The Pablo Popovitch Diet: A Simple Way to Speed Up Your Metabolism For Jiu-Jitsu

The Pablo Popovitch Diet: A Simple Way to Speed Up Your Metabolism For Jiu-Jitsu

Pablo Popovitch is a 4th degree BJJ black belt, ADCC champion (2009, by defeating Marcelo Garcie) and World No Gi champion.

Popovitch is known for his amazing conditioning, and ‘He Man’ like physique. He has been following his own diet system for years which he calls the ‘Popovitch Diet’ which is similar to ‘The Gracie Diet’. It’s a simple diet where the main points are to speed up your metabolism by eating every 3 hours, avoid eating carbohydrates at night, train a lot and using some weight loss products.


This is a diet that has been working for him, but it may not be for everyone. Here is what Pablo has said about his diet from his website:

I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR. I am very good with nutrition, but I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST, nor am I trying to profess that I am one.
As an athlete, who has been around the highest levels of competition in my sport and as someone who has traveled the world and spoken with many Doctors and nutritionist, I’m providing you with some of the most cutting edge information and supplements that are topics of discussion and some things that I’ve taken myself over the years.


Pablo Popovitch Diet 

Protein and Carbohydrates:

Our body produces different types of enzymes to digest protein and carbohydrates; The Popovitch diet follows the simple concept that you should not eat complex carbohydrates with protein on the same meal. By mixing carbohydrates w/ protein you are making your body work extra harder to digest wherever you eat.

Here is the breakdown:

Protein with Salad: 3:00 hours to digest
Carbohydrates w/vegetable or salad: 1 hour 40 minutes to digest
Fruits: 15 minutes to digest
Fruits and Carbohydrates: 1 hour 40 Minutes
Fruits and Protein: 3:00 hours to digest
Fruits should be eaten by themselves, wait 15 minutes and you can have your carbohydrates or protein.

Protein + Carbohydrates: 7 – 10 hours to digest

To make your metabolism work faster you need to eat every 3 hours on small portions. The only problem is if you mix carbohydrates with Animal protein (fish, chicken, steak, pork) it will take longer than 3 hours to digest. Making your body work extra hard and resulting in fatigue, sleepiness.
Also at night I follow the simple rule of never eating animal protein, complex carbohydrates are great at night, and it helps you sleep. The only protein I use at night is in the form of protein shakes, it is pre digested and very different from eating regular protein. Animal protein should be consumed at lunch time with a salad.

Very important:

Salt – Can only be used on protein, mixing salt with carbohydrates will increase the water retention in your body.
Olive Oil – to be used on carbohydrates and salads (no dressings on salads)
Egg Whites – 2 times per week can substitute Protein Shake in the morning
Cheese – Mozzarella cheese can be eaten 2x times per week, everything else is not recommended
Milk – Never (only babies should have milk)
Coffee – Morning only
Soda – Never

Best Times to have your Protein Shake


First thing in the morning – because your body has just gone through 8 hours (or however long you sleep for) of not having food – so the protein levels are way down.

30 minutes before bed

Before you go to sleep – this helps prevent the protein breakdown that naturally occurs when we sleep. If you are not trying to build muscle mass then this protein breakdown is fine. But if you are working out – you want to try to minimize any losses you suffer when you sleep and your protein metabolism slows down.
Before training (1 serving of muscle milk) 1 hour before
After hard training – (if you don’t need to cut weight)
Endurox (perfect recovery drink post training Carbohydrates w/ Protein)
Drink plenty of water (2 gallons is what I recommended)

Example of my daily diet:

(Carbohydrate w/Protein Shake)
Fruits (Banana, Pineapple, Plum, Apple)
Green Tea
Wheat Bread W/ Olive Oil
Cereal/No milk
Muscle Milk
(15 minutes before Lunch) Fruit (Banana, Plum, Fig, Raspberry, Cherry, Apple)
(Protein + Salt and olive oil)
Protein (red or white meat)
Salad or Vegetables
Green Tea
(15 minutes before Snack) Fruit (Banana, Plum, Fig, Raspberry, Cherry, Apple)
Afternoon Snack Wheat Bread w/ Olive oil
Green Tea
(2 or 3 slices)
(Carbohydrates + no salt + Olive oil)
1st option
Wheat Bread W/ Olive oil / Tomatoes
2nd option
Sweet Potato soup, yucca W/ Olive oil
3rd Option
Wheat Rice, Sweet Potato, Wheat Pasta, Yucca
Green Vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, cabbage)
Green Tea
Before Bed
(30 minutes)
Cashews No Salt
Natural Yogurt and Fruit
Muscle Milk Serving

Popovitch says:

This diet should make you very lean and much stronger, also you will notice an increase of energy through the day and your recovery time between work outs will increase. By not eating animal protein at night and follow the rule of eating carbohydrates instead should make you sleep much better, better sleep means great recovery, less injuries and much more energy the next day for your work outs.
Now go get leaner and become a human machine…

Pablo Popovitch Making Breakfast:



Pablo Popovitch Nutritional Supplements:


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