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Most of us want more muscle, whether it is ‘a bit toned’ or ‘full on ripped’. And almost everyone wants to reduce body fat.

The laws of physics are often touted as the reason that we can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Building muscle needs surplus calories. Burning fat needs a calorie deficit. You might think you can’t do both, but your body is cleverer than that. Something called ‘calorie partioning’ means that the body can direct nutrients to the right places.

To do that, your body needs the right foods. Try some of these.


There’s a reason this is a body builder standby. Cheap and tasty, tuna packs a protein punch and gives you a dose of heart-helping omega 3 acids. Choose it tinned in plain water for the lowest calorie version, or stock up on the frozen steaks.


Who says vegetarians can’t get ripped? This green flower is one of the highest protein vegetables, with nearly 3grams of protein per 100 grams. It also gives you the folic acid needed for muscle repair, the vitamin C and zinc for immune function and the fibre to keep your digestion in tip top condition.


With a massive 11% protein by weight, cottage cheese has come a long way from its seventies diet food image. (Did you know – cottage cheese is the ‘curds and whey’ that Little Miss Muffet was eating in the rhyme. She might have been tougher than you think!) The milk protein is slowly absorbed and is very effective at muscle building. Cottage cheese is low in calories so it won’t add unwanted fat.


Good news in a time when we want to reduce food waste. Eating just the egg white is so last century. Researchers now find that eating both yolk and white directly after exercise means more muscle repair. So scramble it up and eat the lot!

Eat right, Hussle, get those muscles.

Photo by Steven Erixon on Unsplash

the author

Patrick Law

Patrick is a keen touch rugby and football player and regular gym goer. He also enjoys long-distance running.