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There you have it. Twenty fabulous foods that not only won't blow your diet but help you have more energy and gain more muscle. There's no reason to starve or deny yourself good tasting food. As long as you make the right food choices, you can enjoy eating and still get in great shape. Bon Appetite.

Great Tasting Ways To Grow More Muscle

If you're looking to gain weight, extra calories, especially protein, is essential. If losing fat is the objective, maintaining adequate protein is the only way to prevent muscle loss while in a calorie deficit. Most any quality protein supplement fills these needs quite well. One of the problems with most meal replacements is that they don't work very well in accomplishing what their title suggests, that of replacing a meal. A liquid food source is digested quickly, which is great when you want to replenish nutrients after a workout but not so great if you're looking for something that will keep you full for hours. Some products attempt to fulfill the "satisfaction" quotient by adding thickeners producing a more immediate feeling of fullness, but this tactic has its drawbacks. Swigging down two or three "heavy" shakes every day is a procedure few people can tolerate on a consistent basis. Besides, even if the drink is thick, it will be quickly digested, leaving you with hunger pangs soon afterward. In that regard, meal replacements are most effective for weight gaining purposes. Having a shake in-between meals will add extra protein and calories while still maintaining enough of an appetite for solid food.

Take a look through any bodybuilding magazine or stroll down the aisle of your local health food store and the apparent choices of products are staggering. Literally hundreds of companies are vying for your business. I'll forgo recommending any particular brands since a big factor in choosing a meal replacement is its taste, and what one person thinks tastes like ice cream, another person thinks tastes like melted linoleum. To each his own. If you've been supplementing for a while, you probably know what you like and are reluctant to change. But getting extra protein is never a bad idea.

The following recommendation is meant to be an adjunct to your current protein supplementation. It requires nothing more than an initial investment of some unflavored protein powder.

Although whey has become the most popular choice due to its high bio-available profile, it may be best to use a combination of protein sources. Egg protein is, in some ways, preferable to whey in that it's a more "pure" protein. Milk protein has the advantage of being slow to digest, making it a more "time released" muscle building source. It also provides a nice texture and "mouth feel." Personally, I prefer a blend of 50% Ion Exchanged Whey, 25% Casein, 20% Egg White, and 5% Whole Egg.

Okay, so you've got your protein. Now, what do you do with it? The answer is to simply implement the protein into your favorite flavor shakes and desserts. For some strange reason, many of the chocolate flavored pre-flavored meal replacements taste dreadful, yet chocolate is the easiest flavor to make delicious! In some cases, the reason for the foul taste could have to do with the additional vitamins and minerals added to the MRP's, but if you take a quality vit/min supplement, your micronutrient requirements will be covered.

For the best tasting Chocolate Protein Shake, try this:

In a blender, mix one cup of 2% reduced fat milk, 4 ice cubes, and one scoop of your protein blend.

Mix ingredients together. Then add 1 spoonful of cocoa, one spoonful of sugar, and one packet of either aspartame or sucralose.

If preferred, you can use a pre-mixed chocolate flavoring (i.e., Bosco or Nestle's Quik -- either regular or sugar-free or a combination of both.)

Note: Most artificial sweeteners work best as sweetening "enhancers." If there's some real sugar used along with it, they're fine, but by themselves, they're pretty gross -- at least I think so.

Although this chocolate shake may seem like it would be too high in sugar, the overall carb content won't be much higher in products which use maltodextrin or fructose or dextrose. And it'll taste a lot better!

If you want a weight gaining version, substitute the 2% reduced fat milk with Half and Half. That'll make you grow! If you're extremely underweight, you can add a scoop of ice cream.

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