Food doesn’t have to be the enemy of fitness. With these 10 essential grocery store items, you can turn your weekly food shop into a killer fat-burning arsenal.
All hail humble oatmeal, food of champions, fuel of heroes! It’s easy to prepare, easy to measure, and incredibly versatile. It’s also perfect for weight loss. Try combining a small spoonful with a protein shake for a filling alternative to a full meal. It’s got carbs, protein and fiber, it’ll keep you full for hours – and it’s less than 300kcals.
If you’re sick of eating it pre-workout, try combining it with spices and an egg white. Make thick patties, and fry them in low-cal spray. Voila! Delicious and lean turkey burgers.
2. Peanut Butter
For fitness fanatics, temptation is everywhere – girls in yoga pants, post-workout bathroom selfies, and dessert. Even if you’re strong enough to resist the all-girl glute-workout session next door (their deadlifts aren’t the only stiff thing around, AM I RIGHT?!), the allure of sweet treats can be too much.
Thankfully, peanut butter can satisfy those cravings, and provide a high-protein alternative to a candy bar. A tablespoon – on its own, or blended with a protein shake – is less than 100kcals, and loaded with essential and healthy fats.
3. Caffeine Tablets
Caffeine is a bro’s best friend. It helps us power through our bench sessions, curl sessions, and bench-and-curl sessions – and girls really dig the sweaty, shaky, dead-eyed-intense-staring vibe it helps us give off.
Next time you need to get a buzz-on, avoid pounding down a dozen cans of Monster, and find yourself some caffeine tablets. They’re cheaper, easier to take, and contain virtually no calories.
Sugar is to dieting what Miley Cyrus is to music – shameful, depressing and completely unacceptable, but my God you want some of it. Thankfully, sweetener has your sweet fix cravings covered. Add it to drinks, mix into sauces and use it wherever you’d normally use sugar.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is packed full of fat-burning compounds known as catechins. Most pre-workouts come loaded with the stuff, but there’s no need to shell-out $100 for something with Rich Gaspari’s ugly face plastered all over it – head straight for the source.
You’ll get the most benefit from brewing Green Tea for as long as possible. Unfortunately, this also creates a strong bitter taste. If you’re yet to deaden your taste-buds from too many doses of NO-Xplode, you can combat this by dissolving sweetener in the tea, and chilling it in the fridge. You can also increase the fat-burning power of Green Tea by supplementing with Fish Oil, bringing us neatly onto…
6. Tuna Steaks
Being lean and ripped requires some sacrifices. Eating fish is one of those sacrifices. Tuna is rich in brain-boosting fatty acids, low in calories and super-high in protein. Frozen steak is versatile and affordable; and if you close your eyes, you can almost pretend you’re eating an actual beef steak. Soft, fishy beef.
What do tuna, rice, pasta and greens all have in common? They’re lean, sure, and full of essential nutrients – but that’s not what I was going for. There’s a white elephant in the room, Bro, and it tastes like crap. As much as we try to convince ourselves that our super-lean diets taste so good man, in reality, we’re all choking down our tuna steak with pinched noses and watering eyes.
Thankfully, spices can save the day. Chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and co. all pack a serious flavor punch, without many calories. They can be used to improve flavor, or completely obliterate it. Spices also have a mildly thermogenic effect, and when it comes to weight loss, every little helps.
There’s more to protein than just chicken breast. Turkey is a fantastic alternative, and an enjoyable way to keep hold of your muscle mass during a diet. From the delicious burgers I mentioned earlier, to low-cal stir-frys, chilis and pasta dishes, turkey can do it all. Apart from dessert.
9. Green Vegetables
I’m firmly of the belief that green vegetables are the worst type of vegetable. Beans, broccoli, spinach and cabbage are the culinary equivalent of a hard kick in the crotch – a cruel joke at your expense, leaving you with a sick feeling in your gut.
Despite this, green veg is really good for you – low in calories, high in nutrition, and because the taste will make you ill, a fantastic appetite suppressant. Best of all, they’re extremely high in fiber; and there’s nothing cooler than a bro with regular bowels. Bro tip: if you aren’t man enough to tuck into a green salad, blend the crap out of your veg, and chug it back like a protein shake.
Hate to say it bro, but your killer diet of chicken breast, brown rice, chicken breast and brown rice isn’t all that balanced. You’ve got your protein sure, and you’ve got your carbs – but what about vitamins and minerals?
Losing weight is tough on the body, and without the right vitamins to help repair the damage you’re causing, you’ll end up injured, ill and out of action. To avoid being ripped, lean and crippled by rickets, find yourself a multivitamin.
Don’t cheap-out and buy a crap $1 tub – find one that contains a complete profile of vitamins and minerals.
See you next time, bros,
Alex Nerney – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
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