Some guys love spending time in the kitchen. If you’re not one of them, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to grow pudgy on a diet of pizza and Ramen. Use these eating hacks to feast smart all day with minimal effort.
1. Spike Your Yoghurt with Extra Whey
Getting the 30 grams of protein you need at breakfast to maximise muscle building is tough if you don’t want to bother with eggs and sausage.
But here’s how you can do it in less time than it would take you to hit the drive-thru: stir half a scoop of vanilla protein powder into a cup of plain Greek yoghurt. Toss in some frozen berries, sliced almonds and ground flaxseeds for a delicious and epically nutritious first meal of the day.
2. Try This 3-Ingredient Lunch
No time to pack a healthy lunch? No problem. Swing by the supermarket and pick up three items: a bag of baby spinach, a pouch of salmon and a bottle of vinaigrette dressing. Toss them in a bowl, mix and enjoy. The satisfying salad will give you a whopping 38 grams of protein, plus a helping of nutrient-dense greens.
3. Have a Hearty Shake—for Dinner
Most guys think of smoothies as breakfast fare. But shakes can be hearty enough for dinner, and they take all of 3 minutes to make. Your secret ingredient: protein powder that includes both whey and casein. Casein expands as you blend it, leaving you with a thicker, bigger smoothie that will keep you satisfied for longer.
- 1-2 cups water
- 2 scoops whey/casein protein blend (or reduce to 1 scoop for a smaller shake)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds (or substitute ground flaxseeds or hemp seeds)
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 large handful of baby spinach
- ¼ cup walnuts (or substitute almonds or pecans)
- ½ tsp maca
- 3-4 ice cubes
4. Whip Up the World’s Easiest Dinner
Dinner doesn’t get much easier than with these eating hacks. Shrimp-fried rice can be tossed together faster than Ramen. You can make it all in one pan and you won’t have to chop anything. And unlike Ramen, you’ll get a hefty dose of protein and vegetables.
What you’ll need:
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ cup pre-diced onions
- ½ cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 egg
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked.
- 110 grams pre-cooked shrimp
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
How to make it:
In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add sesame oil and onions. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mixed vegetables, stirring until vegetables are no longer frozen. Move vegetables to one side of the pan and crack egg into the open space in the pan. Quickly scramble. Add remaining ingredients, stirring frequently until shrimp is heated through.
5. Avoid All Processed Foods
Processed foods tend to ramp up the calories and skim off the nutrients—so a blanket ban can net you healthier eating with little effort. Plenty of studies have shown that scoffing ultra-processed foods can put you at higher risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks.
READ MORE: Tea or Coffee: Which Morning Brew is Best?
6. Brush Your Teeth After Meals
Taking time to scrub your pearly whites after you eat can help nix cravings for an after-meal treat. Peppermint—an ingredient in most bog standard pastes—has been shown to suppress your appetite, making it less likely that you’ll want to reach for a second helping.
7. Marinate Ahead of Time
Making your dishes more flavourful doesn’t require hours of prep. Simply letting your proteins have a soak in a delicious marinade can slash your cooking times down substantially. We like using a braai spice mix, olive oil and a bit of lemon juice to breathe life into even the most tired chicken breasts. (Just let it rest in a cover container for around 30 minutes in the fridge.) Lamb and beef can also benefit from a few minutes of marination.
8. Swap Out Your Snacks
And, no, we don’t just mean trading out your unhealthy fare for healthier bites. Once you’ve made the switch, make sure to sub in new options every day. So if yesterday’s snack was a bag of cashews, try a trail mix of sunflower seeds and raisins or feast on a bowl of fruit instead. Research has shown that having a variety of snacks at your disposal can promote weight loss, making you less likely to crave the emotional high associated with unwrapping a chocolate bar.