Want to see your six-pack again – or for the first time ever? You’ll find all you need to know to get superlean in a dozen simple rules.
No question about it, burning fat is a 24/7 endeavor. To keep the fires hot, you need to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Not only that, but you must choose the right foods in the right amounts to keep your metabolism revved up so your six-pack will be ready for its close-up. The way we see it, there are some fundamentals – laws, if you will – that are all you need to shed that unwanted blubber from your midsection and elsewhere. Most of them are nutrition-driven, but training comes into play as well. Your mass-gaining phase is over for the time being; now it’s time to get lean. These laws of fat-burning will help get you there.
This healthy version of old-fashioned chicken dish contains skinless chicken thighs that are cooked in a mixture of carrot, leek, parsnip, celery and peas and topped with a low-fat dumpling mixture.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 skinless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
- 4 cups thinly sliced leek, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped parsnip
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Dredge the chicken in flour mixture, and turn to coat; shake off excess flour. Add the chicken to the pot; cook 3 minutes on each side, or until well-browned. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add leeks to pot; cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Return chicken to pot, and stir in broth, carrots, parsnips, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Partially cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from pan. Pull the meat from bones; discard bones. Return the chicken to the pot, and stir in peas.
To prepare the dumplings, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt 3 times (this makes the dumplings very light). Combine the flour mixture, milk, and chives, and stir until moist.
Drop dough by 3 tablespoonfuls into a barely simmering chicken mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 12 minutes, or until the dumplings are done (do not bring to a boil, or the dumplings will break up).
|Calories per serving:||362|
|Fat per serving:||12g|
|Saturated fat per serving:||2g|
|Monounsaturated fat per serving:||5g|
|Polyunsaturated fat per serving:||3g|
|Protein per serving:||18g|
|Carbohydrates per serving:||47g|
|Fiber per serving:||5g|
|Cholesterol per serving:||45mg|
|Iron per serving:||4mg|
|Sodium per serving:||825mg|
|Calcium per serving:||213mg|
Asparagus? Seriously, if you want to grow, your mom was right — you need veggies. When it comes to greens, you have plenty of great choices. Broccoli and spinach are other highly recommended options, but we picked asparagus for its water-leaching quality. Top bodybuilders turn to asparagus as a meal when it comes down to precontest crunch time and they need to get extra-tight for the stage.
Buy It: Whether the spears are thin or thick, they should have a bright-green color and be free of blemishes and bruises. The buds at the tip should be closed tightly, not wilting. For best taste, consume within three days of purchase.
Prepare It: Trim the base of each stalk. If you’ve chosen thick stalks with tough skin, it’s best to peel the base end with a vegetable peeler. Lay a spear flat, then, starting about halfway between the tip and base, peel to the end of the base. Rotate the spear and continue to peel the lower half until all sides are peeled and the base is about the same thickness as the tip. Select a pan wide enough to lay the spears flat, add 1 inch of water and a pinch of salt, and place over high heat until water boils. Add asparagus so that the tips all face the same end. Boil 3-4 minutes for thin spears (4-6 minutes for thicker ones), or until spears are just crisp and tender. Remove and serve hot.
Nutrients: A 4-ounce serving has 27 calories, 3 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, less than 1 g fat, 2 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : EGG WHITES
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from the hordes of bodybuilders chasing after it. Dumb joke, but it’s no understatement to say that the majority of gym rats consume chicken breast on a regular basis. And why not? High in protein and ultra-low in fat, the bird’s unoffending taste makes it palatable for most everyone.
Buy It: Save money by buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk in the freezer section. Be sure raw chicken is pinkish in color (not white-toned, which would indicate freezer burn or improper refrigeration). Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. The defrosted chicken shouldn’t feel or smell slimy.
Prepare It: Preheat a grill to the highest heat setting. Trim all visible fat from the breast, and season or marinate it with your favorite spices or sauce. Place chicken on the hot grill (it should sizzle), then turn the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 4-6 minutes, then flip and cook 4-6 minutes more, until no longer pink inside or a thermometer stuck into the thickest portion of the breast reads 170 degrees F.
Nutrients: A 6-ounce (weighed raw) breast has 205 calories, 38 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : PORK TENDERLOIN
A buff body isn’t built by protein alone. Carbohydrates provide energy you need to work hard and play hard. Sweet potatoes provide that oomph without overdosing our system with simple, fast-acting carbs. They’re often used precontest by bodybuilders looking to fill out depleted muscles, but even if you’re not getting ready for the stage, they’re an excellent part of any dieting or mass-gaining strategy.
Buy It: Sweet potatoes come in two varieties: the white kind are like regular baking potatoes; the dark ones have a dark skin and orange flesh and are packed with nutrients. When choosing a sweet potato, make sure it has a smooth, firm skin with no bruises or blemishes. Stick with smaller or medium-sized sweet potatoes, which tend to taste better than jumbo ones.
Prepare It: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scrub the potato under cold water using a veggie brush, making sure to remove all dirt. Pat it dry, then prick it 5-6 times all over with a fork. Place directly on a lower oven rack and bake about one hour (for an 8-12-ounce potato), or until it’s soft when pierced with a fork.
