The Bruce Lee Diet: Eat As Much As You Train
Bruce Lee’s diet consisted of foods that he enjoyed eating on a daily basis and he wasn’t too particularly strict on his diet. In addition to his long, grueling workouts that he would do daily, Bruce Lee’s diet would allow him to consume just about anything. Bruce’s diet was just as important as his workouts, he trained his appetite just as much as he trained his muscles.
Bruce Lee’s training was a full-time work. He invested as much as 4 hours working out in the garage doing full-body workouts and thousand of ab crunches. It’s no surprise that Bruce Lee’s diet had a huge appetite for a person of his size.
Later in his career, he saw a dramatic change in his weight. It wasn’t weight loss–Bruce Lee gained over 30 lbs of pure muscle mass through a combination of diet and exercise, proper nutrition, and daily workout routines that included weightlifting and bodybuilding.
“I’ve seen several muscular body builders,” one of his fans claimed, “yet never ever like Bruce. He is built flawlessly, not large. He has muscle mass in addition to muscular tissues.”
Diet or No Diet?
Bruce Lee didn’t have strict guidelines for his diet, as he was just consciously aware of the foods he ate and the portions of food he consumed each meal. Bruce Lee’s height and weight was 5-foot-7 and 135 lbs, he was a small man but he had an array of muscle mass and an insatiable craving for some of his favorite foods.
As science has proven, being actively aware of the types of food you consume and of your portion sizes per meal will help you lose weight. Bruce Lee prided himself in being healthy and understood nutrition like any athlete his caliber would. Bruce Lee was an outlier in the realm of athletes, he worked his body until he reached near zero percent body fat.
Bruce Lee’s Diet & Favorite Meals
After a long training session, Bruce Lee would consume some of his favorite foods such as Chinese and Japanese food. A few favorite meals that you would see Bruce Lee eating would be pork, hen, fish, beef, and veggies.
Although Bruce Lee’s diet wasn’t too strict, he had a well-balanced diet plan that consisted of protein, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins.
It’s often said that Bruce Lee would never refuse a cup of hot tea like green tea. Bruce Lee was fond of foods that empowered his mind, he drank tea daily and sometimes after his workouts because of the health benefits of tea. Green tea has essential compounds such as L-Theanine and antioxidants to produce energy.
Drinking tea gave Bruce a sharp and clear mind, allowing him to fully dial-in and focus during his supplements. This razor-sharp focus is similar to what can be found today and are labeled as ‘Smart drugs’ or simply, brain supplements that stimulate clear and focus cognitive thinking.
The Bodybuilding Diet
On some accounts, some of his Bruce’s friends say that he would constantly help himself to seconds during meal time and would always have an extra plate of food next to him when they went to restaurants.
Bruce Lee had a diet like a bodybuilder, he consumed a generous amount of protein and ate calorie dense foods. He was always capable of keeping his body fat percentage low with an adequate amount of planned dieting and exercise.
He always took pride in chiseled six-pack abs and having a well-developed physique, so he worked out just as much as he ate in order to enjoy some of his favorite foods.
What Supplements Did Bruce Lee Take for His Workout?
In order to replenish his muscles and body after a workout, Bruce Lee would supplement with protein powder and would frequently consume protein shakes.
In addition to protein shakes, Bruce Lee took a number of vitamins daily.
The specific vitamins and supplements that Bruce Lee took are not exactly clear, however, it has been noted that he followed a rigorous routine in bodybuilding and read a lot of bodybuilding magazines.
It can be assumed that Bruce Lee took a supplement stack similar to the one below. The stack is a highly recommended vitamin and supplement stack for any serious athlete training like Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee Supplements Plan
- Daily Multivitamin Supplement – Provides effective vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for supporting athletes recovering their muscle and joints after training and cardio. Bruce Lee took daily vitamins in the morning before he started his day.
- Super Green Tea Supplement – Green tea extract is known to be packed with super antioxidants, a healthy dose of energy, and an effective fat burner. Bruce Lee enjoyed a cup of green tea after every meal, it’s no surprise he had such a low percent body fat.
