Cook (or order):
1/2 c oatmeal with 1/2 c berries (fresh or frozen)
1 c fat-free milk
Add a multivitamin/mineral supplement like Centrum Performance, or any other brand that supplies 100 percent of the Daily Values for the majority of vitamins and minerals listed on the part of its label marked "Supplement Facts."
Why this meal: The eggs and milk supply some of the highest-quality protein available. Oatmeal is a slow-burning carbohydrate, providing long-lasting energy and heart-protective soluble fiber. (It's also one of our 5-Belly Filling Foods.) Berries contain some of the most potent antioxidants we know of, helping your body's cells recover from the damage caused by stress, pollution, and other unavoidable indignities.
What you can eat instead: In place of the oatmeal and berries, you can substitute a high-fiber breakfast cereal with raisins and an orange. Cottage cheese or low-fat turkey-sausage links can fill in for the eggs.
Drink a glass of water.
Why water: Your muscles are about 75 percent water, and even a small level of dehydration impairs your physical performance. In addition, dehydration can cloud your thinking (if you don't notice, you can bet your boss will) and even make you more vulnerable to colds and flu.
What you can drink instead: Your body can get the water it needs from anything wet, whether it's Mountain Dew or iceberg lettuce. But water, with no calories to account for, is the easiest on the waistline.
Make a salad with:
1 can tuna (use white or light water-packed tuna and drain the water)
2 c salad (you can mix your own or buy some premixed; dark-green lettuce, carrots, chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions are all good ingredients to throw in)
1 Tbsp olive oil in whatever dressing you choose (a tablespoon of olive oil contains 14 grams of fat, so if you're using a bottled dressing containing olive oil, use whatever serving size gets you to 14 grams)
1 medium orange (eaten separately or as part of the salad)
Why this meal: Tuna is a terrific form of protein. Dark-green vegetables are stocked with magnesium, which is crucial to muscle function and testosterone production. The other vegetables provide a mix of fiber (great for appetite control) and antioxidants. Olive oil is mostly a monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the "good" one) and lower triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). The orange gives you a nice splash of vitamin C, which can help lower your body's production of cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down muscle. Want to indulge your food cravings without the guilt? Check out our
What you can eat instead: You can substitute any type of meat-lean sirloin steak, for example-for the tuna on the salad. Or, if you get sick of the greens, try sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle basil on top, and top it with a tablespoon of olive oil. Instead of an orange, you can have some cantaloupe, although it has just half the vitamin C. Some of the best vegetable sources are sweet red pepper, broccoli, and spinach.
Make a sandwich with:
3 oz sliced chicken or turkey breast
2 slices whole grain bread
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
Add some lettuce, sliced green bell peppers, onions, or tomatoes
Why this meal: Chicken and turkey are both great protein sources. Whole grains provide slow-burning carbohydrates, helping you feel full longer. There's nothing good to say about mayonnaise, except that it adds some rich flavor.
What you can eat instead: Any kind of lean deli meat will be fine in a sandwich. If you don't want to eat a sandwich, try a can of soup-minestrone, for example-and add 3 ounces of turkey or chicken.
Make a shake or smoothie with:
1 scoop whey protein powder (that's about 20 grams)*
1 c fat-free milk
1 c fresh or frozen berries
1 tsp flaxseed oil*
1 tsp olive oil
Why this meal: Whey protein (derived from milk products) is considered the gold-standard muscle-building supplement. It ranks very high in "bioavailability, " a measure of how easily your body can use it. (If a protein isn't bioavailable, your body sends it into the municipal sewer system.) Just about any whey protein powder will do. The two oils give you a combination of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which your body uses easily for energy, and which also helps your brain to think clearly.
What you can eat instead: If you don't have access to a blender and a refrigerator at 4:30, substitute a cup of skim milk, an apple, and either an ounce of nuts or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. You'll be light on protein, so you'll need to add an ounce of chicken or turkey breast to the previous meal and an ounce of salmon to the next one.
A second option is to mix a packet of a meal-replacement powder (such as Met-Rx, Myoplex, or Grow!) with water and olive oil. All you need for that is a shaker cup, which you can get wherever you buy the protein powder. That will give you a little more protein than you need, so you can cut your postworkout shake to 1 scoop.
Workout: Hit the gym.
Drink water throughout.
Make a shake or smoothie with:
1 1/2 scoops whey protein powder (about 30 grams)
1 c fruit juice
Why this meal: After a hard workout, your body is in a catabolic state, meaning that it's breaking down muscle tissue. But with an immediate infusion of carbohydrates and protein, you can stop catabolism and start the reverse process, anabolism, better known as muscle-building. The fruit juice supplies the carbohydrates, while the whey protein takes care of the rest.
What you can eat instead: You can try other liquid meals with alternative protein sources-yogurt, tofu, powdered milk. But most guys quickly discover that the best substitute for a protein shake is - a protein shake.
Cook or order:
3 oz salmon, grilled or poached
1 small baked sweet potato
2 c salad (with the same ingredients you used before)
1 Tbsp olive oil in dressing of your choice
Why this meal: Salmon gives you two great nutrients: protein and polyunsaturated fat. Since it's not a predator fish, it's also relatively safe from mercury. The baked sweet potato is very high in potassium, which helps your body use protein for muscle, among many other functions.
What you can eat instead: Any lean meat will work here-steak, pork loin, chicken breast. If sweet potatoes give you too many baby-food flashbacks, try a banana, grapefruit, or dried apricots.