Never be hungry
Eating small meals every 2-3 hours fuels your metabolism. Giving up food for long periods of time plunges your body into panic mode, causing it to store food as fat. Flood your system with a constant supply of nutrients to help you burn fat and build muscle throughout the day.
Have protein at every meal
Protein is vital for building muscle, which in itself is important and helps burn fat – every extra pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day. Every day eat at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight. For best results, vary your sources by eating fish, beef, poultry, legumes, nuts, eggs, and dairy products.
Never be thirsty
Water carries nutrients to every part of your body, including your muscles. Dehydration prevents you from exercising at your aerobic and anaerobic peak, making you less efficient at building muscle and burning fat. Drink 2-3 liters a day – more if you are training hard.
Get on carbs at the right time
Avoid carbs at your own risk. They provide energy to fuel exercise and refuel later. Eat the majority of your carbs before lunch to stay lean, then snack on slowly digesting carbs, such as whole wheat bread, 40-60 minutes before training, and fast digesting carbs, such as a potato directly after exercise to refuel.
Green tea is a well established fat burner, but if you are a traditionalist, black tea is also effective. Research in the journal Psychopharmacology found that 4 cups of black tea reduced cortisol levels by 50%. This hormone is responsible for cannibalizing muscle and weight gain. Have as much sugar-free tea as you can.
Don’t Avoid Fat
Choose your fats wisely and replace trans and saturated fats, such as those found in animal and take-out products, with unsaturated fats found in plant products. The latter will fuel weight loss, while the former will damage them.
Eat before and after each workout
If you exercise, the most important meal of the day isn’t breakfast – it’s the before and after exercise meals. Always eat a meal that is high in protein and carbohydrate at these times when you will take one step forward and two steps back. For best results, frame your workouts with a whey protein shake to get the fastest delivery of essential nutrients to your muscles.
Eat lots of fiber
Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer and provides your muscles with a long-lasting release of energy and nutrients. The best weight loss and muscle building plan is to replace fiber with carbohydrates. Good sources include vegetables, fruits, brown rice, and lentils.
Have a cheat day
Plan a day each week to eat your favorite foods and you won’t feel like you’re constantly starving yourself. It’s a strategy competitive bodybuilders use that will make you more likely to stick with healthy eating in the long run.
Eat before going to bed
This non-dietetic has obtained a reprieve. During sleeping, your body steals amino acids from your muscles (your fat burners) to fuel your brain in the absence of food. Eat slow-digesting protein like peanut butter, cottage cheese, or a casein-based protein powder to keep your body on top of nutrients and boost your metabolism.