Gracie Diet – The Ultimate BJJ Diet Plan

Gracie Diet – The Ultimate BJJ Diet Plan

Carlos Gracie was the developer of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, basing its teachings and practices on Japanese Judoka. For most of their life, the Gracie family concentrated on their fighting skills. They could not afford to get sick on fighting days and had to eat enough food to give them enough energy and strength to help with bodybuilding. Consuming the right balance of all necessary nutrients helps practitioners stay stable and robust in BJJ fights. Alkaline foods contain sodium which acts as a natural buffer against acidity.

Gracie used his knowledge of food and nutrition to develop a diet plan which helps BJJ fighters gain power without losing energy and muscle mass. He concluded that an adequate combination of nutrients is vital for the performance of BJJ athletes

Many Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trainers prefer to follow the Gracie Diet Plan as it grants multiple health benefits and improves one’s well-being.

1. How Gracie Diet Works for BJJ Fighters?

The philosophy of a balanced diet can be understood by examining the functions of your digestive system. The quality of food matters a lot in a diet. Sometimes the nutritional benefits of food vary between BJJ practitioners. Certain food mixes can be digested more easily than others while food that is hard to digest may hinder the full absorption of nutrients.

The right combination of different foods promotes better physical and mental health. Digestion exerts less pressure on the system, eliminating the chances of fermentation.

 All the above mentioned details are keenly addressed in the Gracie Diet Plan.

1.1. Essence of Gracie Diet

The essence of the Gracie diet is:

  • Digestion consumes less energy. If BJJ practitioners consume adequate amounts of nutrients then the body will require less energy to finish digestion
  • Foods can be categorized according to the digestive enzymes needed to break down the specific types of food. This will help prevent indigestion.
  • There should be at least a four to five hour gap between meals. Properly chewing food helps encourage proper digestion.
  • Avoid packed and processed foods.

1.2. What is the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Diet?

Most studies on interpretations of healthy eating have mentioned that the word "balanced diet" is generally interpreted as almost the same as a "healthy diet." Few studies have shown how people perceive the concept of "eating a balanced diet" in everyday life. Gracie, while practicing and supporting jiu-jitsu, adopted and prescribed a vegetarian diet that would later become the Gracie Diet. Although he claimed authorship of the diet, it was the brainchild of Argentinean physician Juan Esteve Dulin who lived in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1920s. Dulin traveled extensively in search of centenarian individuals to study their habits and gather data to produce an ideal diet plan. As a result, a vegetarian diet became one of the backbones of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos Gracie's main goal behind the Gracie Diet was to maintain the body’s equilibrium with the perfect nutritional plan. He divided the food into six groups.

Group One

Group One meals consist of protein-rich veggies, fats, and oily foods such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, eggplant, cucumbers, spinach, dry fruits, melted cheese, olive oil, butter, fish, eggs, oysters, prawns, chicken, lobster, etc.

Group Two

Group Two consists of starch-rich foods including different grains like wheat, rice, pasta, lentils, potatoes, chestnuts, barley, yams, oats, quinoa, etc. According to the Gracie Diet Plan, starches cannot be combined with each other.

Group Three

Group Three consists of sweet fruits and fresh and creamy cheeses such as apples, bananas, coconuts, cream cheeses, plums, raisins, watermelons, figs, herbs, ricotta cheese, etc. They can be combined with each other and with one member of Group Two. Make sure the member of group two is not butter or oils.

Group Four

Group Four consists of acidic fruits like lemons, plums, grapes, pomegranates, lemons, tomatoes, cherries, grape fruits, blueberries and pineapples. They don't combine with each other or with anything else.

Group Five

Group Five consists of dairy products, kefir, yolk, and baked milk derivatives. They don’t combine with oily fruits, olives, avocados, egg whites, and other fats.

Group Six

Group Six consists of bananas that can be combined with milk, papaya, pears, watermelon, grapes, melons, and cream cheese but they cannot be combined with butter, avocados, oily fruits, dry fruits, honey, and olive oIls.

1.3. Can we follow a Vegetarian Gracie Diet?

Helio Gracie considered meat unhealthy for the body and preferred to follow the vegetarian diet plans from the age of 27. His main focus was adequate combinations of foods and a balanced lifestyle between nutrition and physical activity. All of this requires proper digestion to promote the general well-being of BJJ practitioners By preventing harmful acidity and reducing the chances of fermentation.

