Resources – Nutrition

Resources will be a recurring series of posts dedicated to reliable sources of knowledge useful to BJJ practitioners. Each post will feature books, websites and/or blogs which will help you expand your knowledge and enhance your performance.

  How to change your diet to help you achieve your BJJ goals?

When I started training back in 2014 my diet mainly consisted of sugary cereal bars, chocolate, and an occasional apple. I was mostly living on sandwiches, unless I was eating out. I didn’t think about the quality of what I was eating since the number of calories I ate in a day was the most important factor to me at the time.

Six months into training, I realised this approach wasn’t sustainable when training with such intensity. I felt exhausted all the time and as a result became interested in sports supplements. It quickly turned out that what I really needed was the right kind of nutrition.

The beginnings were tough, but gradual changes in my habits have resulted in great improvements to my well-being. Here are three books, which I have found most valuable over the years. Whether you are already quite knowledgeable or whether you have no idea how to come up with an eating plan, you’ll find lots of useful information in these.

  1. The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition Anita Bean

Even though this book is heavily research-based, it is written in a personal, easily comprehensible style.

The author works her way up from the basics such as the functions and features of macronutrients and calculating your energy needs, to more advanced topics such as creating an eating plan that suits your specific needs including the type of sport you practice. The book includes scenarios and guidelines describing what to do whether you want to gain, lose weight or build lean muscle mass. Sample eating plans are also provided to supplement them.

In spite of being rich in useful information, it is a light and quite an entertaining read. It presents a balanced approach, perfect for anyone who is just starting out. This also means that some more knowledgeable athletes who are very strict about clean eating may find that certain recipes are not healthy enough for their liking. However, even in such cases most of those ingredients can easily be substituted.

2. The Shredded Chef Michael Matthews

When you get bored of Anita’s eating plan it will be time to up your game with The Shredded Chef. This book features the best explanation of why eating low GI foods is important. Even though Anita explains most nutritional concepts, this books helps you focus on the ones most relevant to your goals and develop even more specific habits.

Since this is mainly a recipe book, it contains a large variety of simple, but delicious dishes varying in calories content and based on a large range of ingredients. They can be used to complement Anita’s nutrition plan or as a base for a new one that better suits your needs.

3. The Anti Estrogenic Diet: How Estrogenic Foods And Chemicals Are Making You Fat And Sick – Ori Hofmekler

This book will be of most useful to athletes with a relatively extensive knowledge of nutrition. Once your healthy habits and eating routine are established, you may feel that it would be good to take a closer look at the quality of the food you’re consuming.

This book is a wonderful wake-up call. The author focuses on the effect which chemicals and hormones consumed in our food have on our bodies. Hofmekler claims that they distort our hormonal balance, which affects our health and body composition. This applies to both men and women.

I have not followed the diet which he recommends in this book. It appears to be too extreme to be sustainable, even for the specified period of time. Instead, I focused on changing the ingredients of my current eating plan according to his food-quality instructions. This alone has brought visible changes to my body composition and overall well-being.

The book will boost your motivation to take care of your health through your diet. You will dead the thought of having sweets for a week after reading this!


That’s the end of resources for today. Let me know what you think of these and whether there are some other books, which had an impact on your health.

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