Your diet plays a key role in physique transformation, fat loss, muscle growth and health. Research has shown we are creatures of habit, most of us eat the same 10 – 20 foods. Make the 10 foods listed in this article part of your core nutrition plan for a long-lasting physique transformation!
Steak packs numerous health benefits, known as the muscle building meat, steak has an amazing amino acid protein profile. Furthermore, it contains key nutrients such as Vitamin B12, B3, B6, Iron, Zinc, Selenium and various other vitamins and minerals.
Unprocessed steak (especially grassfed) contains a perfect amount of healthy fats, including healthy saturated fat and omega 3s. Meats such as Steak also contain creatine, the world’s number 1 muscle building and high-intensity supplement. Finally, steak is obviously high in protein and has virtually zero carbohydrates which may be perfect if you are trying to rapidly drop some bodyfat.
2. DARK BERRIES
Often termed as a superfood, these low-calorie fruits are extremely nutrient dense. For example, a whole cup of blueberries equals only around 80 calories and contains a high amount of fiber (5g), vitamin C, K and manganese.
Although berries won’t help you pack on pounds of muscle, they are a great transformation tool due to their high fiber content, low-calorie content and being about 85% water they keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Berries also top the list as a health food, being incredibly high in disease fighting antioxidants. This helps protect our body from cell damage and free radicals that can cause disease such as cancer. They can also help with cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease.
Avocados are a unique food and despite popular belief, they are classed as a fruit and not a vegetable. As with other fruits, avocados are extremely nutrient dense, one serving provides high amounts of Vitamin K, C, B5, B6 and E. They also contain key minerals, such as folate, potassium and smaller amounts of magnesium and manganese, copper, iron and zinc.
The real benefit of avocados is its healthy fat content. They are full of monounsaturated fat, which is key fat for fighting heart disease. Similarly to olive oil, these fats can help reduce inflammation and may have beneficial effects on markers of cancer.
For your physique transformation, avocados are packed with fiber and slow releasing energy from the fats. One study found people who ate avocados felt 23% more satiated and had 28% less desire to eat over the next 5 hours.
A protein packed superfood that has been successfully used by bodybuilders for decades. They are loaded with nutrients, including Vitamin A, B5, B12, B2, D, Folate, Phosphorus and Selenium.
Although they are high in cholesterol they do not negatively affect your blood / body’s cholesterol levels, in fact they will help improve healthy HDL levels. Eggs also have an exclusive amino acid profile and one of the best forms of protein on the market, helping you achieve both muscle growth and fat loss. They contain all 8 Essential Amino Acids (EAA).
They are also carb free and can be high in omega 3 fats if you buy the right type. This powerful combo is a great strategy for rapid fat loss. Studies have shown that the addition of eggs for breakfast helped increase fullness and participants ate less total calories throughout the day.
Nuts are a staple snack for any bodybuilder, packed with fiber, protein, healthy fat, vitamin E, Manganese and Magnesium. A snacked size serving (1oz) contains around 150 calories, although about 25% of these calories aren’t actually absorbed as nut’s are very hard for the body to digest.
Apart from assisting with many aspects of health and disease risk, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, metabolic disease, diabetes and blood glucose levels, they can help you lose weight.
One study found a 62% greater weight loss in the nut group compared to complex carb group. Other studies have found those that consume nuts have less hunger and eat less total calories throughout the day!
Every nut contains different health properties, the nutrient contain also differs. For this reason, you should vary your nut intake and rotate sources.
6. EZEKIEL BREAD
Although bread and carbohydrates have received a bad rap in recent years a targeted carbohydrate intake will actually help your transformation. While sources such as vegetables, fruit and whole foods such as potato should make up the majority of your carb sources, if you ever want bread, Ezekiel bread is the best choice.
Free from sugar, it is made from organic sprouted whole grain. This sprouting process changes the genetic makeup, eliminating the health issues associated with regular grain use. Being made up of 6 – 7 healthy grains and legumes, the high fiber content and relatively low energy density (when compared to typical carb sources) makes Ezekiel bread a good alternative to processed bread or carbs, which can slow down or half your transformation.
People often overlook Kale as a great nutritious vege choice. It has plenty of nutrients and is often a better more nutrient dense choice than other greens such as lettuce or other salad leaves.
100g of Kale sits at around 40 calories, making it perfect for your transformation diet, aiding in satiety and bulking out your meals. Furthermore, it’s packed full of nutrients, including a ton of Vitamin K, twice the RDA of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
Kale also contains bioactive compounds such as sulforophane which have been used to fight cancer in lab based animal experiments.
8. COCONUT OIL
Coconut Oil has received a lot of press in recent years, being famed as a superfood. Coconut oil has plenty of benefits, especially for the bodybuilder who wants to optimize fuel utilization and energy levels. This occurs due to it’s amazing concentration of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT).
MCT’s are unlike any other fat, they are rapidly metabolized and provide quick energy. They are less likely to be stored as body fat, they also provide many health benefits, currently being used for neurological diseases and even cancer studies. For weight loss it can also improve satiety, helping you eat less and provide more energy for better workouts.
As you can see the high MCT content of coconut oil will help you burn fat while providing energy for your workouts to aid in muscle growth!
Quinoa is a rice like carb source and probably in the top 5 of the world’s superfoods. It’s ignored by most bodybuilders who still stick with old school carb sources such as rice. While these are fine choices, the question remains why would you not pick quinoa when it has more protein, nutrients and health benefits?
Pronounced KEEN-WAH (not QUIN-OA), 1 cup provides 38g carb (less than rice), 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and numerous vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and potassium. It is also non-GMO, gluten free and grown organically.
For weight loss, it has a very high fiber content, more protein, a low energy density and glycemic index when compared to most other carb sources. This makes it one of, if not the best starchy carb sources in the world!
Cinnamon is a popular spice within the fitness and bodybuilding world. It has many health, physique and metabolic benefits, making it a perfect transformation food. It is also known as a powerful medical food, helping with many serious health issues and diseases.
It contains a powerhouse of antioxidants such as polyphenols and even outranks well know antioxidants such as garlic. It also helps with inflammation a key health issue that can also decrease aspects of your physique such as insulin function.
Most important for your physique, cinnamon can aid insulin sensitivity! This helps you utilize fuel better and store less fat from meals. By improving insulin function you will improve your workout performance and shuttle carbohydrates into muscle, away from fat stores.
Hopefully you’ve picked up a few new items for the grocery list. As always, basing your diet on whole, single ingredient foods will help maximize long term health and physique enhancement. As you may have noticed, the foods topping the list ALL have major health benefits, providing many key minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.