To most body builders, life without chicken is unimaginable. It would be like training without dumbbells. If your aim is to build muscle or to lose excess weight, one food type that you could never do without is protein. No body builder can afford to ignore an important source of lean meat such as chicken in his body building nutrition plan.
However, any fundamental exercise or food constituent could easily become boring. If you are tired of preparing your chicken dishes the same old way, it’s time you spiced things up a bit and tried some new angles.
Preparing chicken is usually a quick and easy matter and can be done in a variety of ways. This will help you to avoid a boring bodybuilder diet, which often causes weight-trainers to ruin their body building nutrition plan.
Here are 8 methods you can use to prepare your chicken:
1. Marinate your chicken – This is a quick and easy way to add zest to your chicken. There are several ready-made marinades available in grocery stores. If you are unsure about any of the ingredients they contain, you could easily prepare your own. Just coat the breasts completely and let them stand for a couple of hours so that the flavors can penetrate, then grill. Placing them in the refrigerator overnight will deliver maximum flavor.
2. Stir-fry – This is another easy way to prepare your chicken, especially if you’re short of time. There are many varieties of stir-fry. It’s also a great way to add some healthy vegetables to your chicken.
NOTE: If you’re using a shop-bought stir-fry sauce, make sure it does not have a very high sugar content, as is often the case. Better still, prepare your own. Adding some herbs or spices will boost the flavor without you having to resort to high-calorie sauces.
3. Bake – Baking is another trouble-free option for preparing your chicken. Sprinkle your chicken breasts with some herbs or spices and place them onto a baking tray. You can add a little low-sodium chicken broth to avoid the breasts drying out.
Try adding some cubed sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion and peppers for a complete meal-in-one. Avoid adding butter or cheese as these will increase the calorie content.
4. Broil – This is another easy option if you don’t have much time. TIP: first marinate your chicken to avoid it becoming dry during the grilling process. Watch the meat closely during cooking as broiling can scorch the flesh if left too long on one side.
5. Slow-cooking – Slow-cooking your chicken will produce very tender meat. Many people forget about this incredibly-easy method of cooking. Because the meat cooks slowly for a long period of time, it becomes very flavorful without risk of burning.
There’s a huge variety of recipes you can prepare in a slow cooker so you’ll never run out of ideas. You can put the ingredients into your slow-cooker before you leave for work in the morning and when you arrive home your dinner will be ready to eat.
6. Serve it cold – We usually eat our chicken warm so we tend to forget that chicken can also be delicious served cold in a salad or sandwich. Slice or dice some grilled chicken breast and toss it into a bowl with some salad greens, olive oil and lemon juice for a delicious salad. The olive oil will contribute your healthy fats.
You can pre-cook and freeze some chicken breasts if you like. This way you can simply thaw and slice them when you need them.
7. Make Chicken Burgers – Chicken breasts are the most regular form of eating chicken but don’t forget they can also be ground. Using ground chicken breast to make burgers is an excellent way to add some lean protein to your meals.
Chicken burgers are easy to prepare. If you’re muscle-building, you can eat one with a whole-grain roll for extra carbs, otherwise for fat loss have it with some tomato and lettuce without a bun.
NOTE: Ready-made burgers often contain preservatives and have a high fat or calorie content, so it’s better to make your own.
8. Make a soup – An often-forgotten method of using chicken breasts is to turn them into a soup. Soup is excellent for people who are on a weight-loss program as the warm liquid tends to satisfy the appetite and lessens the craving for food. This is a quick and easy way to get your quota of chicken for the day.
You have a wide choice of ingredients you can add to your chicken soup: pasta, sweet potatoes, rice, barley or vegetables – the choice is yours.
The next time you feel bored with your usual chicken breasts, consider spicing them up a bit. Any one of these techniques will do wonders for your mood while adding variety to your bodybuilding diet.