- Whey Protein Powder – The essential supplement in every bodybuilder and athlete’s locker and kitchen. Bruce Lee would often drink a protein shake immediately after training to feed his muscles the most important nutrition.
- BCAA Amino Acids – For post-workout recovery, build and feed muscles while you sleep and recover the next morning. A long training session like Bruce’s takes a toll on the body and sometimes eating solid food doesn’t cut it. You have to feed the muscles at a microscopic level, even when you’re sleeping.
- Green Superfood Cocktail – For optimal health and vitality, and packed with superfood nutrients and antioxidants to supply you with an unstoppable amount of energy. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes extracted from fruits and vegetables. This definitely would’ve been Bruce Lee’s beverage of choice.
How to Diet Like Bruce Lee
Many people ask the question, “How do you diet like Bruce Lee?”
The Bruce Lee diet plan consists of a balanced diet that includes proper nutrition and eating foods that provide essential nutrients.
Planning a sample diet similar to Bruce must include some protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates and a little bit of fat. Lee received his daily nutrition and vitamins from a meal that included a large portion of protein and smaller portions of grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
These essential foods are packed with nutrients and vitamins to live a healthy lifestyle. Carbohydrates and fat are key factors in supplying the body with energy throughout the day, without them, you’ll feel mentally and physically sluggish and unmotivated.
Bruce Lee Diet: Sample Meal Plan
- One banana
- Two eggs
- Two slices of whole grain toast with one pat of butter
- One cup of low-fat milk
- Vitamin and supplement stack
- A large glass of water
- Cup of blueberries
- One cup of Greek yogurt with two tablespoons of honey
- Baked or stir-fried chicken breast (6-ounce portion)
- Large garden salad or kale mix
- A glass of water or green tea
- One cup steamed broccoli
- One cup of brown rice
- Halibut (four-ounce portion)
- Stir-fry vegetable mix with green beans, tomatoes, and green peppers
- One cup of blueberries
- Protein shake or Greek yogurt
Was Bruce Lee Vegetarian?
It’s a common misconception for some fans to think that Bruce Lee was a vegetarian.
Due to Bruce Lee’s incredibly small waistline and low body fat, it wouldn’t be foolish to think that Bruce Lee was a vegan and that all he consumed were just protein shakes. However, Bruce Lee was not a vegan and consumed a lot of protein dense foods either by eating a lot of meat or protein supplements.
What Did Bruce Lee’s Diet Not Include?
Bruce Lee excluded a number of unhealthy foods and substances in his diet. He didn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes and avoided foods with excess amounts of fat and sugar.
Bruce always believed that he always needed to be performing at the highest level, he couldn’t let bad nutrition slow him down. He included food in his diet that would only be beneficial to him for him to eat, while still being enjoyable.
“…His body never had an inch of fat; it was pure muscle, like steel.” – Fred Weintraub, producer of Enter the Dragon.”
How Did Bruce Lee Have a Zero Percent Body Fat Diet
The fact is, Bruce didn’t always have a super lean waist and six-pack abs.
Before Bruce Lee began weightlifting and working out for 4 hours a day, he had the body of a regular person. Bruce once said,
“I used to have a big, soft stomach. My stomach extended and also looked horrible for a young man. I made a decision to simplify my waist.”
When he started getting serious about fitness and nutrition, Bruce Lee’s diet and exercise routine allowed him to have almost zero percent body fat. He complemented his martial arts training with weightlifting, bodybuilding, and cardio exercises like speed training and running.
Bruce Lee: The Calorie Burning Machine
The reason why Bruce had such low body fat was the fact that he was burning more calories than he consumed. He burned a tremendous amount of calories in his workouts.
It’s almost unimaginable how much energy and calories he exhausted doing 4-hour workouts at home. With the addition of consistent martial arts training and performing aerobic exercises, Bruce Lee was shedding fat off his body like it was sweat.
Bruce Lee’s diet was of course, supplementary towards his low body fat and high muscle mass. With a strategic diet plan and a heavy combination of exercise routines, Bruce Lee nearly achieved a body with zero percent body fat.
Source material and factual content of the Bruce Lee diet referenced from the book and pdf “Bruce Lee: Weight & Abs Training.” A book that takes a look into Bruce Lee’s diet and workout.