During the forty years I’ve been a bodybuilder seeking greater muscle size and delineation, I have experimented with every imaginable diet combination. While training to win the “Worlds Most Muscular Man” title. I devised a diet that gave me maximum muscle size with almost zero body fat. It was what I call the “steak-and-eggs diet.”
Steak and eggs have always been an athlete’s favorite meal, because no other food combination gives you the same feeling of power and energy. Beef and eggs sustain a high-normal blood sugar level for up to six hours, which makes lunch unnecessary when you’re dieting and training for muscular definition. And three-quarter pounds of steak and three eggs provide over 100 grams of first-class protein.
Hamburger is not a good substitute for streak in this diet, by the way. The grinding of the meat destroys enzymes and other important nutrients. As a result, ground beef simply doesn’t measure up to other cuts of meat for building muscle tissue.
Surprisingly, some of the less expensive cuts of meat – like chuck and round steak – are higher in protein and lower in fat content than sirloin steak or fillet mignon.
The first time I tried the steak-and-egg diet, I stayed on it for nine months. I ate only two meals per day, each consisting of three-quarter pounds of steak and three eggs. At the evening meal, I also had a small, mixed green salad. I used no supplements whatsoever, and noticed no adverse effects as a result of this.
I achieved the best condition of my career on this diet. After nine months of contest dieting and training, I noticed that I was actually growing, not just maintaining maximum muscularity.
I know many of you will protest that this is an unbalanced diet and that there is too much cholesterol in the beef and eggs. According to recent findings in the National Egg Council, the human body produces far more cholesterol that it needs. And if you ingest more cholesterol that it needs, your body cuts back it’s own production to maintain a natural, balanced level.
Medial researchers are now concluding that stress is the major cause of abnormally high cholesterol levels in some individuals. Also, a high level of sugar in the diet tends to force the cholesterol level upward.
Actually, cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. The brain requires it for normal function, and when you go out in the sun, cholesterol under the skin is converted into Vitamin D. Cholesterol also helps protect the body during cases of severe injury, because it acts as a sort of glue to stop bleeding in the traumatized areas.
In actual fact, cholesterol is not the culprit in heart and vascular disease. Instead, the villains are triglycerides, which are entirely different forms of fat.
Fat is essential in the human diet. Steffanson – in his book, Not By Bread Alone – mentions that during 18 years he lived among the Eskimos, they existed solely on meat and fat. Meat alone could not sustain them. Eskimos have been known to track a caribou for up to two weeks just to get the fat in the animal’s carcass.
Fat is the best source of energy known in that it yields nine calories per gram, as compared to only four grams or carbohydrate. Fat will sustain a high blood sugar level for up to six hours, while carbohydrates keep the blood sugar up for only 1 1/2 hours or so.
If you fear the calories in fat, keep in mind that fat is a lipotropic (a fat emulsifier), the same a vegetable oils. In other words, fat actually helps to burn fat in the body!
I think the real secret in the steak-and-eggs diet is the compatibility of beef and eggs, which confirm the “non mixed meal” dietary plan. protein and carbohydrates are not compatible, since they are digested in different mediums (acid for protein, alkaline for carbohydrates).
When protein and carbohydrates are consumed together, neither digests completely. The food that is predominant in the stomach then takes precedence. If protein dominates, for example, the carbohydrates tend to ferment and produce gas and toxic (poisonous) byproducts. And if larger amounts of carbohydrates are ingested, they can cause the meat to putrefy, preventing proper digestion.
Another reason why the steak-and-eggs diet contributes to faster muscle growth is that the amino acid composition of beef and eggs is almost identical to that of human tissue. As a result, animal proteins are much easier to synthesize into human muscle tissue that are vegetable proteins.
I’ve often stated that 200-300 grams of protein per day in an athlete’s diet is excessive. I contend that your body will let you know when you’re getting more protein than you need – you’ll lose your desire for meat. Then you should give your digestive system a rest from animal protein by eating raw, steamed vegetables and salads for a few days.
You’ll know when to return to eating meat by the hunger you develop for it. Actual protein requirements are an individual matter. Such requirements depend on body structure, sex, age, activity levels and physiological capacity.
If you have been at a sticking point for a while, try my steak-and-egg diet for three meals per day. You should also take digestive enzymes, 1500-2000 mg. of Vitamin C, 400-800 units of Vitamin E and a phosphorous free calcium supplement each day. These supplements ensure that your body is receiving all the nutrients necessary for growth.
By combining this diet with eight hours of sound sleep per night and a positive mental outlook, you will experience a good spurt of muscle growth. And with steak and eggs, your added size will be 100% solid muscle tissue.
“Remember that nutrition is 90%; exercise is 10%.”
– Vince Gironda