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BJJ Diet on a Budget (Infographic meal plan and recipes included)

How can you maintain a solid diet for Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) while on a budget?

Here is a 5 day meal plan for athletes

The fact is that performance on the mats depends on eating healthy. 

If you take your bjj training seriously why not make some dietary adjustments to show up to the gym as the best version of yourself

Reasons people often cite as to why they don’t eat healthy:

  • cost
  • time
  • limited healthy food options

I’m planning on addressing each of these concerns with a bjj diet budget, easy to prep recipes, and including some tasty food options

I get it people usually have jobs, school, families, etc in addition to training BJJ. 

It can seem impossible to prepare healthy meals when you have limited resources.

You can maintain a healthy diet and be a better grappler on a budget with these tips and tricks. 

Related: For our full, updated post on the best bjj diet for you check out our post here

Let’s quickly address the cost issue, if you think eating out and grabbing fast food on the go will save you money and time – in the long run you’re sorely mistaken.

   -eating out on average is simply just more expensive

   -if you take a couple minutes before grocery shopping to break down what foods you need, the amounts, and what meals you’ll make from them eating a bjj diet on a budget is very easy

As a matter of fact, BJJ nutrition on a budget is not only possible, but preferable to eating junk food.

In order to get the most out of your bjj diet you should:

  • track your weight by weighing in every other day and taking an average
  • try to eat the same amount of calories and same types of foods each day
  • include weight training with your bjj diet plan
    • this will include you to maintain muscle when you are trying to lose weight and of course gain muscle when you are bulking
  • consider getting a general idea of your macros:

Here are my macro basics:

MacronutrientGuideExample Amount (200lb athlete)
Proteinaim for 1g per bodyweight200g of protein
Fat*.3 per lb of bodyweight60g of fat
Carbs*1.5-5.0 g of carbs per lb of bodyweight300-1,000g of carbs

*Fats: majority of fats should be obtained through monosaturated fat sources (ie. olive oil, avocados, nuts)

*Carbohydrates: if you are aware of your daily caloric goal, after meeting your protein and fat macronutrient goal, the rest of your daily calories can be used toward carbs

7 Day Meal Plan for Athletes

Here is our infographic on a 7 Day Meal Plan for athletes (I know this meal plan is for five days only, but I was really into this formatting).

This is if you are training bjj in the evening.

I will break down recipes in the next section for these meals:

Some things to note for this meal plan:

  • this meal plan includes 4 meals a day you can of course adjust the amount of meals based on preference
  • your largest, most carbohydrate filled meals should surround your bjj training
  • you should eat your pre bjj training meal at least 1.5 hours before training
  • you want to schedule your fat heavy meals further away from training
    • since fat slows down your body’s ability to quickly absorb nutrients

Fighter’s Diet Recipes

Here are some of my favorite fighter’s diet recipes:

1. Using Egg whites:

  • if you struggle with reaching 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and do not want to drink protein shakes egg whites like those purchase in warehouse grocery stores like Costco are a great option
  • you can use these egg whites in your protein shakes or make a quick egg white and vegetable omelette
    • **Pro tip: the egg white cartons you buy are pasteurized so if you can get past the mental barrier, you can safely drink a carton of egg white for an easy, low calorie 50 grams of protein

2. Greek Yogurt with Mio/Stevia or another low calorie sweetener

  • Greek yogurt again purchased at a big warehouse grocery is a minimal prep, high protein meal. I’ll often squirt some Mio sweetener in there or use any other low calorie sweetener even diet jello to make it taste better

3. Lean Ground Turkey with Pasta and Pasta Sauce:

  • if you are bulking and find it hard to get in the amount of required calories when burning so many calories at bjj, welcome to your new simply, healthy, and cheap meal
    • boil some water and throw some cheap pasta in
    • using a pan and little bit of olive or avocado oil brown some turkey meat
    • then combine all in a bowl and top with a bunch of pasta sauce and you got a massive and cheap go to meal

Cheap Meal Plan

I’ve often struggled with finding a cheap meal plan for me.

I would go to the grocery store hungry and buy a bunch of things I don’t even really want, buy a bunch of sugary snacks while waiting to pay, and splurge on those premade bakery goods that smelt way to good as I was walking by.

Through all of my trials and tribulations here are my ultimately cheap meal plan grocery shopping tips:

  •  choose your main grocery store
  •  consider using credit cards that give you points back at grocery stores
  •  keep an eye out for coupons and on sale items
  •  consider buying in bulk in warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s club (US)
  • check your local Asian/Indian/ethnic markets for spices, baking ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.), and bulk rice or grains before you buy them at the supermarket
  • consider eating one meal a day of simple, cheap ingredients like rice and beans/lentils
  • try to aim for 3 no spend days week or schedule to go grocery shopping once a week only
    • this helps with making sure you are buying the correct amount of foods and eating all the food you buy
  • Have a grocery list before you go and plan accordingly
  • Write a menu for the week and only buy those ingredients
  • limit your meat consumption (since this is one of the most expensive products)
  • stay away from juices, sodas, and alcohol they are costly and really not worth the calories
  • consider making your own bread (if you have the interest its 100% cheaper, easier, and healthier)

Cheap Meal Plans for weight loss

If you’re looking for some cheap meal plans for weight loss, it will, of course, start and end with:

  • calculating your daily maintenance and daily deficit calories

  1. By eating almost the same meals every day and weighing in every other day you can get a pretty good idea of how the food you’re eating is affecting your weight
  2. You can then take an average from your weigh in numbers and if your weight stays pretty much the same you can get a solid idea for your maintenance calories
  3. Once you have your maintenance calories you can then subtract 150-200 calories from your total daily calories to be in a calorie deficit and lose weight
  4. Your aim should be to lose 1-2% of your total weight each week, and it is strongly recommended to not diet for more than 9 weeks*

Jiu jitsu diet – How to make it work for you

Here are some tips for how to make a jiu jitsu diet work for you:

  • try to eat the same foods every day (this will help with tracking calories and weight)
  • choose meals and foods that you enjoy eating
  • choose meals that are easy for you to make
  • only have one meal a day that requires cooking (so you’re not constantly stressing about meal prepping)

Hopefully, this info has helped you with designing your own bjj diet on a budget and with finding ways to manage a healthiest, and cheap diet.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next one – Zack