A substitute for meat and fish can be avocado as it is protein-rich and toxin-free.

Helio Gracie incorporated following foods in his diet plan:

2. How Does The Gracie Diet Work In The Body?

The balanced diet prepared by Carlos Gracie meets the daily intake requirements for every BJJ athlete. The basic philosophy behind the Gracie Diet is not to mix foods of different groups. You cannot mix sugary nutrients with starchy foods. The mixing of cereals with grains is also not allowed.

The four to five hour gap or smaller meal portions is ideal to follow the Gracie diet. Gracie also discussed that his diet plan could effectively treat and reduce the risk of various ills and diseases. In Carlos Gracie Jr.’s own words,

“Our body is a machine whose oil is blood. If blood is pure, that machine will work well. My father’s goal was to keep the family fighters well, i.e. free of any disease that might appear by any chance and hinder a possible fight.”

To follow the Gracie Diet, you need to give yourself time. You cannot expect to gain or lose weight in one night. The process requires patience and discipline to be able to get in shape.

2.1. Does the Gracie Diet Help with Quick Weight Loss?

If you want to commit to weight loss and want to improve your eating habits, then you need to learn how the Gracie Diet works. The Gracie Diet is not suitable for instant weight reduction. Most BJJ fighters give the opinion that the Gracie Diet Plan is not technically a “diet” because it doesn't encourage or prohibit eating food of a specific type.

You need to learn to manage your cravings and resist temptations for food which adversely affects your health and meal times. If you can change your eating habits, you will see an incredible change and improvement to your digestive system.

By following this jiu-jitsu diet plan, you can attain maximum results with minimal effort. As Carlos put it,

“Like fish, most people die through their mouths!”

2.2. What Are the Benefits of Following the Gracie Diet Plan?

If you follow the Gracie Diet, you may gain the following benefits:

  • More energy
  • Less headaches
  • Decrease in irregular bowel movements
  • Stomach aches
  • Less chance of heartburn
  • Efficiency in physical combat

Rorion Gracie commented upon the family diet by stating,

“I am so confident of the benefits from the diet that if I had to choose between my knowledge of jiu-jitsu or my diet, I would choose the diet!”

2.3. Why Is It Difficult To Manage Weight?

For most individuals, weight management is a difficult task which has led to the increased numbers of obese people in the world. For a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete, weight management is an integral part of BJJ training and only the consumption of healthy foods guarantees good physical, emotional, and mental health. Health professionals and sport nutritionists need to understand dynamic energy balance to better prepare effective dietary approaches with evidence to help BJJ athletes achieve their weight goals.

To manage weight, you need to keep in mind that:

  • Nothing is too complex
  • Jiu-jitsu empowers the weak
  • Encourages you to trust yourself
  • Overcome your weaknesses
  • Weight loss builds confidence
  • Small changes are easier to make
  • Weight management helps reduce stress

2.4. The Healthy Lifestyle Promotes Self Defense System Greater Than Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

The fight to attain optimum health is not easy but the rewards are great. Thousands of Jiu-Jitsu fighters and BJJ athletes have followed this Gracie Diet Plan with outstanding results.

When following this diet plan, keep yourself hydrated, stretch, and exercise regularly. Take a sunbath. Experiment with your meals, develop, and share new recipes with other BJJ athletes. Consider adopting the following to achieve your goals.

  • Fast once or twice a month
  • Opt for organic quality foods. Avoid farmed food
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid alcohol, sodas, or sugary drinks
  • Take naps

Gracie has written in his book that,

“The key to weight loss is to find the right balance of time and exertion that you can sustain given your personal schedule, interests, and physical abilities.”

3. The 14-Day Gracie Meal Plan

The 14-day Gracie meal plan requires your full attention, will, and concentration to gain the full benefits. In case you feel hungry, increase the amount of green vegetables you eat but do not opt for eating large portions of food between two major meals. Avoid eating junk food and sweets. Drink two to three liters of filtered water.

