Are you preparing for your first contest? Unsure about your pre-contest diet plan?
Then this is the article that will help. Let’s start right off with an example of a pre-contest diet plan:
This can be one days’ worth of meals. This assumes you work out in the morning.
- Breakfast burrito: 4 egg-white omelets with veggies topped with low-fat cheese in an organic whole-wheat tortilla wrap.
- Half grapefruit.
- Have a protein shake that consists of 30g whey protein and 20-30g carbs. Use a product such as 5% Nutrition Real Carbs. This is a low glycemic, whole food carb powder. See it here: 5% Nutrition Real Carbs – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)
- 3-4 oz. lemon-rosemary chicken
- 1 cup sweet potatoes
- 1 cup steamed spinach
- 1 cup mixed greens with fresh veggies
- 1 tablespoon poppy-seed vinaigrette
- ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
- 3-4 oz. 5-spiced salmon
- Use 1 cup grilled zucchini, squash and mushrooms with flaxseed oil
- Use 1 cup mixed green salad
- Add 1 tablespoon orange-soy vinaigrette
- 1 baked sweet potato, or snack on 2-3 oz. nonfat chicken salad
- Meal Six
- Low-carb protein shake
Pre-Contest Diet Plan – Let’s Break It Down
There must be tens of thousands of commentaries and views on what the correct pre-contest diet plan is. Clearly if you are getting ready for a bodybuilding competition your objective is to drop as much fat off your body as possible.
With that in mind, let’s look at the steps you need to follow to work out your macronutrient profile.
Step 1: Work out approximately how many calories your body is burning each day. For example, let’s say you eat 2000 calories a day. Add in everything you normally do. This includes: go to work, do your training, etc. Does your body weight remain constant? Then you have found your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.
Step 2: Subtract an appropriate number from your BMR to ensure that you lose the fat you put on during the off-season.
Step 3: Find how many calories will come from which macronutrients and where they will fit into your diet.
Pre-Contest Diet Plan – What About Cardio?
If you can, do your cardio before lunch. This will keep your metabolism elevated throughout the day. It will also put your body in a caloric debt and encourage weight loss. Or, if it suits you better, you can do 20-25 minutes in the morning before breakfast. Then do another 20-25 minutes in the evening. You also need to drink between 1 and 1.5 gallons of water per day. The more water you can consume, the faster you will be eliminating body fat. In order to maintain your strength, keep your protein intake high and keep your intensity up. You can supplement with protein drinks/powders. Chicken and tuna are great sources of protein, while yams, rice cakes and mixed veggies will do for carbs.
No Missed Meals
Here’s a key to your pre-contest diet plan success. You must not miss meals. You will not succeed if you do not eat at least 4-5 times per day. Weigh and measure everything you eat. Buy a food scale if you don’t have one, to make it easy. If you happen to overdo one meal, do not under eat the next meal. Do not change any meal. Never mind the blunder that you made in the meal before. Don’t worry about a meal that is ahead, in other words. Do not have more than two alcoholic beverages per week.
The more consistent you are off-season, the easier it should be to make changes and see results pre-contest. Eat enough protein in the off-season. This not only repairs muscles, but also allows them to grow. Do this and you won’t need to change the amount of protein you eat pre-contest.
Pre-Contest Diet Plan – Control Eating Behavior
Controlling your eating behavior in the off-season is just as important as pre-contest. This is where some of the best “muscle gaining” can happen. This can also be where some of the best “fat gaining” can happen if you don’t control your eating habits. Make a promise to yourself to try to stay as lean as possible but also to put on some quality mass.
You can start your pre-contest training and diet as many as 20 weeks before the competition. Another strategy some bodybuilders use is to follow a gaining/hardening cycle for about 10 months before switching to their pre-contest diet plan. The beauty of this plan is that you not only get bigger, but you’ll stay within reasonable striking distance of your contest condition all year long.
Your pre-workout food is extremely important. This meal keeps your blood-glucose levels steady all through your workout. Your general workout will be the product of this meal in nearly all cases. The meal will be different depending on if you are off-season or in a pre-contest training phase. Sample pre-workout meal components: protein – beef, steak, chicken or turkey. Carbohydrates – fruits such as peaches and grapefruit.
Pre-Contest Diet Plan – The Last Two Weeks
You’ve gone through a number of weeks of what seems like the worst diet possible. When you get to two weeks out you have to be ready. One of the most popular ways for preparing for a contest is the Carb Depleting and Loading Method. Here’s how it works: carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Fat is your second. By depleting your carbs you are forcing your body to tap into all of its fat storage for energy.
Get Cut And Shredded
Undeniably, one of the most amazing physiques the bodybuilding world has ever seen resides on Dexter “The Blade” Jackson. So how does Dexter do it? Even though he is genetically exceptional, it still takes plenty of hard work and a well-laid-out plan for him to be able to attain his grainy, ripped look. Dexter takes a practical approach to meeting his dietary requirements leading up to a competition. He keeps on target with his diet even between prejudging and the night of the show.
Pre-contest dieting is tough, particularly for the drug-free bodybuilder. Your brain uses only carbohydrates as a source of energy, and your body will protect your brain at all costs. You will need an accurate scale, a notebook, a good tape measure, a food scale, a food nutrition content guide, and a pair of skinfold calipers. If you track your body composition weekly throughout your diet, you will have a good assessment of your diet and avoid the panic dieting that can strip you of your hard earned muscle mass.