Carlos Gracie is a prominent figure and trailblazer within the MMA community. After mastering Jiu-Jitsu from Count Coma, another notable material arts figure. His real name is Misuyio Esai Maeda. He was a Judo representative from Japan who migrated to Brazil to spread the Jiu-Jitsu fighting style.
Gracie trained for three years with Maeda until his family had to move due to financial issues. Gracie then taught his brother the sacred fighting style in hopes of bringing them into his dream of creating a Jiu-Jitsu academy. It was beyond successful, and his work pioneered and popularized Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
Over time, Gracie developed a vast legacy in BJJ that’s still popular today. The fighters notoriety sparked an interest in his diet and how he stayed in tip-top shape. Now it is called the Gracie Diet and founded by Carlos Gracie himself. Generations and generations of the Gracie family stand and continue to follow this diet.
Others outside of the Gracie family have also utilized the diet and stated that it has multiple benefits to one’s health and well-being. Grandmaster Carlos developed the Gracie Diet through years of experimentation with common knowledge on nutrition.
Different Food Groups within the Gracie Diet
The Gracie Diet breaks down into six main food groups. Grandmaster Carlos picked out particular foods within each group to keep the body in equilibrium. Like most diets, there are rules for you to make some of the Gracie diets and receive the maximum amount of benefits.
It all has to do with how your body metabolizes certain foods. Blending particular food groups can enhance your body’s performance and increase your overall health and wellness. For starters, let’s look into each food group and examples for each.
- Food Group #1: protein and veggies, like chicken and beef or broccoli and green beans
- Food Group #2: sweet fruits, like bananas, apples, or pears
- Food Group #3: starches, like pasta, grains, or rice
- Food Group #4: acidic fruits, like grapefruit, lemons, limes, or pineapple
- Food Group # 5: milk
- Food Group # 6: milk cream
How to Follow the Gracie Diet
As a rule of thumb, particular foods work best with others. Following the Gracie diet’s specific rules helps you get the most renowned benefits it is famous for. It is imperative to follow these six simple rules to your body in optimum condition.
- Rule # 1: Food Group # 1 can mix with Food Group #2; In one meal, you can combine protein and veggies with sweet fruits.
- Rule # 2: Foods in Group #2 should not mix, meaning you cannot eat two different sweet fruits in one meal.
- Rule #3: Food Group # 3 can mix and go with foods in Group #2. Be sure that your foods in Group #3 are not cooked in any fats.
- Rule #4: Foods in Group #4 cannot go with each other or paired with any other group.
- Rule # 5: You can combine milk with food group #2.
- Rule #6: You can mix milk cream with food group #2.
It’s Not Just What You Eat, But When You Eat
Grandmaster Carlos advocates for long time intervals of time between each meal. 5 hours is ideal. The reasoning for the more extended period between meals is to allow your body to break down and digest everything eaten entirely.
If 5 hours is too long, others have also recommended 3 hours. One can eat smaller meals for a short interval to remain satiated until their next meal.
The Gracie Diet follows a strict component of what foods go with others. If you eat too soon, it allows the nutrition between those two foods to mix, disturbing the purpose and idea behind the diet.
How Does The Gracie Diet Work?
The Gracie diet’s central objective is to prevent the blood within your body from being too acidic. If a person’s blood is too acidic, it disrupts the natural digestive process. The Gracie Diet aims to keep the blood within your body at a neutral PH level.
This diet’s three primary themes are not mixing particular food, like not combining sour food with other food, mixing fats and sugars into one meal, and consuming cereal with other grains.
The Gracie Diet Belt System
Rorion Gracie, the brother of GrandMaster Carlos, created a simple belt system for the Gracie Diet. Rorion Gracie is a co-founder of UFC and a prominent member of the Gracie family. He made the belt system work to keep those on track, maintain their new healthy habits, and make the experience more pleasurable.
The belt system is very similar to the belt system within BJJ. There are five belts and one completes it within ten weeks.
Like every white belt in martial arts, it represents the beginning of a journey towards discipline and a healthier sense of wellbeing. The first steps here are small but lead to a higher impact on your health.
- Drink water every day to nourish your body and cleanse your digestive tract.
- Wash your hands before every meal.
As a tip, many recommend sleeping with a glass of water next to your bed to remind you to drink.
You should incorporate all of these other tasks with the same ones connected to the white belt, meaning you still need to drink water every day and wash your hands. This primary step involves cutting out unnecessary sweets and sugar.
- Stop eating desserts and sweets after every meal.
- Do not drink sodas.
As stated before, keep track of all the other habits from the previous belts.
- Study the chart of the Gracie Diet and start making food combinations for your meals.
- If you eat pork, eliminate it from your diet.
This belt continues to build on the previous ones.
- Keep doing all the tasks from the other belts.
- Longer intervals between each meal, ideally 4-5 hours
- Allow yourself to have cheats days on the weekend, but go back to following the Gracie Diet on the following Monday. While doing this, also take notice of how you feel physically and mentally.
And finally, you’ve reached the black belt which incorporates all of the previous steps.
- Keep practicing all the tasks from the previous belts
- Maintain and keep the Gracie Diet. Focus on making it a lifestyle change versus just a temporary diet.
The Gracie Diet is a tried and true eating plan that is much deeper than a diet. It is a lifestyle change suited for those aiming to perform their best and improve in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The diet closely follows not just what you can eat but what you should combine with it.
There are six main food groups to know and study. Knowing the ins and outs of these groups will help you make the most of the Gracie Diet. Outside of what you eat, you must also focus on eating less frequently, 4-5 hours between meals.
This diet emphasizes the importance of the digestive system. Food combinations within the Gracie Diet help keep your pH levels in your blood from getting too acidic. If your blood levels get too acidic, it affects your digestive system dramatically, which can lead to long-term health conditions.
There’s also a belt system to follow that’s quite similar to BJJ’s to keep up with your accomplishments and enjoy the process more.