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Winter Clean Eating Meal Plan

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Clean Eating

As the colder months begin to set in and bodybuilders look forward to their bulking season, it’s important to remember that nutrients from food are about more than just making you look good. Some bodybuilders use winter as an excuse to pack on the pounds with comfort food like pizzas and pastries. This can seriously hinder performance, even if it does help build muscle – as you’ll be lacking micronutrients.

Instead, try a winter clean eating plan that packs in all the nutritious fruits and vegetables you need without sacrificing the calories. We’re going to help you bulk up without the bloat.

Key meals

Some of the best foods to eat through winter are warm and wholesome, but can end up unhealthy if you use normal ingredients. However, they can be quickly substituted for a healthy alternative.

Chili

A year-round favourite that comes into its own in winter, chili is great for building muscle. It can be made with a number of protein-rich ingredients such as red kidney beans, pinto beans, mince or veggie mince. Stir up red peppers, chopped tomatoes, spices and your chili ingredients in a large pot, throw in all the ingredients and you’ll have a week’s worth of meals. Add plenty of fresh chillies to give you a winter warmth kick.

Chicken and chickpea curry

Let’s face it – when the cold weather rolls around, the takeaway menus get pulled out. For good reason too; curries are a fantastically warming thing to eat and you get plenty of calories for your money. However, you can do it on the cheap and in bulk by creating a protein-packed curry. Grab chicken breasts and slice them up, then add a can of chickpeas and sour cream. From here, curry powder, turmeric and coriander finish things off. Voila, no takeaway needed.

Super soup

Prepare some super winter soup to help you get through winter’s coldest days – but don’t skimp on the nutrients. Chop up onions, carrots, celery and cabbage and add them to a pan. Then throw in chicken broth, water and some egg noodles. From here, you’ll want to chop up chicken breasts and add them to the mixture.

Salmon and green salad

Cook up some salmon, broccoli, green beans and spinach drizzled with lemon for a quick, healthy winter warmer that you can easily store and reheat later. Salmon is one of the best protein sources available to you, and in winter it goes down a treat.

Sweet potato & tuna or baked beans

An easy alternative to a standard baked potato, you can prepare a sweet potato in the oven or, if you’re in a hurry, the microwave. Normal potatoes are also healthy options – but for a true winter warmer that can be thrown together in no time at all, sweet potatoes generally win the taste test and are a good source of potassium and Vitamin A.

Baked beans or tuna are a good choice for your protein option – with beans edging out when you want something warm and tasty.

Meal Plan

This is a typical five-day winter clean eating meal plan for a bodybuilder through the winter, intended as an example that you can swap around. Don’t be afraid to substitute, mix and match or swap entirely – but make sure you’re getting plenty of greens and protein without heaps and heaps of fat. Most weeks you’ll be eating a similar main meal each day as you prepare in advance.

Serving sizes will depend on your caloric intake, so work that out first before doing portions.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Egg white omelette with chopped peppers.
  • Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer or protein shake.
  • Lunch: Chicken and chickpea curry.
  • Afternoon snack: Greek yogurt and any winter berries in season.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake mixed with 5g creatine, such as MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
  • Dinner: Sirloin steak, new potatoes, broccoli and salad.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Scrambled egg, avocado and wholegrain toast.
  • Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer or protein drink.
  • Lunch: ‘Super’ soup.
  • Afternoon snack: Peanut butter on a chopped apple.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake mixed with 5g creatine, such as MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
  • Dinner: Chili with brown rice.

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter.
  • Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer or protein shake.
  • Lunch: Sweet potato with baked beans.
  • Afternoon snack: Banana and protein flapjack.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake mixed with 5g creatine, such as MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
  • Dinner: Salmon and green salad with quinoa or rice.

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Cinnamon and oatmeal – perfect for a winter warmer in a hurry.
  • Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer or protein shake.
  • Lunch: Chicken breast, brown rice and a hot sauce of your choice.
  • Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate and banana.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake mixed with 5g creatine, such as MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
  • Dinner: Chickpea and chicken curry.

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Egg white omelette with peppers.
  • Mid-morning snack: Mass gainer or protein shake.
  • Lunch: ‘Super’ soup with wholegrain bread for dipping.
  • Afternoon snack: Apple with peanut butter.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake mixed with 5g creatine, such as MaxiNutrition Cyclone.
  • Dinner: Chili and brown rice.

Remember: making your winter a warm, healthy one is a matter of educating yourself on what you need in your diet. Don’t skimp on the greens, play with spices and you’ll end up enjoying each and every meal. Whey protein shakes and powders are great for supplementing your protein intake, but ensure you’re getting plenty of nutritionally dense food into your diet.

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