Muscle & Fitness

The Perfect Lunch

-  6-9 oz. extra-lean ground beef
-  2 cups pasta
-  3⁄4 cup broccoli
700 calories, 60 g protein, 83 g carbs, 13 g fat

Why? For muscle-building, there'’s nothing like beef -— it contains creatine, all the necessary aminos and a full spectrum of B vitamins, and it'’s dense in iron to assist in energy production. Pasta provides carbs, which are essential for energy, and broccoli yields compounds that help with fat control.

Hard gainer Tip: Choose lean, not extra-lean, beef (around 10%-–15% fat as opposed to under 10%). The extra fat and calories spare the burning of glycogen and protein for greater growth.

Shredding Tip: Temper your lunchtime carb intake: Eat just 1 cup of pasta but double up on the broccoli -— low in calories, high in fiber -— to control calories and your feelings of hunger.

The Perfect Pre-Training Snack

-  1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
-  4 slices rye toast with 2 Tbsp. grape jam
532 calories, 35 g protein, 89 g carbs, 4 g fat

Why? The protein from cottage cheese hits the blood by workout time, sparing muscle breakdown. Grape jam offers sugar, which kicks up insulin to minimize breakdown as well. Rye bread is a slow-burning carb, preventing blood-sugar drops that can come from eating sugar alone.

Hard gainer Tip: Include extra jam to guard against the depletion of glycogen.

Shredding Tip: Stick to two slices of toast to control carbs but don'’t forgo the jam -— you'’ll need the quick burst of energy to offset muscle breakdown.

NOTE: Consume this meal 1 hour before training.


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