Anthony Joshua reveals the diet that made him world heavyweight champion 3 years ago

Anthony Joshua reveals the diet that made him world heavyweight champion

The old saying goes 'physiques don't win fights' - but that was before Anthony Joshua came along.

The IBF world heavyweight champion is the ultimate physical specimen.

While so many contemporary heavyweights are overweight, soft and sluggish, Joshua is a lean, muscular and powerful athlete.

It's precisely this incredible physique  that has propelled him to the summit of the world heavyweight division.

We took an in depth look at how Joshua's insane training has made him a beast in the ring who has knocked out every man he has faced on the way to the IBF world title.

But Joshua's training diet is also a huge part of maximising his genetic potential and forging him into the ultimate fighting machine.

You won't see Joshua ballooning in weight in between fights from pies and beer like former champ Ricky Hatton.

The Watford native is shredded all year round - and his militant diet is at the heart of this.

We have seen little snippets of how Joshua eats but this interview with Sky Sports ahead of his first title defence against Dominic Breazeale on Saturday shows exactly the foods he is eating to fuel his incredible performance.

Breakfast

Your mum probably told you 'it's the most important meal of the day' - and she wasn't joking. Joshua gets through 4,500 calories a day leading up to a fight and it starts with a big breakfast. He posted this video of a monster breakfast including beans, eggs, brown bread and a protein shake on Twitter which came to more than 1,000 calories.

But he told Sky Sports his latest power-packed breakfast consisted of egg, rice, chicken, avocado, bread, a fruit juice.

Eggs are a brilliant source of protein with eight essential amino acids, along with vitamins A, E and K along with vitamin B12, riboflavin and folic acid. Chicken is another great source of protein to help his muscles recover and rebuild.

This balanced meal includes a range of fast-acting carbohydrates for quick energy (fruit juice) along with slow-burning carbs for sustained energy he needs for his three training sessions a day.

Avocados meanwhile are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid which helps reduce inflammation.

Lunch

Once Joshua has burned through his breakfast he has another big, nutrient-dense meal to keep his 16st frame well-fuelled.

Again his lunch has a great macro-nutrient balance with protein, fat and carbs. Salmon is not only packed with protein, but it's also a brilliant source of essential fatty acids like Omega 3 which has so many benefits including reducing inflammation and reducing body fat.

His carbs come from rice and noodles and he fills up on fibre-rich vegetables which not only keep him full, but are packed with essential micronutrients that help him achieve optimal performance.

Dinner

You've probably noticed by now that Joshua isn't filling up on crap. His breakfast and lunch are designed to give him good, clean sources of energy, healthy fats and lean proteins.

His dinner is no different. He will have a lean meat, along with pounded yaw, stew and okra.

Joshua told Sky Sports that pounded yam, a Nigerian staple, is one of his key training foods which is packed with slow-burning, complex carbohydrate and fibre.

"It just keeps you strong," he says. "It's a dense form of mash potato. If you eat that enough and you train then it's a big carb load."

Later he has another round of rice, salmon and noodles.

He always tried to eat clean, nutritious food and steers clear of takeaways and processed junk.

Joshua says he doesn't stick to a strict number of meals, adding: "I just eat when I'm hungry, really. I just eat clean whenever I feel hungry."