Tilapia is Underrated

Whenever you ask a bodybuilder or fitness competitor what their diet is like, 9 times out of 10 they’ll mention tilapia…with a frown ūüôĀ . ¬†They hit something I like to call, “The Dreaded Tilapia Wall”. They don’t want to smell it, look at it, or put it in their mouths…ever again. There are two main reasons for aversions to tilapia by people who are seemingly so dedicated to fitness:

  1. Bodybuilders and fitness competitors find tilapia so boring is because they’re not cooking it right & they’re buying cheap tilapia! They put some salt on a cheap tilapia filet, wrap it in tinfoil, and toss it in the oven. They call it “baked tilapia” I call it, “a fishy disaster”
  2. They’re eating it every single day for three weeks leading up to their competition.
I can’t really give a solution to number 2. Eating the same thing at every meal, day in and day out, will inevitably cause said meal to magically morph your taste buds into TILAPIA HATING soldiers. It could also morph the flavor of the fish in question to taste like fishy tree bark.
On a side note: eating the same thing everyday for fat loss, while it may get you super lean for a competition, it could cause serious deficiencies in vital amino acids and various nutrients. This is one of the main reasons that bodybuilders get SO hungry leading up to a show. So, unless you have a major show on the line, try to avoid eating the same thing every day for extended periods of time…more on this topic in another post. For now, let’s get back to how to make tilapia loins that kick ass.¬†


As for issue numero uno, I’m going to tell you how to cook a kick ass tilapia that even the pickiest eater won’t get sick of. At least not for a while.
Here we go….
Get good tilapia loins! Good quality tilapia loins are going to taste like the tender, flaky, heavenly¬†pieces¬†of the ocean. Bad tilapia loins are going to taste like gritty, fishy pieces of rubber¬†fresh out of a cloudy fish tank. Here’s a very good, frozen bag of tilapia loins…they’re not much pricier than the cheaper frozen bags, and they taste amazing.
I sautee my tilapia, and yes, I use some olive oil (about 1 tablespoon for a batch of four 5 oz fillets). I also use fresh herbs and spices. The fresh herbs and spices is where the magic happens, people! I use fresh ground sea salt, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and the Trader Joe’s lemon pepper grinder…oh, and of course, fresh sqeezed lemon juice at the end, after they’ve browned.
Ahhhh…now THOSE are some beautifully browned, slightly crispy tilapia. mmmmmm. Ok. Back to business.
Now it’s not OK to just slap some tilapia on a plate and call it a night. It was late when I made these, so a starchy carb was out of the question. Instead, I just used some fresh organic arugula and brocoli, and drizzled them with balsamic vinegar. AND, I topped the tilapia with roasted garlic cloves. I would typically use shallots, but I was out, and the roasted garlic turned out to be the perfect addition!
This was my dinner tonight. I ate it in about 2.5 seconds, and enjoyed every bite of it,¬†especially¬†the tilapia. I hope you give this one a try, and that it opens your mind to the exciting world of tilapia! OK, maybe not “exciting”….more like, hmmm, tilapia, this actually tastes fricken awesome!
And just in case you need it, here’s the recipe card for my Kick Ass Tilapia.
Kick Ass Tilapia, Lean Secrets Style.

Rating: 5

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 4 Tilapia Loins

Serving Size: 5 oz

Calories per serving: 234

Fat per serving: 6 grams


  • 4 Tilapia Loins
  • Fresh Sea Salt from a grinder
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Garlic Cloves


  1. Heat pan with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil at medium high heat
  2. Coat tilapia with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  3. Place into pan and allow each side to brown for approx. 3-6 minutes.
  4. Once tilapia has browned to your liking, squeeze fresh lemon on top. and grate some lemon zest as well.
  5. Remove tilapia from the pan, and use remaining bit of oil to sautee the garlic cloves until golden brown
  6. Top tilapia with garlic cloves and enjoy

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Screw Half n’ Half

Turkey Mish-Mash