The grocery store can be a wholly confusing place. Between the florescent lighting, crowds, thousands of packaged foods, and maintaining a budget, is it any wonder than people at the grocery store can give up and pick whatever seems easiest? But not you. You've reached your “I've had it!” moment and decided to dedicate yourself to improving your body. You've decided to go hard at the gym and earn that hard body… and that requires putting down the ham at the grocery store, too.
See, when people make the decision to improve their health, some will totally clean up their diets. Others will spend too much time in the gym and simply attempt to eat “better.” While commendable, this loose commitment can be a fitness killer: while improvement is always a worthy goal, without a solid knowledge base and a firm promise to yourself to do your best, it's a recipe for failure. You don't know what the best foods are or what to cut. While you can follow If It Fits Your Macros principles the best way to reach speedy results is to prioritize putting whole, nutritious foods in your face-hole.
If you're craving: processed deli meat, fatty ground beef, chicken with skin Deli meat is known for being made up of low-quality fillers to keep prices low and chemicals to keep it from going bad during the months it sits in the case. Most of the tastiest varieties derive their taste from added sugars and sodium, like “honey roasted” or “maple smoked” flavors.
Eat this: Steak is full of saturated fats that are shockingly okay while you're bulking. If you train with weights and eat a diet heavier in fat, you'll have more testosterone available to lift heavy. Be careful to consume only 15 percent of your total calories as saturated fats, and avoid all trans fats. Oysters are an awesome happy hour snack. These salty mollusks are a little on the pricey side, but they're a great splurge if you want some zinc in your diet. Zinc sparks hormone production, and studies show that giving athletes a zinc supplement for four weeks prior to exhaustive exercise increased their testosterone post-workout. Other foods high in zinc are chicken liver and pumpkin seeds. Chicken with skin adds extra fat and no extra nutrients. A better option to pump up the flavor on your lean bird is to marinate your skinless chicken breast or cutlets in a low-sugar marinade for a budget-friendly protein bomb.
If you're craving: ice cream, candy bars
Eat this: Greek yogurt has a higher proportion of protein than other kinds of yogurt, because it's made by straining the extra liquid and carbs from them. It also has a large amount of casein, a “slow-digesting” protein that slowly releases amino acids into the blood. Loading up on Greek yogurt usually increases protein synthesis by 22 percent during the night. Avoid the flavored iterations, which include buckets of unneeded sugar, and sweeten with a tablespoon of natural honey instead. We've been told that the Promax LS Chocolate Almond bars taste almost exactly like Payday candy bars, but with 18 grams of protein to keep you full, no artificial sweeteners, gelatin, or maltitol. Same story with our Promax LS Chocolate Mint bars and a certain well-known slim cookie only sold by little girls' clubs.
If you're craving: red wine, orange juice Drinking your calories rarely leaves you sated, and never provides the nutrients and fiber found in the whole, natural ingredients. OJ is made with tons of added sugars that are less than optimal for your skin or your dream body.
Eat this: The skin in red grapes contain resveratrol, which is a chemical that act as antioxidants in the body. They inhibit the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, which is important for anyone wanting to increase lean mass. While found in red wine, the resveratrol is much higher in whole grapes. Grapefruit is the perfect vehicle for some vitamin C. It burns fat, improves function of the metabolic system, and reduces levels of insulin, regulating fat metabolism. Half a grapefruit has 40 mg of vitamin C. Adults recommended to have 65 – 90 mg per day, with the upper limit of 2000 mg/day.
If you're craving: time to go to the gym and don't want to cook
Eat this: One of our many Promax bars, which are carefully formulated with simple, nutritious ingredients and plenty of protein to keep you full between workouts.