What You Didn't Know About Anthony Bourdain's Love For Jiu-Jitsu

Anthony Bourdain was a celebrity chef in the truest sense of the word. He was so committed to food that he didn't hesitate to travel to the most remote corners of the world while sampling exotic dishes and introducing his fans to new food. As per Reader's Digest, Bourdain went to unusual spots such as Trinidad, Tanzania, and Borneo in his quest for unusual food items. 

Bourdain's love for food did come at a cost: The chef had to find ways to make sure that he took care of his physique and didn't neglect his health. To that end, Bourdain told Men's Health that he was always mindful about his eating habits. "I was never sitting at home with a bag of chips between meals," he explained. "I eat for a living, so I was already conscious of carbs and sugar. But it's not like I deprive myself. And I don't think about being fit." 

Bourdain wasn't perfect. At some point in his life, he was overweight and hated doing cardio. He was also a smoker, but things changed when his ex-wife who's a martial artist introduced him to jiu-jitsu. Bourdain ended up really liking his first session. "I found it very strategically and intellectually intriguing," he continued. "I like problem solving and I also like being the stupidest person in the room."

Bourdain loved how jiu-jitsu made him feel

Once Bourdain figured out that he actually liked jiu-jitsu, there was no stopping the chef — he went all in. This meant that Bourdain would get himself to a gym no matter where he was in the world so that he could practice jiu-jitsu. As he told Men's Health, "It was the last thing I ever thought I would find myself doing, which is to say, enjoy rolling around on a mat with a bunch of sweaty dudes." But once Bourdain was in, there was no looking back. He explained that jiu-jitsu is strenuous and sticking to warm-ups coupled with four or five rounds on the mat with another player can really get results.

Bourdain also shared in an interview with Men's Journal that jiu-jitsu was the only form of exercise that he truly enjoyed and he never ended up lifting weights. Additionally, the chef was so disciplined that he would begin his days by finishing a jiu-jitsu session instead of keeping it for later in the day. Bourdain added that all that exercise made him feel really good and allowed him to eat big meals a lot more easily. "It's incredible for you physically," he revealed. "I feel like I lose eight pounds after five rounds. You're pouring water. Then you eat an immense meal after and feel just fine about it."