Putting together a solid diet to keep you lean and strong, without losing essential calories for energy can be tough. You don’t want to skip important meals that will keep your body properly fueled. Yet, you also don’t want to overeat to the point where you feel sluggish or put on unnecessary pounds that will only slow you down physically.
As a martial artist, you need to find the perfect balance of food that will speed up your metabolism, build muscle and help you feel energized. With the sample diet we’ve provided, you should be able to meet all these goals and be physically at your best!
When following this sample diet, you want to think about these rules:
- Consume plenty of water
- Take a good multivitamin each day
- Take extra vitamin C and B supplements each day
- Ingest at least 20 grams of protein per meal (30 grams is preferable)
The key to this diet is eating every three hours in order to stay lean, and feel full and alert. If your body isn’t receiving some type of “fuel” every few hours on a consistent basis, it will go into “starvation mode” and store carbohydrates as body fat, rather than using the carbohydrates for energy. If you are eating every three hours while remaining active, your body will have no need to store fat and won’t enter this “starvation mode.”
7:00am-Wake Up and Begin the Day!
Immediately after waking up, consume a protein shake. You can make your own or purchase a RTD (Ready To Drink) shake.
You will need to consume at least 20 grams of protein from your protein shake, 15 grams or less of carbs and under 5 grams of fat (under 2 grams of saturated, if any saturated fat at all.) Try to follow these rules for carbs and fat throughout the day.
10:00am-Ready for Breakfast?
You will be hungry for some real food right now, but you need to keep it clean and lean!
Here’s a breakfast sample for you to try:
- 2 large eggs, with 1 to 2 cups of egg whites, mixed with cheese and some toast (preferably wheat.)
- If you like to drink juice, only do so with breakfast. Try not to consume any juice throughout the rest of the day.
For nutritional reference of other breakfast foods:
- 6 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fat in one egg.
- 3 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of carbs and 3.3 grams of total fat, 1.1 grams of saturated fat in one slice of bacon.
- 7 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of carbs and 9 grams of total fat and 6 grams of saturated fat in one slice of cheese
- 25 grams of protein, 0 carbs and 5 grams of fat in one can of tuna.
1:00pm-Fuel Up With Lunch!
- Tuna on whole wheat with light mayo and one slice of cheese.
- Some pretzels and piece of fruit on the side if desired.
As you progress towards the evening, limit any sugar or “fast acting” carbs that your body intakes. ANY type of sugar will spike your insulin levels and contribute to fat accumulation, especially around the stomach. You want to make sure you are consuming good carbs, like sweet potatoes or brown rice and remember to avoid sugars.
4:00pm-It’s Almost Time For Dinner
Afternoon Snack Sample:
- Cottage cheese
- Raw honey
- You can also repeat your 10am meal here and put the eggs and egg whites on a low-carb tortilla
Don’t forget to reach your 20 grams of protein and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day!
6:00pm-It’s Dinner Time!
- Lean meat (examples: fish, chicken)
If you happen to be out and cannot cook your own dinner, make sure you continue to stay lean and follow the format above, while limiting any sauce. Always eat a salad and ask for the dressing on the side. Make sure to pick foods that are not fried. This meal is extremely important if you want to stay lean!
Late Night Snack Sample:
- Rice cakes or another low carb, low fat snack.Low fat snack
Remember, protein cannot turn to fat! If you eat a piece of string cheese as a snack and it has low carbs, low fat and higher protein, it’s okay!
By following the sample diet we’ve laid out above and following the rules that go along with it, you should be able to stay lean and fueled, without packing on those extra pounds of fat! We also have a great workout plan that can be followed in unison with this diet!