3.1. Week 1

Days Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Oats
Apple juice
Salad including:
Spinach, Bell pepper, Avocado, Onions, Cucumber, Broccoli, Lettuce with nuts.
Baked salmon with rosemary. Bread of quinoa flour. Cream of spinach
Coconut water or carrot Juice.
Regular water
Watermelon juice
Tuesday Bananas, Cantaloupe Juice, Cream cheese Salads may include: Radish, Sprouts, Arugula, Broccoli, Lettuce with cashew Brazil or pistachios.
Chicken stroganoff
Brown rice
Rice flour
Regular water
Vegetable juice with whole grain bread
Wednesday Whole grain toast + Butter
Tea with no sugar and artificial flavor.
Salads with nuts
Steamed vegetables
Whole wheat pasta
Coconut water or Carrot Juice.
Regular water
Apple juice
Rye crackers
Cottage cheese
Dates or Honey
Thursday Mangoes Salad with or without nuts. Corn soup with grilled bread and Jack cheese
Regular water
Coconut water or carrot juice.
Whole grain crackers
Melon Juice
Cream cheese
Friday Banana + watermelon/ Blend it. Salad with nuts.
Baked fish with rice flour or brown rice
Brinjal Quiche
Sweet grapes
Saturday Vegetable Juice
With roasted whole grain bread
Salad with or without nuts. No salad Dressing. You can pour olive oil + Salt.
Use wheat flour with roasted meat and whole wheat pasta.
Cottage cheese
Sunday Orange juice French fries, shrimp, Steamed Vegetables. Salad with nuts. Dates or Honey
Cottage cheese

3.2. Week 2

Days Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Milk with Grilled whole grain bread + Monterey Jack cheese Salad: Arugula, Broccoli, Avocado, Bell Peppers, Sprouts, Lettuce, Onions, Beets with nuts.( Optional)
Grilled Chicken with Quinoa Flour + Zucchini Quiche.
Regular water
Coconut Juice
Fruits may include Red Apples, Papaya, Cottage Cheese and Bananas.
Tuesday Banana + Honey dew melon juice. Blend it. Salad with nuts. No salad dressing
Grilled Fish + Baked potatoes + Saute Vegetables
Regular water
Coconut Juice or Carrot Juice
Cottage cheese
Rye crackers
Wednesday Honey + dates
Salad with no Salad dressing. You may add olive oil and salt.
Whole grain bread sandwich
Squash Soup
Grilled Monterey Jack cheese
Regular water
Coconut Juice or Carrot Juice
Whole grain toast grape juice + cream cheese
Thursday Honey or Dates
Sweet pears
Salad with no Salad dressing. Add olive oil or salt.
Fish souffle
Brown Rice
Green Beans
Regular water
Coconut Juice or Carrot Juice
Vegetable Juice: Celery. Cucumber, Ginger, kale, Radish, bell pepper with avocado + Sour bread
Friday Bananas + Apple Juice Salad without salad dressing with nuts.
Whole Wheat pasta, Onion Quiche, Cream of spinach
Whole Grain Crackers
Watermelon juice
Jack cheese
Saturday Tangerines Salad with cashew nut, Brazil Nuts, walnut and Pistachios.
Baked fish + Brown Rice
Saute Vegetables
Regular water
Coconut or Carrot Juice
Honey or dates
Cantaloupe juice + Acai
Sunday Banana shake Salad without salad dressing. Add some olive oil and salt.
Steak + Mashed potatoes Corn on the cob.
Regular water
Coconut or Carrot Juice
Honey dew melon juice + Cream cheese + Whole grain crackers.

Click to watch a video of Kron Gracie and his opinions about his diet’s effectiveness.

4. The Gracie Diet Belt System For BJJ Athletes

The Gracie Diet Plan was created with rules specific to different belt ranks from white to black. The diet will provide appropriate workloads to help you to build up stamina, adopt good habits, and prepare the proper food.

5. Benefits of Gracie Diet for BJJ fighters in Competitions

  • Treats inflammation
  • Removes Toxins
  • Enhances performance
  • Promotes health and longevity
  • Aids in building muscle mass
  • Prevents gastrointestinal infections
  • Boosts energy and immune system
  • Helps to heal Injuries

6. Conclusion

The daily diet intake requirements designed by the Garcie family for BJJ fighters is essential to adopt optimum health.

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