When following a diet, the food choices you make will ultimately lead to the body you get. You are most definitely what you eat! After all, if you are not fueling your body with the right nutrients to fuel the pathways that lead to muscle building and fat loss, it will be hard to get the body you want! If you choose to eat carbs all day, and not provide your body with protein, it will be very difficult to build any new muscle, let alone lose body fat.
It does take some work to build a diet that delivers on lean muscle, but you will find that once you know what to eat, it is quite simple. The key is to just be consistent in your diet approach and you can’t go wrong. The rules are simple: 1) Make sure you are getting a lot of protein, at least 1 g/lb bodyweight 2) Eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates from complex sources and 3) Make sure you get a moderate amount of good-for-you essential fats. Need some more help? Here is an easy-to-follow meal plan that is convenient and fitness friendly. Simply adjust your portion sizes to fit your caloric needs!
Whey Protein Isolate Powder
If you are heading to the gym first thing in the morning, be sure to break that nighttime fast with a serving of whey protein isolate. The surge of amino acids will give your muscles energy to get through your workout.
Cinnamon and Splenda for taste
This meal is simple and easy to prep. Egg whites are easy to digest and provide a high-quality protein source that will deliver amino acids to hungry muscles. Oatmeal is an energy-rich complex carbohydrate, while berries provide antioxidants and fiber, not to mention a little sugar, which supports glycogen formation in the liver and muscles to minimize muscle breakdown.
Lean Red Meat
Lean red meat is an excellent muscle builder; it provides creatine, essential amino acids, and the full spectrum of B-vitamins, along with iron. Brown rice is another great complex carbohydrate that provides sustained energy, while broccoli provides a source of greens and a dose of powerful antioxidants. If you are trying to stay lean, cut the carbs back and double up on the broccoli; it is full of fiber to help control cravings and hunger between meals
Fat-free cottage cheese
This meal provides a slow-digesting protein that will give a sustained supply of amino acids to the muscles come training time. Rice cakes will kickstart insulin to minimize breakdown as well, and help deliver those amino acids directly to the muscle where they can be used to repair and rebuild during your workout. A scoop of salsa is packed with tomatoes, which are full of the antioxidant lycopene, and hot pepper, which can help drive up metabolic rate!
Whey Protein Isolate Powder
This easy meal containing fast-digesting protein and carbs will kickstart muscle recovery and growth during your post-workout anabolic window. Whey is a great source of amino acids, while a carbohydrate powder offers a dose of glucose to replenish muscle glycogen and kick up insulin for muscle repair. This meal should be consumed within one hour post-workout and should be in a 2:1 ratio of protein to carbs.
The combination of carbohydrates and lean protein in this meal increases the levels of insulin in the blood, enabling the perfect anabolic environment that’s ideal for muscle growth. Sweet potatoes digest slowly, helping to sustain that environment, and lower-fat protein, like this chicken breast, helps keep body fat in check.
Caseinate/Whey Blended Powder
Before bedtime consume a blended protein that contains a slow-digesting protein like caseinate and a fast-digesting protein like whey. Together, these two proteins will provide a sustained release of amino acids to the muscles to help ignite repair and recovery. Combined with natural almonds, which are a great source of essential fats, it will also help to slow down the digestion process of the protein!