Sexy foods only.
As of today, Jason Baca has been on 478 romance-novel covers. That’s even more covers than glistening legend Fabio has under his belt (heh). “It sounds like a huge number [heh heh], and it is,” Baca says. He’s posed as a “broodingly hot vampire highlander,” a “shy, quiet Marine sniper,” and “Dakota Thunder, a bounty hunter who never misses a target.”
You don’t get to be Dakota Thunder without preposterous abs, chiseled everything, and arms so veiny they look like topographic maps. And you get those by eating a lot of protein. Baca explained that while he usually has six or seven smaller meals throughout the day, here’s what he might eat if he has a shoot coming up:
I keep it pretty clean in the morning, usually 4-5 egg whites, 1 multivitamin, and a protein bar. I may also have a fish oil. I like to start my day right when it comes to food, and your body can utilize 100 percent of an egg, unlike most foods. They are so beneficial to muscle growth that it's hard not to have in the morning for me.
Ideally, if I have a shoot coming in the next couple weeks, I'd have chicken breast, tuna in a can with dill, Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, one orange, and I’d finish it off with a protein bar. I always have coconut oil before the meal.
I eat my final meal of the day before 6:30 P.M. I’d grill some salmon with mango and avocado. I'd also have fresh lemon to squeeze on that. Finally, I'd have a shot glass full of apple-cider vinegar that I'd knock down. The benefits of vinegar are endless.
That’s what you should eat if you want to look like a muscly sex god, but Baca is also a disciple of the “cheat meal,” allowing himself one caloric bacchanal per week. His go-to cheat meal? “Fettuccine with shrimp in a creamy pesto sauce with lots of Parmesan cheese. I'd eat a bucket or so of that and then have a crazy dessert, like a triple-layer chocolate cake with some whipped cream.” Men, you can have it all!
That said, mere mortals cannot just eat a bucket of creamy fettuccine and still look like Baca—which is to say, like a walking inverted trapezoid. You have to spend a lot of time in the gym. When Baca secured his first cover, he went full Rocky to prepare. “I'd do squats to build up my thighs and crunches to bring in those abs,” Baca says. “When I'd exercise, I'd be at a point in the workout where, when you get to that tenth or eleventh rep in a set, most people would put the weights down and take a rest, but I would keep going.” He kept going until he knew he was ready to be a romance-novel stud: “If people have the immediate sensation of wanting to unbutton clothing, then I know I'm doing my job right.”
“It’s pretty cool to be able to say I play a role in people’s hot lovin’ every night.”
Baca recommends taking a vitamin B complex half an hour before a workout, along with a fistful of protein. Usually that’s chicken that he shreds and keeps in a Ziploc bag, or a couple Chobani yogurts with some honey. To get as much from his gym sessions as he can, Baca avoids salty foods and bread. “Breads can wipe out all the hard work you've been doing so diligently in the gym.”
Marathon workouts and militant dieting are rough, but Baca says it’s all worth it: “It's pretty cool to be able to say I play a role in people's hot lovin’ every night."