Q: I’m about your age, and I’d like to achieve the shredded look like you, but I spend a lot of time traveling and eating in restaurants. How are you able to stay strict on your diet when you’re traveling? Do you carry food with you?
A: That’s a great question! I’m quite often asked that by clients who have to travel for business. When I’m traveling, I like to bring as few bags as possible, so I rarely bring food with me. I do, however, make sure that I’m set for nutrition on my travel days. In case of flight delays or cancellations I pack a few packets of Muscle Meals, a shaker cup and some protein bars in my carry-on bag. I also bring supplements in my suitcase, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Muscle Meals, CreaSol (in a zip-lock bag to save space), ZMA-T and my multivitamins, along with some extra protein bars, are usually all I carry in my luggage.
When you dine in a restaurant, the key to success is knowing what to order and asking for exactly what you want. At just about any restaurant you can get grilled chicken on a salad. Even so, ask what comes in the salad. If it comes with cheese and croutons, ask your waiter to have those left off. Always order the dressing on the side so that you can control how much actually goes on the salad. If there are no nonfat or lowfat dressings available, you can always use salsa or squeeze lemon juice on it to add flavor.
If you’re looking for something more substantial than a salad, browse the entrees for grilled chicken or grilled fish. Quite often they’ll be listed on the menu with some sort of sauce or perhaps cheese on top. Be sure to order your chicken or fish without the sauce and “no butter.” These dishes are often grilled in butter to add flavor. If the dish comes with steamed vegetables, ask that no butter be added to your vegetables. Don’t be afraid to ask for vegetables instead of French fries or mashed potatoes. Sometimes the waitperson might be bothered by all your substitutions, but they’re not paying for the meal, you are. So order it the way you want it.
If you just can’t seem to find anything on the menu that fits your needs, ask if the cooks can prepare something special for you. I have a client who just returned from a business trip to New Orleans. While New Orleans is famous for its delicious food, most of the items are extremely rich. He said that he was having trouble finding anything suitable on the menu at some of the restaurants, so he just asked if they could prepare something special for him that was high protein, lowfat and moderate in carbs. He got some fantastic unique meals and said that he thought the chefs were excited about getting to create something different for him. Ask for what you want. You might get something extra special.
While I don’t recommend dining at fast-food restaurants, many have some reasonably lowfat fare these days. One thing to watch out for is any restaurant with the words Southern style or Home-style cooking in the name. That usually means that everything on the menu is breaded, fried and/or smothered in butter.
Q: I’ve read that drinking a carb-and-protein mixture during workouts is a good idea. Do you do it? Also, what are your protein, carb and fat percentages on a daily basis?
A: Yes, I do—at the recommendation of Dr. John Ivy. IRON MAN had a great article by Ken O’Neill on Dr. Ivy and his book Nutrient Timing [“Nutrient Timing and the Anabolic Switch,” August ’05]. The carb-protein mixture turns on protein synthesis, while the insulin spurt you get from the carbs helps suppress cortisol.
As far as macronutrient percentages go, I used to keep meticulous diet records, but I haven’t done that the past few years. I eat pretty much the same every day when I’m dieting for a show. I’d put my percentages at 42 percent protein, 42 percent carbs and 16 percent fat. My calories are around 2,500 per day. Here’s my diet.
• 5:30 a.m.: First thing (on empty stomach), GH Stak
• On the way to the gym: 1 Starbucks Venti Red Eye
• Breakfast (when I get to the gym): Labrada Lean Body Bar
Weekend breakfast: 4 servings Egg Beaters with 3 ounces grilled chicken and 1 grapefruit
• 30 minutes before workout: 1 serving Ribose Size
• During workout: 16 ounces water with 25 grams carbs (Gatorade), about 10 grams protein (Pro-Fusion) and a half serving titrated creatine (CreaSol)
• Postworkout drink: 1 serving RecoverX or one serving vanilla Pro-Fusion with 40 grams carbs (orange Gatorade) mixed with 1 serving CreaSol and one serving Ribose Size
Also 3 Omega Stak gelcaps (essential fatty acids) and 3-4 Cort-Bloc caps (phosphyatidylserine for cortisol control)
• Lunch: 10 to 12 ounces grilled chicken breast, green salad, 1 apple, 1 peach
• Midafternoon: Labrada Lean Body Bar or Pro-Fusion shake with 25 grams carbs (Gatorade)
• Late afternoon: 10 to 12 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1 apple, orange or grapefruit
• Evening meal: 10 to 12 ounces grilled chicken or 96 percent lean ground beef, spinach salad, 2 pieces fresh fruit
Also 3 Omega Stak gelcaps and 2 Pharmanex LifePak Nano vitamin packs
• Evening snack: 1 piece fresh fruit
• Before bed: 4 capsules ZMA-T (zinc-and-magnesium supplement for testosterone support)