drink a lot of water, around two gallons, and plenty of salt during the week before you weigh in. Starting 3 days before your weigh in cut back your water intake to only what is necessary, perhaps a few cups, and avoid all salt and sodium. On the day of your weigh in you should only take a few sips of water and still no salt.

Food Intake

During the week before your tournament you should not eat any carbs except in fruit and vegetables. Eliminate foods such as bread, rice, grain, potatoes, corn and any flour product. These foods will cause you to bloat up and retain weight. Starting around three days before your weigh in you should limit your calorie intake as much as possible. I generally eat around 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day right before weigh ins. Day of you should have as little food as possible.

Additional Weight Cutting Options

If you haven't quite made it to your goal weight, there are a few last minute water cutting options. Put on a sweat suit and use an exercise bike on low intensity. Be careful not to tire yourself out too much. You can also wear a sweat suit use a sauna to force you to sweat. Staying in a sauna too long can also tire you out and hurt performance. Another strategy is to chew gum and spit to drop water weight. Spitting has limited effectiveness. Another option is to take an epsom salt bath to draw the water out of you.

Recovering after Weigh In

After you weigh in you will need to recover from dehydration. You will need to replenish your liquids. It is important to do this slowly. Sip a recovery drink such as gatorade or pedialyte. Eat food slowly to replenish your energy, I recommend fruits and nuts. Don't eat too quickly or too much. Remember, the more weight you cut, the longer it will take you to recover. Think hard about how much weight you can cut based on how long before you compete you will be weighing in. Is it the night before, 3 hours before or 5 minutes before. The amount of time before the competition will affect how much water weigh you can drop.


Remember to be careful if you decide to employ any weight cutting. If done irresponsibly it can be dangerous and hurt your performance.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Injured: No BJJ Training, No Grappling Tournaments

No BJJ Training for 6 Months

If you look at the archives you will notice that I stopped posting for around a month. Around a week before my grapplers quest tournament I found out that I had a herniated disc in my back and could not do any sports for 6 months or more. It took a while for me to figure out how I had hurt my back, and no it was not BJJ but running. A year ago when I was training for a triathlon I was doing some really hard high intensity interval training which ended up herniating my back. It wasn't until I started seeing a chiropractor 2 months ago that I finally started making progress with healing.

I was really upset at first so I abandoned blogging so I wouldn't have to think about it. Now I am starting to really miss it, thus here I am back again. One month down, 5 to go.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lose weight today and you will feel better

A recent study by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index has shown that obesity leads to increase pain. Obese individuals suffer 68% to 254% more pain than normal sized people. These results are pretty surprising and should help motivate the overweight to start dieting.

If you are having trouble losing weight, consider training in martial arts, especially BJJ. Early data from my weight loss study suggests that people who train in martial arts have less difficulty losing weight and are more likely to keep it off.

Girls Fighting: Videos of Kickboxing and MMA Exhibition

Here are some videos of my girlfriend kickboxing at her first exhibition:

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

If you want to see more of her, check out this site for martial arts videos and girls fighting men.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Advice to BJJ Beginners: Don't attack from inside guard

Tonight I was watching a new guy at the gym roll with another white belt. The new guy was inside the the white belt's guard. The new guy inside guard kept on trying to either choke or Americana the white belt. I advised the new guy to try to escape guard several time instead of attacking and tried to walk him through a guard escape but he ignored me. Clearly this strategy did not work and ultimately ended with the new guy tapping to a triangle choke. Don't be THAT GUY.

Tonight wasn't even the first time I saw this. Last tournament I went to I watched a white belt with 9 months experience try to go for a choke from inside guard. She should have know better, and it cost her the match.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Does Martial Arts Help Weight Loss Survey

In my most popular article to date I discussed how training in martial arts and BJJ can help you lose weight. I would like to put my theory to the test and see if people who train martial arts are able to lose more weight faster and keep it off.

Please help out and take this very short survey: CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY

Thanks for the assistance. I will post the results when I have gotten enough responses.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrities doing BJJ

It is no secret that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is becoming more popular than ever. More tournaments are being hosted each year and more people are competing in each tournament. Most of the popularity of BJJ is due to the rise of MMA and the UFC. As BJJ grows in popularity, the ranks of celebrities participating is also growing. Is it the popularity of jiu jitsu that is driving celebrities to train or is it the celebrities training in BJJ that is driving the popularity of the sport. I think this phenomenon is celebrities jumping on the bandwagon with the added benefit of further increasing the popularity of the sport.

Here is a list of celebrities that currently or have ever trained in brazilian jiu jitsu:

Chuck Norris has a black belt in BJJ from the Machado school (some sources say he only has a brown belt)
Nicolas Cage trains under Royce Gracie
Joe Rogan is a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu
Milla Jovovich
Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie train together
Jim Carrey
Mel Gibson
Mickey Rourke
Tommy Lee
Michael Clarke Duncan trains in Gracie Jiu Jitsu and has a purple belt
Joe Rogan has trained under Jean Jacques Machado as well as Eddie Bravo, he has a brown belt
Steve Irwin trained before he died
Nicolas Cage (Actor): Trains under Royce Gracie.
Rikki Rockett
Ben Granfelt
Zack Roth
Sean Patrick Flanery
Olivier Gruner
Kevin James
Ulises Bella
Harley Flanagan
Rakaa Iriscience
Tommy Lee
Herman Li
Ed O'Neill
Paul Walker
Mario Van Peebles
Maynard James Keenan
Alex Varkatzas
Bruce Williams
John Milius
David Mamet
Josh Waitzkin
David Callaham
Rakaa Iriscience
Richard Norton
Ulises Bella
Zack Roth
Chris Conrad
Steven Daniells-Silva
Michael Dudikoff
Brittney Skye
Dan Inosanto
Ray Mancini
David Jason Silve
Milena Roucka
Suga Pop
Phil Lipscomb

Do you know any other celebrities or famous people to add to the list?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New BJJ Book

My instructor, Ken Primola, just release his new BJJ ebook on sweeps. You can find it here. If he is half as good a writer as he is instructor it will be well worth the money.