Curated & Adapted from: Stronglifts.com
To build muscle & lose fat, not only do you need to bring the intensity in your workouts, you need to fuel on a variety of proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs, and healthy fats. Eating protein helps build and maintain muscle, but it also helps fat loss: protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs/fats, keeps you feeling full longer, and curbs cravings for other fats and sugars high on the glycemic index.
Also, despite the oxymoron, eating fats actually helps fat loss: your body holds fat if you don’t eat fats. Fruits & veggies contain vitamins & minerals, necessary for recovery from your workouts. And though we’re huge fans of the Paleo Diet and lifestyle, we also know carbs fuel your muscles so you feel full of energy at the gym.
Eating well to maximize potential for building muscle and losing fat is easy. There are so many incredible foods out
25 Superfoods to Build Muscle & Lose Fat
there to enjoy, you just have to possess a little creativity and patience. Incorporate these foods into your diet one by one, and soon enough you’ll be achieving the body of your dreams.
1. Whole Eggs
Cheap and a nutrient-dense source of protein. As we’ve mentioned, never throw the yolk away! The yolk contains half the protein, vitamins A/D/E and good cholesterol to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Click here for tutorials on the perfect way to cook an egg any style.
2. Fish Oil
3. Wild Salmon
Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart eye diseases, and keep you mentally sharp. Add them into your yogurt, oatmeal, protein shakes, or simply eat them solo-style.
Contains bacteria that improves your gastrointestinal health. Don’t buy frozen yogurt or yogurt with added sugar and fruits at the bottom. Get plain yogurt and add berries to make it sweeter.
6. Flax Seeds
Source of fiber, protein & omega-3. Grind the flax seeds and add to your yogurt or oatmeal. Try soaking the raw flax seeds, spreading evenly on a baking sheet, and slow-roast them for a crunchy chip-snack later! Stay away from flax oil: it’s unstable and contains no fiber.
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
70% monounsaturated fats that protect against heart diseases and cancer. Add 1-2 tablespoons to lemon, white wine vinegar, tarragon, and salt and pepper for a killer vinaigrette that doesn’t pack many calories.
8. Mixed Nuts
Contains mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and are caloric-dense. Nuts are great for staving off cravings for other fats and are perfect for those looking to add bulk. Go for roasted or raw without salt and don’t be shy to try the various butters! Almond and cashew butter are insanely good and pair perfectly with apple slices for an afternoon snack.
9. Red Meat
Beef contains a muscle-building cocktail of protein, vitamin B12, heme iron, zinc, creatine, carnosine and even omega-3 if you eat grass-fed beef. Read Dr. Lonnie Lowery’s article on Meat.
High in cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-estrogenic indoles. Broccoli is also high in soluble fiber and low calorie, helping fat loss. Eat other cruciferous vegetables for a change: cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, …
Spinach prevents muscle and bone loss as well as cancer and heart diseases because of its nutrient-dense nature.
Ground turkey is a great substitute for beef in burgers, stews, chilies, and sautees. The leanest beef has about 4.5g saturated fat/100g, while white turkey has close to 0g.
South American “king of grains”, quinoa is higher in fiber & protein than rice or oats and is gluten free.
Reduce cholesterol, provide you with low-glycemic index carbs for energy, and high in soluble fiber. Oats are great in energy bars or protein shakes for added density and carbs.
High in lycopene, which prevents cancer. The lycopene in tomato paste is 4 times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes. Have pizza or pasta with tomato sauce & olive oil post strength training.
Too many benefits to name! Vitamin C to fight diseases, magnesium to lower blood pressure, anti-oxidant beta-carotenes, etc. Quit drinking processed orange juice which often has added sugars. Eat oranges or squeeze your own orange juice.
Pectin in apples helps weight loss by increasing satiety. Apples are also the strongest antioxidiant after cranberries (eat the peels). Unfortunately apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Go organic!
Their huge vitamin A content improves eye-health, especially night vision. Carrots are also rich in fiber, low calorie and taste good, even raw. Try carrot juice with ginger and blood oranges. To die for!
Drinking prevents water retention, helps muscle recovery and prevents dehydration from strength training.
20. Green Tea
Strong antioxidant and natural diuretic. Green tea also speeds up fat loss, prevents cancer and improves blood sugar & circulation. Drink green tea throughout the day.
21. Protein Shakes
As mensfitness.com reports, “A protein and carbohydrate recovery shake should be the cornerstone of your muscle building program. Drinking a shake consisting of protein and carbohydrates before your workout sets the stage for optimal muscle growth and nutrient usage. Research from several universities shows that this power nutrition combination puts the breaks on excess muscle breakdown, jacks up protein synthesis, rapidly refills muscle energy stores, increases blood flow to your muscles, regulates creatine transport, and improves your body’s ability to process and use carbohydrates for hours following your workout.”
Chickpeas can be added to any sautee or salad, made into hummus, or used as a substitute to rice. This versatile bean contains 45 grams of slow acting carbs per cup along with 12 grams of fiber.
23. Roast Chicken
Consider this your emergency muscle food. Available at almost all supermarkets rotisserie chickens provide you with readily available ready-to-eat high quality protein. Have one or two breast or mix and match light and dark meat whichever fits your diet.
Though we love the Paleo lifestyle, lentils are outlawed, which we simply can’t get behind. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of slow digesting quality carbohydrates. They are also very inexpensive and have a long shelf-life making them a perfect muscle-building food.
25. Fermented Dairy Products
We know, fermented anything sounds odd. But don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Fermented dairy products like kefir are a little known muscle building magic bullet. If you usually use water in your shakes, 1 cup of kefir will add 150 calories to your diet. Not to mention kefit contains probiotics, which have their own nutrient importance.
Putting it All Together
Eat proteins, veggies, fruits, and fats every 3 hours. 2 cups water with each meal. Carbs post workout only. Junk food 10% of the time. Get stronger in the meanwhile and you’ll build muscle & lose fat. You can do it! #theUBPway