So, you decided to sign up for a fitness competition? Good for you!
They are certainly not for the faint of heart. There will be hard work, and maybe even some tears involved, but there is a great sense of accomplishment when you slip on those snazzy clear 5 inch high heels and show off all your hard work on stage.
Based on experience, I am happy to share the five steps to a successful fitness competition diet, that will not fail you.
Step one: You must look at food as fuel and as fuel only.
It is not a reward system or a punishment mechanism. When training for this competition, you will have to eat 6-7 small meals a day. Often times, you won’t be hungry and you will be feeding yourself just so you will be able to build optimal muscle mass and strength.
Step two: You need to know how your body reacts to food and exercise.
For those who have had a bad relationship with dieting and food in the past, your metabolism might not be up to par.
You might actually have to work a bit harder in the gym and in the kitchen to be able to get to where you need to be before stepping on stage.
Step 3: Be realistic on the amount of preparation time that you have and how far off you are from stepping on stage.
If you are 50 pounds overweight, a 13 week program of diet and exercise won’t make you stage-ready or worthy.
A true competitor wants to stay between 5-10 pounds away from their goal competition weight, so that it isn’t so hard on the body to get back to competition shape.
Step 4: One bad meal does not constitute a bad day or even a bad week of eating.
Allow a cheat meal or a splurge on occasion. This should be something that you can look forward to and enjoy.
I try to have one splurge meal a week just to keep myself from feeling completely deprived. The contest prep diet is hard enough as it is. You will most likely hate chicken breast and broccoli by the time you are finished with this.
Also to be noted, do not skip meals. Skipping meals makes your body wonder when it will be fed again. When your body feels this way, it will start “holding” on to calories to make sure that you don’t go into starvation mode.
Step 5: Sweet potatoes are your friend.
In fact, everything that is low on the glycemic index is your friend. Avoid foods that will spike your insulin level and then drop you down into a pit of despair and food frenzy.
If you eat right, your body will never get to the point where it is “needing” any nutrient. White rice, white potatoes, and for the most part anything white, is not your friend during contest prep.
So, there you have it! Five diet tips that will not fail you when training for a fitness competition. Best of luck to you and your upcoming competition!