Jonathan Tucker is a 5’ 10” tall, 170-pound mass of lean muscle and whip ass. He may not be among Hollywood’s biggest men (Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, etc), but he is among the hardest training and the cleanest eating. By following Tucker’s lean, mean, clean protein-rich diet, you can make huge strides toward your fitness goals.

The 5 Foods that Built Jonathan Tucker
Source: Sioux City Journal

First, a word or two of warning. Tucker does not subscribe to a “sustainable approach” in his workouts or his diet. Does that mean that he truly only eats 1000 calories per day, yet trains for an hour as intensely as possible? I’m not there watching over his shoulder, so I really can’t say.

But I can guarantee you that 99.9% of people will fail or be injured if they did. Workouts, especially the taxing ones that will transform your body, require fuel and then the building blocks of tissue. If you are consuming less than what your body simply requires to FUNCTION … well, the math doesn’t add up.

It was during a recent interview with Muscle and Fitness magazine that Tucker listed some of his favorite foods. Here we detail five of these and some fantastic reasons you may want to add them to your diet as well.

Cottage Cheese

Many of us will have heard of “curds and whey.” Whey is one of the most popular, complete, and bioavailable forms of protein there is. Most of us have had a whey protein shake following a workout.

The 5 Foods that Built Jonathan Tucker
Curds and Whey

Cottage Cheese (casein protein) are the aforementioned curds. Casein protein specifically helps to prevent muscle wasting. So, if one were on a low-calorie diet like Jonathan Tucker adheres to, a serving of cottage cheese (casein protein) after a workout, and even right before bed, will go a long way in preventing muscle catabolism.

Pasta Substitutes

Oh, Pasta. As appealing as pasta is ALL OF THE TIME, when we are “cutting fat” (dieting) or working out hard, pasta can become almost impossible to resist. Tucker, realizing that fooling the brain and stomach is fundamental to successful fat loss when one is already lean, has three go-to foods which he substitutes for the real thing:

Brown Rice Pasta

Brown rice has many health benefits, including a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients are not found in white rice or in white pasta. This great nutrition is housed in the brown hull of the rice. When the nutritious hull is removed white rice is the result.

Be careful here though, due to the way rice is grown, all rice has a surprising amount of arsenic in it. Moreover, the bulk of that arsenic is in the hull alongside those great nutrients. As a matter of fact, brown rice has a whopping 80% more arsenic than white rice.

While rice doesn’t have gluten, it does still have quite a few carbohydrates per serving (41.5 net carbs). Many prefer to not eat rice at all. There are similar sources of the same nutrients without the high sugar content … and without the arsenic.

Quinoa Pasta

Now we’re getting somewhere!

“Quinoa pasta is the best alternative out there because it tastes exactly like regular pasta while actually being good for you. It’s a whole grain with a solid helping of your daily fiber and protein. There’s an inherently nutty flavor to quinoa that’s easily masked by all of your favorite sauces,” writes the New York Daily News.

I couldn’t say it better myself.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is an excellent, and reportedly delicious pasta replacement. Furthermore, it is packed full of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.

The 5 Foods that Built Jonathan Tucker

If you’d like to learn more about how to make this delicious vegetable into a pasta dish, have a look at this Livestrong article.


Nuts (not peanuts … those are legumes) are absolutely packed full of great nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. A handful of these delightful, fresh, crunchy, protein-rich powerhouses will leave your hunger satiated and your body thanking you.

Just be very mindful of your portion size. While mindless eating is never good for your program, in the case of fat-rich mixed nuts, Jonathan Tucker could very quickly run up a day’s worth of calories with just a few handfuls.


When it comes to delicious, sweet, sultry treats, blueberries top my personal list. These fat, juicy little berries are one of the most super of the superfoods. This is not just opinion, the George Mateljan Foundation recognizes blueberries as “one of the world’s healthiest foods.”

“Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory,” writes WebMD.

Matcha Green Tea Powder

Matcha green tea powder is created during a pretty involved process. The tea is flavorful and higher in nutrients and blessed caffeine than any other tea. The caffeine content is about what is found in a cup of coffee. Moreover, the feeling reported by drinkers is more of a focused level of alertness; rather than a shaky or anxious feeling.

You can learn more about this great, popular tea choice at

Jonathan Tucker Beast in the Gym, Pauper at the Dinner Table

Jonathan Tucker plays an MMA fighter on the American TV series “Kingdom,” but his training, his dedication, and his diet are not pretend. He trains and eats as clean as any real MMA fighter.

“You know, it’s a mental game.  Sure you can go to the gym five days a week, or seven days a week, and spend an hour there and not really see any difference or changes.  Or, on the other hand, you can be in touch with who you are, what your goals are, what your limits are, and how far you’re willing to push your body when your mind is saying no.” Tucker tells Muscle and Fitness.

While this type of training matched with an incredibly low-calorie diet stretches the reality that most trainers and nutritionists inhabit, the preceding five foods will go a long way toward making such a plan more sustainable.

Read Also:

How Does Abigail Ratchford Train Her Curves?

Plant-Based Diets – The Secret to Great Health

10 Best Sources of Vegetarian Protein

These 5 Protein Powders Will Change You

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