My last blog on the weightlifting diet focused on eating the right carbs. In a nutshell, ditch the bread, pasta, rice, and white potatoes in favor of more nutrient dense and high fiber foods. Sweet potatoes, squash, zucchinis, carrots and other vegetables like these are much healthier because they contain way more nutrients, are more filling because they contain more fiber. They also don’t lead to overeating like the “lazy” carbs do. It is hard to get fat on zucchinis and carrots. It is easy to get fat on bread and pasta.
The weightlifting diet also needs to contain protein. Just like the carbohydrate choices, your protein choices should be nutrient dense. Eggs are a great protein source. Better if you eat the whole egg including the yoke, even better if it comes from a free range chicken and not one that lives in a cage and eats only chicken feed. Chickens that get plenty of exercise and eat a natural diet have a higher percentage of a omega 3 fat versus omega 6 and this helps a hard-traning lifter fight inflammation.
Other nutrient dense protein sources are organ meat and wild game. Organ meats like liver have some of the densest nutrition of any food and I recommend eating liver at least every couple of weeks. We had liver once a week the whole time I was growing up, it’s not my favorite but it certainly didn’t kill me to eat it. Any wild game is usually more nutritious than what you buy at the supermarket. It is almost always lower fat and the fat it does have will contain a healthier ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats. Venison, pheasant, quail, and rabbit are all healthy and tasty.
The protein sources that are probably the least healthy are the ones most of us like the best, higher fat cuts of beef and convenient sliced lunch meats. A good corn fed ribeye steak is probably the tastiest piece of meat you can eat. It is also one of the least healthy. Not only does it have more fat than it should, the ratio of a omega three to omega six is not the greatest. It’s probably better for you than highly processed meats like most sandwich meats, but is being healthier than salami and pepperoni really enough to recommend it?
Protein is important for the hard training lifter, and should include a variety of protein sources. But cutting down on the lunch meats like pepperoni and salami and eating more wild game and organ meats instead will make you a healthier person and a better weightlifter.