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The Peanut Butter Diet ( Mens Health )

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The Peanut Butter Diet

Feeling a little chunky? Here's how to eat fat and still have a waist like Mr. Peanut's

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Like sex, coffee, and beer, peanut butter is one of the "bad" things in life that are actually good for you. Sure, it's high in calories, but that's because it's packed with the same healthy monounsaturated fats as olive oil--the original death-defying potion. But olive oil tastes rotten with grape jelly, and it makes your bagel all floppy. So peanut butter's a better choice. It's heart therapy you can spoon straight out of the jar.

Sign on for the Skippy Diet and not only can you reduce your risk of heart disease, but you may also increase your body's production of testosterone. And testosterone can help you grow big muscles, have firmer erections, and quite possibly land a high-paying job in the adult-film industry.

But even those benefits pale in comparison with the newest discovery about monounsaturated fats, and peanut butter in particular. According to research from Brigham and Women's Hospital, people who eat a diet high in foods like olive oil, avocados, and peanut butter are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people following a more regimented, lower-fat diet. Nutrition researchers at Purdue University also subscribe to the skinny-in-a-Jif theory, suggesting that men feel fuller and eat less after snacking on peanut butter than after eating other foods.

The simple reason: peanut butter's great taste. Since a diet high in an indulgence like peanut butter doesn't leave you feeling deprived, it's easier to follow and won't make you prey to the cravings you feel on other diets. "Taste really is key. If you enjoy what you're eating, it's easier to stick with it," says Kathy McManus, R.D., coauthor of the Brigham and Women's Hospital study.

So, with that in mind--and a jar of peanut butter in hand--we set out to create the ultimate peanut-butter lover's diet. Follow it for a week and you'll lose half a pound. Follow it longer, and you'll continue losing weight and keep it off for good. (As long as you don't eat more than 6 tablespoons of peanut butter or 2,200 total calories in any single day, that is.) Heck, you'll burn an extra 90 calories per meal just scraping the stuff off the roof of your mouth.


PB & B Breakfast Shake

Take this: 1 c fat-free milk 1 medium banana 2 Tbsp peanut butter

Do this: Dump all the ingredients into a blender and press Liquefy. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 384 calories, 18 grams (g) protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 17 g total fat, 5 g fiber

Creamy Peanut-Butter Pudding

Take this: 2 Tbsp peanut butter 1 c Dannon fat-free vanilla yogurt 1 medium banana, sliced

Do this: Put the peanut butter in a bowl and microwave it until it begins to melt. Dump the yogurt in the bowl, stir it all together, and top with the slices of banana. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 418 calories, 16 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 17 g total fat, 5 g fiber

French Toast with Peanut-Butter Maple Syrup

Take this: 1 egg 2 Tbsp fat-free milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 slices white or whole wheat bread 1/4 c light maple syrup 4 Tbsp chunky peanut butter

Do this: Mix together the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a large flat dish. Dip the bread in the egg mixture, and then flip it so both sides are coated. Heat both sides of the toast in a nonstick skillet until golden brown. Stir the maple syrup and peanut butter together in a separate bowl and microwave until warm. Pour over the French toast. Open mouth. Eat. Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 365 calories, 13 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 19 g total fat, 3 g fiber


Ham and Raisin Sandwich

Take this: 2 Tbsp peanut butter 2 slices raisin bread 2 slices Canadian bacon

Do this: Spread the peanut butter on the bread, slap on the bacon, and make into a sandwich. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 421 calories, 24 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 23 g total fat, 4 g fiber

The Thin Elvis Special

Take this: 2 Tbsp peanut butter 2 slices whole grain bread 1/2 Tbsp honey 1/2 large banana, peeled and sliced

Do this: Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread. Sandwich the honey and banana between the two slices. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the bread with butter-flavored cooking spray just before putting the bread on the skillet. Grill each side of the sandwich for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 396 calories, 13 g protein, 57 g carbohydrates, 18 g total fat, 13 g fiber

Creole Peanut-and-Tomato Soup

Take this: 1 can (10 oz) Campbell's tomato soup 1 c fat-free milk 2 Tbsp peanut butter Tabasco sauce

Do this: Combine the soup, milk, and peanut butter in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat. Stir until peanut butter melts. Add Tabasco sauce to taste. Serve hot. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 494 calories, 22 g protein, 68 g carbohydrates, 16 g total fat, 7 g fiber


Pasta with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Take this: 2 Tbsp peanut butter 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1 1/2 c hot water 6 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Do this: Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes, and water in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the sauce over the pasta, stir it all together, and top with bell pepper slices. Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 233 calories, 10 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 9 g total fat, 5 g fiber

Asian Chicken-Salad Pitas

Take this: 4 Tbsp peanut butter 2 Tbsp light teriyaki sauce 2 chicken breast halves, baked and diced 1/3 c canned pineapple, drained and chopped 1/4 c celery, chopped 1/3 c canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 small red onion, chopped 2 6'' pitas

Do this: Mix together the peanut butter and teriyaki sauce in the bottom of a large bowl. Dump in the other salad ingredients and stir everything together. Split the pitas in half, pop 'em open, and fill each half with a quarter of the salad. Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 595 calories, 43 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 22 g total fat, 11 g fiber

Mango Peanut Chicken

Take this: 4 Tbsp peanut butter 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp honey 2 chicken breast halves, baked 1 mango, diced

Do this: Mix the peanut butter, mustard, garlic, and honey together in a small bowl. Heat the mixture in a microwave, stirring occasionally, until melted. Pour the peanut-butter sauce over the chicken and top with diced mango. Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 488 calories, 38 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 24 g total fat, 4 g fiber

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