Foods For Your Summer Bod

It’s about that time of year again! Beach and pool season. Some of us are a bit more conscious of how we look out there, so this is for you. I gave these guidelines to my sister two weeks ago and she is down five pounds, even with two cheat days.

In this article we will cover:

  • The guide I used to help me get in shape (for those a bit more serious about fitness)
  • About how much of each macro to eat
  • Things I eat regularly when I’m dieting

To get the most out of this post, you’ll need to be aware of nutrition labels because we will be talking about the three macronutrients (macros): protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

The Guide

Almost all the things I use in my daily fitness practice came from the most definitive and comprehensive guide I have ever read to getting ripped: Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews

For women, he has also written Thinner Leaner Stronger.

I have written about Michael Matthews in the past and even posted pictures of my own transformation from his advice. If you’re serious about getting very fit. Read his book. Either way, this list of foods will help you out.

Protein

You want to consume about your body weight in grams of protein each day. More if you workout often. The same or less if you don’t. I shoot for 1.2x my body weight in grams of protein daily because I exercise 4-5 times a week and I don’t want my body to burn muscle when I work out.

Chicken Breast – The crux of your diet is chicken breast. It’s cheap. It’s everywhere. It’s filling. And it’s macros are beautiful. One serving of chicken breast (4 ounces) provides 25g of protein, 0 carbs, and 4 grams of fat. I do 6 ounces of chicken breast with most every meal. It’s the most bang for your buck, by far.

Egg Whites – Egg whites are crucial because their macro makeup is pure protein. Before a workout I do 3/4 cup of egg whites and a bowl of cereal. 3/4 cup of pure egg whites gets you 20g of protein, 0 carbs, and 0 fats. Pure PROTEIN.

Greek Yogurt – I’m talking plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. Some people can handle it’s tart taste and others can’t. Don’t go loading it up with crap to make it taste better though or it defeats its purpose.

Whey Powder – Personally, I don’t like to use a lot of supplements, pills, or powders at all. But whey powder is a helpful addition to any diet. Generally take a serving post-workout. You can also do a little bit before your workout to curb cannibalizing your muscle mass.  I recommend Gold Standard Whey. Particularly, chocolate and the one with no artificial sweeteners. I like this brand because it’s a great bang for your buck, it tastes awesome, and it mixes with ANYTHING. You can mix this with your Greek yogurt to give it flavor. Plain oatmeal (highly recommend). Cereal. Water. You name it.

A Note On Ground Meats – As a source of protein, I would avoid ground meats whenever possible. There is usually a bit of protein in there but the fat content can be danger close to the protein content. (ground turkey breast is the exception).

Carbs

Carbs are your energy source. You need them. Plain and simple. Try to get around your body weight in grams of carbs if you want to lose weight. A little less if you are trying to shred. I do 1x my body weight in grams while cutting. I shoot for a little more than body weight for maintain and bulking.

Brown Rice – Slow burning, filling, goes with everything. I top it with soy sauce or hot sauce.

Broccoli – The awesome thing about broccoli is it’s basically a space filler. One cup of broccoli is about 5 grams of carbs. I put broccoli with everything to help me from getting hungry again too quickly. Pickles fall in the same boat! I pair one pickle spear with most of my meals and don’t even count them. Gotta fill that empty space.

Black Eyed Peas – These are some of the best balanced carbs you can get. High in both Protein and Carbs. And filling.

Kidney Beans/Black Beans – A little more carbs and a little less protein than black eyed peas.

Special K Protein – As far as cereals go, I usually try to avoid them. They burn fast and leave you hungry. This brand has the best macro makeup I’ve seen in a cereal. 1 serving (32g) has 10g of protein, 19g of carbs, and 1g of fat.

Oatmeal – Great breakfast option. Again, don’t load it up with crap. Avoid instant oatmeal. Anything that says “instant” has been processed to the point it will burn as soon as you consume it leaving you hungry in ten minutes.

A Note On Fruits – I didn’t list fruits in here because, frankly, I don’t eat many fruits. Fruits have all kinds of good stuff for you in them but they are basically a mass of sugar. Natural or not, those carbs count, and they burn up quickly. I prefer slow burning carbs, so I don’t eat a lot of fruits.

Fats

Let’s get one thing straight. A gram of fat is a gram of fat. Talk about healthy fats or unhealthy fats all you want they do the same thing to your body – fatten it up. Try to get about 30% or less of your body weight in grams of fat. I do .2x my body weight in grams of fat. It’s actually really easy. You can get diet and non-fat versions of everything. A lot of natural things come with fat already so you don’t really have to supplement this much. Oatmeal, rice, and most carbs have fat in them already. You can get a decent amount of fats from the meats you eat as well.

Whole Eggs – I didn’t put whole eggs under protein because they have such a heavy fat content. It’s good for you in moderation, but the yolk is basically pure cholesterol.

Almond Milk – You can get this sweetened or unsweetend, (I generally go unsweetened) up to you. Almond milk is how i get my fats. It goes great in my cereal and if I have fats left over at the end of a day I just have a glass of almond milk.

A Note on Nuts – Nuts are dangerous. People love to go on and on about “healthy fats” and whatnot. Again, everything in moderation. A single handful of mixed-nuts packs a devastating punch in grams of fat, “healthy” or not. Look at the labels.

Summary

I exercise 4-5 times a week. If you do not, you could probably eat a little less than me. This is how I arrange my diet when cutting weight:

  • Grams of Protein – 1.2x my body weight
  • Grams of Carbs – .1x my body weight
  • Grams of Fats – .2x my body weight

Again, I’ve gotten almost all of my guidance from Michael Matthew’s book, Bigger Leaner Stronger.

Happy Summer!

 

About the author

Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan. I really enjoy writing. I wrote a couple novels (The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series) and now I blog frequently on a bunch of different websites. I also enjoy lifting heavy things and and writing about it.

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