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Foods That Slow You Down and Hold You Back

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

At BarraFIT, we believe in fitness beyond six-pack abs and PRs. We believe in optimizing everything in your lifestyle to achieve the best results physically, mentally, and emotionally. For us, health is the foundation of fitness, functionality, and high quality of life.

This is why we look at every aspect of your lifestyle and do what we can to improve. In the world of Jiu-jitsu and physical performance, one of the most important and overlooked aspects of life is nutrition.

Nowadays, many train and exercise under the illusion that it’s possible to out-train a bad nutritional intake. Often, athletes go into their workouts fueled by processed food that is calorically dense but lacks any nutritional value. The results are sabotaged weight loss, drops in athletic performance, and worst of all, injuries.

To be our best on the mats and in life, we need to remove certain types of food from your diet.

It has been my personal experience as an athlete and a coach that there are some low-hanging fruits when it comes down to creating significant changes in our health and our bodies. By simply cutting some foods that deep down we know we should not consume, we can experience great improvement in energy, vitality.

In this article, I share with you some of the main foods that are typically easy to replace and can certainly make a difference in your fitness journey.


In the United States, millions of people substitute water with soda, causing an increase in diabetes cases nationwide. Soda is loaded with refined sugar that causes insulin insensitivity. Insulin insensitivity leads to fat gain, heart issues, and inflammation down the road.

As a BarraFIT athlete, you have no business drinking something that will be detrimental to your life. For this reason, you can substitute soda with other less harmful alternatives like flavored sparkling water.

Fried Food

Fried Foods / Deep-Fried Foods. Those French fries and chicken nuggets may taste delicious, but they also cause inflammation. Fried foods produce advanced glycation end products, more commonly known as AGEs. These compounds directly stimulate inflammation in the body.


Sweets that come from confectionery and baked goods contain nothing but inflammation-causing wheat and diabetes-inducing sugar. Even in small amounts, sweets can cause insulin spikes seen in soda.

While sugar can give you a temporary boost of energy, you don’t want to experience the sugar crash that comes after. However, it is possible to replenish your glucose after rolling or a hard BarraFIT Strength class. You can do this with fruits or dried fruit.

Fruits, raw or dried, not only satisfy your sugar cravings. They also provide fiber and all the nutrients you need for your workouts.


Chips, especially potato chips, contain a lot of sodium and refined sugars. They also have a lot of oil. Oil, salt, and refined sugar can cause circulation problems, and blood circulation is important in the gym and life. So, remove chips and switch things up with nuts instead.

Artificial Sweeteners

Considered a breakthrough for sugar lovers, it turns out that artificial sweeteners may be just as bad as the real thing. Artificial sweeteners work by triggering the same sensory cells in our taste buds that send signals to our brain when we taste something sweet, like sugar.

Ice Cream

Ice cream contains a lot of sugar and fat from dairy—two macros that cause weight gain and sugar crash at the same time! So, when you’re craving something sweet and cold, choose low-sugar frozen yogurt. So when you’re craving something sweet, an acai bowl it's a great option.

Fuel Properly and See Results From Your BarraFIT Training!

Jiu-Jitsu and BarraFIT athletes sear by the health benefits of a clean diet. Eliminate the foods we mentioned here, and you will notice a difference in your performance on the mats and in life!

I hope to see you on the mats soon.

Vivi Almeida | Head Coach BarraFIT Studio Scottsdale

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