Nutrients: An 8-ounce sweet potato has 240 calories, 4 g protein, 55 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 7 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : CHICKEN BREAST
Salmon has the prerequisite protein as well as the added benefits of unsaturated (good) fats. Hardcore lifters are often deficient in fats, because they’re so often on super-low-fat diets. Including certain fish in your daily intake is one way to get the fats back — at least the healthy kind.
Buy It: Atlantic salmon is the variety most commonly found in American grocery stores, and is generally the most affordable. When fresh, it’s bright orange in color and doesn’t feel slimy or exude an odor. Always choose a thicker cut — because the tail gets more of a workout when the fish is in the water, the meat near the tail is tougher.
Prepare It: Be sure all bones are removed from the fillet (a “fillet” by definition is boneless, but sometimes a few stray bones don’t get removed). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the 4-6-ounce fillet on a baking sheet or pan, seasoned as desired. (To practically eliminate cleanup, line the pan with aluminum foil before adding the salmon, so you can throw the foil out after it cools.) Bake 10-14 minutes or until pink in the center, and the fish flakes with a fork.
Nutrients: A 4-ounce (measured raw) serving has 207 calories, 23 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 0 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : SWEET POTATO
Chicken breast may be the quintessential bodybuilding staple, but lean cuts of red meat are loaded with complete protein and pack the most punch when you’re trying to pack more beef on your frame.
Buy It: Always purchase broil that’s bright-red in color. If it has even the lightest tint of brown to it, it has started to spoil. Try to find a steak or roast that’s at least 1 inch thick with as little visible fat as possible.
Prepare It: Preheat a grill to the highest heat setting. Remove all visible fat and cut the steak or roast into 4-6-ounce individual steaks. Season both sides of meat with salt, pepper and/or a spice rub or marinade. Place on grill and cook 3-6 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking.
Nutrients: A 4-ounce (measured raw) lean top round steak has 138 calories, 24 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : SALMON FILLET
The greatest performance diets may seem complicated and fancy, but they are all built on a foundation of basic principles and simple foods. Eat the right ones, and your body will respond accordingly. If your current regimen doesn’t include the following body-builders, beeline to the grocery store and stock up on them, stat. Bonus: They’re also all pretty delicious. Paired with oatmeal, an egg-white omelet can turn breakfast into a power meal to fuel the rest of a day.
Buy It: When purchasing eggs, do the basics: Always check the date and open the carton to check for cracks. Also, be sure the eggs are refrigerated in the store and when you get home with them. Although eggs stored out of the refrigerator won’t necessarily cause illness, they do lose a grade per day when not refrigerated.
Prepare It: Although many gadgets promise an easy way to separate the yolk from the white, the quickest, easiest method is to simply use our own clean hands. For this six-egg-white omelet recipe, crack six eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Next, using clean fingers, lightly grasp the yolks, lift them out one by one, and discard. With a fork or whisk, whisk the egg whites with salt, pepper and any of our favorite herbs until well combined and a few bubbles have formed on top. Spray a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place it over medium-high heat and add egg whites. After about 15 seconds, reduce heat to medium. Pull in on the edges of the omelet with a spatula and slightly tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs under the cooked portion. Continue this around the perimeter until most of the uncooked egg disappears. Then fold the omelet in thirds, as if we’re folding a letter to fit it into a business envelope. Using the spatula, carefully slide it from the pan to a plate and eat it immediately.
Nutrients: 99 calories, 21 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber.
Another Bodybuilding Food : BROIL/TOP ROUND STEAK
Stock up on these
While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place Newgent’s top three diet-friendly items in your cart: balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). “Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips—or as a tangier alternative to sour cream,” says Newgent. Talk about a multitasker!
Curb your sweet tooth
Got a late-night sugar craving that just won’t quit? “To satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think ‘fruit first,'” says Jackie Newgent, RD, author of The Big Green Cookbook. So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you’re still on the right, healthy track.
Police your portions
Does your steak take up more than half your plate? Think about cutting your serving of beef in half. That’s because it’s best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of veggies and fresh fruit, says Newgent, so that it’s harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes (like cheesy potatoes or barbecue sauce–slathered ribs—yum!).
There is a key to maintaining your health as a man is eating the right amounts of foods. Use this list of single-portion measurements as your guide:
- 1 cup of fresh vegetables or fruit
- 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables or dried beans
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 cup of dry cereal or ½ cup cooked cereal
- 1/3 cup of rice or pasta
- 1 cup of low-fat milk
- 3 ounces of lean meat, chicken, or fish
- ½ cup is about the size of half a tennis ball
- 1 cup is about the size of a baseball
- 3 ounces of protein is about the size of a deck of cards
Whether you want to lose weight or maintain your weight, you also need to keep track of calories to make sure you burn more energy in a day than you take in. According to the American Heart Association:
- Men between 19 and 30 years old should limit daily calorie intake to 2,400 if sedentary, 2,600 if somewhat active, and 3,000 if very active.
- Men between 31 and 50 should limit daily calorie intake to 2,200 calories if sedentary, 2,400 if somewhat active, and 2,800 if very active.
- Men 51 and over should limit daily calorie intake to 2,000 if sedentary, 2,200 if moderately active, and 2,400 if very active.
Related : Healthy Food