Lifting weights is only part of the equation when it comes to packing on serious muscle. You also need to supply your body with slow-release carbohydrates, quality protein and lots of vitamins, to cope with the strain that training puts on you. This easy-to-make lunch gives you all that.
An ideal lunch if you’re following a muscle-building training plan, this high protein meal can also be included as part of Coach’s weight loss meal plan for women or our weight loss diet plan for men – just swap it for a meal of similar calorific value. And if you’d rather drink your post-gym protein, head over to our protein shake recipes.
Weightlifter’s Grilled Turkey Breast Bagel Recipe
Ingredients (Serves One)
- 190g turkey breast, grilled
- Wholewheat bagel
- 1tbsp butter
- Small handful of lettuce
- 1 medium tomato, sliced
- Handful of low-fat grated cheddar
- 1tsp mustard
You can use ready-prepared turkey but it’s healthier to grill a fresh turkey breast. Chop it and slice the tomato thinly. Butter the bagel or coat with low-fat spread. Place some lettuce on the bottom half of the bagel. Add the turkey and tomato slices, along with a handful of grated cheese, and then finish off your bagel with a good splodge of mustard before putting the lid on.
We used Myfitnesspal, one of the best weight-loss apps for calorie counting, to estimate the nutritional values for this recipe. This turkey bagel contains around 560 calories, and provides 50g of protein, 41g of carbohydrates, 21g of fat and 6g of fibre.
Carbohydrates help keep your glycogen (the energy stored in your muscles) levels topped up, so your body uses that rather than your protein stores for fuel. Wholegrains are packed full of fibre and B vitamins, both of which can help boost fat loss.
Turkey is a lean and low-calorie way to pack on muscle, thanks to its generous protein content. It’s also rich in tryptophan, which your body uses to make the happy hormone, serotonin. So, protein and a Prozac substitute all in one.
Tomatoes will supply you with the vitamin C your body needs to lower levels of cortisol, a muscle-wasting stress hormone that increases with weight training. You’ll find most of the vitamin C in the gooey stuff around the seeds.
This delivers high levels of protein and calcium without too many calories. The calcium in cheddar is vital for the efficient functioning of the muscles and heart.
The foundation of many a low-fat sandwich filling, lettuce contains vitamin E, which combats muscle-fibre injury and improves recovery. Opt for the darker varieties of leaf, as these are more nutritious.
More About Nutrition
- Prepare a healthy meal in minutes with these simple protein-rich salad recipes
- No need to stick to soups and salads, we’ve got four healthy, protein-packed sandwich recipes for you
- Get an instant hit of the essential muscle-builder with these high-protein snacks
- Take the hassle out of eating healthily with the UK’s best healthy meal delivery services
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Lucy Miller is an experienced journalist who has worked across a range of health and fitness titles. She was the fitness and nutrition editor at Men’s Fitness UK, and has also been fitness editor of both Health & Fitness UK and Women’s Fitness UK. Lucy qualified as a NASM-certified personal trainer and nutritionist in 2008.