When I first began working out I used to think that to get in shape meant drastically cutting my food intake. This, however, is a myth which is not only damaging to moral but leaves you feeling constantly hungry, slows down your metabolism and reduces your ability to gain or maintain muscle (muscle is an active tissue which burns more calories even when your doing nothing and gives you body tone). So, instead of just recording my food log, I thought I would go through a typical meal giving some of the nutritional benefits for eating what I was eating.
Lunch: beef cubes, broccoli, tomato, mushroom (all of the aforementioned were oven cooked), cottage cheese and chilli.
Lean Beef: Whilst, many people try to avoid red meat, lean red meat can be filled with nutritional goodness (except if you deep-fat-fry it, of course – interestingly enough, unhealthy preparation and the fat content of beef burgers is usually why beef gets such a bad press).
Beef contains vitamin B and zinc which is great for the production of muscle-building testosterone, iron (iron deficiency can cause a lack of energy and anaemia), protein for muscle and regardless of the animal’s diet contains a similar fat profile. This means that although, you might want to go for free-range, organic, grass-feed beef it makes little nutritional difference which is great, particularly when you are unable to find out the source.
Broccoli/Mushroom and Tomato: All of these food are superfoods in their own right. Between them they are high in fibre (which helps with weight loss), packed with protein (for muscle), maintain blood sugar (to stop tiredness), suppress hunger, detoxify the body, aid with bone health, boost the immune system and help your body use oxygen efficiently. Not to mention their so low in calories that you can eat any amount at every meal – if you want to, that is.
Chilli: Honestly, I just add it for flavour but again it relieves stress (weight training can physiologically increase stress levels), boosts you metabolism (meaning you’ll burn food faster) and helps with blood circulation (vital when training) – the vitamin c also, helps boost your immunity to disease that’s why you never find an Indian with a cold (ok that part might not be true).
Cottage cheese (low fat variety): Not only is this stuff versatile (you can use it with sweet or savoury dishes) it is packed with protein (for muscle), calcium (for bones) and phosphorus (for energy).
So, as you can see, good healthy lean foods aid your healthy lifestyle not hinder it.
TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a boiled egg
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge and mixed nuts followed by a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: a grapefruit
Lunch: as above and a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: a boiled egg
Dinner: chicken and vegetable soup
Smoothie: nectarine abs mixed berries
Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Evening Shake: whey and milk
Note: since I have reduced muscle mass, I have decided to stop intermittent fasting and have now begun having a pre-workout snack.