Searching for Strong Flavors

James Boyce, the executive chef for Studio at Montage Resort & Spa in Laguna Beach, California, dropped 120 pounds eight years ago and has stayed slim by running, hiking, kayaking, golfing and lifting weights. To augment his strength training, he eats healthy dishes like this grilled chicken and watercress salad with Canadian bacon and whole wheat croutons. details 30801 S. Coast Hwy.; Laguna Beach, CA; 866-271-6953.



Strength training—whether it's lifting free weights or working out on Nautilus equipment—goes far beyond building muscle tone and definition. According to Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University, strength training helps increase bone density and ward off diabetes and depression. It can even protect the heart: A Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 found that men who weight-trained for 30 minutes or more per week reduced coronary heart disease risk by 23 percent. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training two to three times a week.
—Ratha Tep

"Bodybuilders like to eat chicken breasts every two hours That's a lot more protein than the rest of us need."
Paul Flakoll, professor of nutrition, Iowa State University



All the protein powders at health-club snack bars suggest that people who lift weights need extra protein to build muscle. The truth is that elite athletes do need to increase their protein, but "the average American already gets over twice the recommended amount of protein daily," says Julie Upton, a dietician with the American Dietetic Association, which is more than enough for people who strength-train 20 to 40 minutes, two to three times a week. What's important, says Upton, is that exercisers eat foods with a low glycemic index to maintain energy levels; she recommends having a snack like an apple with peanut butter half an hour to an hour before hitting the gym.