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Can I Eat Red Meat Instead Of Chicken?
I am a teen weightlifter and I am now competing, so I have a question for you. My main sources of protein are egg whites, milk (fat free), chicken, some fish, and protein powders, but for solid food I mainly eat chicken and I am tired of it. I'm starting to eat some red meats such as steaks and other types of beefs, but my trainer tells me that red meats are really fattening. Now to my question, can I eat red meat as much as I do chicken (and all the other protein sources) or should I limit my red meat intake? Also, during precontest weeks should I cut out the red meats like I do all the other fattening foods? Warrior.
Well, Warrior, I feel your pain. I too have fallen into the monotonous realm of food choices. This used to occur during the contest season as it usually does for most others. The thing that I have learned over the years was that the more that I dieted the more creative I became. I am actually thinking of writing a "Bodybuilding Cookbook". I get many questions similar to yours, which is how the idea arrived. I think that your trainer is both right and wrong in this situation. Red meat can be fattening, but red meat is also available in very lean versions. So the cut of meat or the leanness of the cut of meat is the primary determinate in your case. Another factor is your current metabolic state. If you are in a low carbohydrate environment then a little fats may be what you need at times. It depends on a number of factors but for your answer in regards to using red meat as much as you use chicken... well, I have an alternative for you.
Why not try eating lean ground turkey or turkey steaks. This is a very lean source of protein and it dose not taste like chicken although it is just as if not leaner than chicken. Try mixing up your choices as much as you can. You obviously enjoy eating chicken, egg whites, and red meat. Now with the addition of ground turkey you can rotate between these food items and your protein drinks. This is a wide variety of choices compared to what you were doing before. By mixing up the choices like this you will not get as used to the "bodybuilding foods". If you substitute you high chicken intake for a high beef intake you will eventually get bored of beef. Just mix all of your sources up, it is better this way.
Cutting out the red meat during your last week of dieting is another "it depends" question, Warrior. If you are super lean, striated everywhere, and full of carbohydrates you may need a little bit of good protein and fats from a steak that in your last week of contest preparation. A nutritional guru would have to look at you to make this assessment. But as far as cutting it out, well as you now see that is not necessarily true.
I need to enlighten you on your fattening foods theory, Warrior. Not all of those foods that you are cutting out are fattening. Well let me rephrase that all foods can be fattening. Confused yet? Look, the metabolic environment that your body is in at a certain period of time will determine if what you are about to put into your mouth is or is not fattening. When a bodybuilder goes into ketosis he can eat pure fat and it will not be stored as fat. It cannot be it is impossible, want an explanation? Okay! The fat will enter the body, be broken into fractured fats called ketone bodies, be used as energy, or they will be passed through the body as a form of waste. The body would not store fat in this environment until you put enough "fat free" carbohydrates into your body. The carbohydrates would fill the muscles and liver full of glycogen then spill over into adipose tissue. I hope that you get the jest of what I am trying to teach you here! You should be more worried about cutting things like the "fat free" milk and whey protein powder out of your diet than the red meat. Those things make you bloat because they are dairy products. You are young and I admire you for seeking guidance, and in time you will learn. Keep up the hard work and listen to your trainer. If they tell you something that does not seem right ask them to explain it to you. If they can not do this then get a new trainer because there are plenty out there that know what they are talking about. Good luck in you future!