So in the last couple of years, I’ve gone from lean to more shredded on average.
The strange thing is that it was not my intention to get leaner than I already was. I just focused on eating nutrient dense foods and drinking plenty of water, and that is how the chips fell.
This summer I was walking on Santa Monica beach close to where I live and I heard this guy say as I was walking by, “That dude is shredded!”. A woman I dated said I look like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine all the time.
The major change I’ve made to my eating in the last couple of years is that I use an Air Fryer 1-2x a day. During COVID it’s 2x a day because I’ve been cooking more.
I’m much more satisfied when I eat fibrous veggies with my meals and I don’t feel sluggish or weighed down after. Having plenty of veggies is the difference between being satisfied or hungry after a meal. Water makes a big difference too.
The total volume of food I eat is significant, and I imagine that it’s as much or more than most men. It turns out eating a bunch of fruits and vegetables provides nutrition without many calories.
What Is An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a countertop oven that uses a circulation of hot air to give the food a crispy taste without deep frying in oil.
There are just a few components: (1) a timer, (2) a knob or button to adjust the heat, which typically goes up to 400 degrees, and (3) a tray where you add the food for cooking.
Why Should You Consider Buying An Air Fryer?
A couple of years ago, I coached a few friends who wanted to drop some weight and improve their health. My friend Adam mentioned several times how much he loved his air fryer, so I decided to take the plunge and buy one.
It’s not easy to get me to buy something physical because I am more of a minimalist. Only a few years ago, all of my earthly possessions fit into a small carryon and backpack.
So why should you bother buying one extra thing for your kitchen?
I think there are several reasons:
- Encourages you to eat more vegetables, particularly fibrous veggies
- Gives food a crispy texture, which makes it more satisfying than using a stove top
- Easy to clean up in seconds and many models are dishwasher safe
- You can set it and forget it unlike a stove top
- You don’t need to use oils to cook your food
Eating more veggies may be the simplest and proven strategy to get lean. If the total volume of food you eat has a larger portion of veggies, your total calorie intake will decrease.
How Do You Use An Air Fryer?
Using an Air Fryer is thankfully very easy.
Here are the instructions:
- Plug it in
- Pour food into the tray
- Set the timer for a certain duration
- Open the tray and serve when the timer rings
That’s it. Even a busy guy can do it.
I set the heat at 400 degrees so it cooks the food in the least amount of time. I don’t need to constantly change the heat, I just keep it at the same level.
What Should I Cook With An Air Fryer?
There are all sorts of recipes that you can use with an Air Fryer and foods you can cook.
I just use the Air Fryer to cook frozen veggies. I keep it simple and easy. Cooking frozen veggies crispy only takes 10-minutes.
You may be thinking, “Is eating so much frozen veggies unhealthy? Frozen veggies are not nearly as good as fresh veggies, right?”
Well actually, frozen veggies can have higher nutrient content than fresh vegetables and even fruit because they are picked at peak ripeness. In fact, one study concluded, “Overall, the vitamin content of the frozen commodities was comparable to and occasionally higher than that of their fresh counterparts” 1
I buy 5lb bags of frozen veggies, which range from $8 to $10 at Costco through Instacart. You shouldn’t need a Costco membership if you order through Instacart. Both frozen fruits and veggies are much less expensive when buying through Costco in bulk.
- Kirkland Signature Organic Normandy Frozen Vegetables, 5.5 lb
- Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Frozen Vegetable Blend, 5.5 lb
- Kirkland Signature Organic White Sweet Corn, 5 lb
- Kirkland Signature Organic Mixed Vegetables, 5 lb
Which Air Fryer Should I Buy?
There is a bewildering array of air fryers you can purchase on the market.
The key differences between all the various options are the following:
- Display (digital or analog)
- Size (3-12 quarts)
- Price range ($60 to $200)
- Cleaning (dishwasher safe)
- Appearance (branding)
I have the Chefman TurboFry 3.6 Quart Air Fryer (affiliate link). I don’t have any affiliation with this company. It looks pretty cool and it’s simple and works for me. The only negative is that sometimes the tray at the base of the container pops out when I’m taking food out after cooking.
If you have an air fryer, what do you like to cook with it? Has an air fryer helped you improve your eating habits? Leave a comment!
- Bouzari A, Holstege D, Barrett DM. Vitamin retention in eight fruits and vegetables: a comparison of refrigerated and frozen storage. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(3):957-962. ↩
My family loves our air fryer! Our favorite is sweet potato fries 🙂 My husband and two children have celiac – so having a clean fryer is very important. Thank you for the tip on the vegetables…I will try it for dinner tonight!
Nice, sweet potatoes fries taste amazing without the extra oils. Have a nice meal!
Hmm interesting been debating on getting one of those for awhile. Curious to hear what other think and which air fryer they recommend. ?
we have an air fryer and we love it though we haven’t used it as much as you’ve shown. Our mistake! We have used it for whole garlic cloves and a few other stuff. Just a tiny bit of olive oil and pepper, some peeled cloves at one of the lower temps for 7 minutes or so and . . . . Mmmmmm . . . a nice soft buttery slightly sweet texture. We’ll give this gizmo more work by your suggestions.
Sounds good, Peter. It makes sense to test some new foods out.
My wife makes sweet potato fries with our air fryer. Delicious and healthy.
Nice! Sweet potatoes can definitely work really well, they take a little longer to cook than veggies, but they are well worth the wait.
Do you add any Olive oil or do you just go oil free?
I go oil free. That’s part of the benefit of an air fryer is no oil required + easy clean up, but feel free to play around with it and see what works for you.
I find that for some foods you need a spritz of oil to crisp things up…. Fries are awesome with a little olive or avacado oil. Asparagus in the air fryer are the best!
I eat a ton of veggies too. Either buy veggies to microwave/steam in a bag for 3.5 minutes. Otherwise, frozen veggies microwaved or thawed at room temp. Is there really any difference between the air fryer and microwave?
The main difference for me is that with the air fryer, the vegetables taste crispy and I can put exactly as much as I want into it. If you’re in a hurry or simply prefer the taste, a microwaveable bag can certainly work. I also don’t have a microwave as of now, so that’s not an option for me.
Interesting article. I always thought this were another gadget dreamed up by marketers that will end up gathering dust. You’ve given me cause to have another look and consider buying one.
I hear where you’re coming from, Drew. I was resistant to buying a large kitchen appliance, but I use it all the time so it’s been well worth it. You can always give it a try and return it if it doesn’t work well for you.
Great article Marc. Will give it a try
Great authentic article with practical advice. Well done!
Thanks, Wayne. I appreciate it.
Fascinating… I’ve been following your posts for a long time and find value even as a 70 year old female who can’t possibly gain muscle on bad joints. And now this article shows up on YouTube and here in your blog.
So my question is… Does using the fryer smell up your kitchen worse than just stir frying or steaming? I suppose I could go to Google with my question but I prefer an honest opinion.
Thank you for your years of service to everyone seeking to improve their health.
Hey Pam, I’m glad to hear you’ve been following the articles for a while and they’ve been helpful! The air fryer – at least when I use it with the Chefman model – has very little if any smell.
I too have been mulling over getting an air fryer and love roasting veggies so I looked at Ninja and Chefman. Ninja uses ceramic . I don’t think “teflon” is used any more as a non stick coating but wondered if you had concerns or problems with Chefman’s nonstick coating.