The Improper Figure Diet
Research shows that the typical bodybuilding diet is fairly healthy (except for the reduced calories), if followed using a wide enough variety of vegetables. You would think that with such intense dieting that the body would be lacking multiple vitamins and minerals… although everyone is different, large deficiencies in vitamins and minerals is uncommon.
Problems: The problems start when you go on a diet that is too restrictive and limited In food selections. Your choices are already limited, therefore any further limiting of food can be detriments to your health. I just encountered this a few weeks ago when a competitor told me of a dangerous diet she was on. Hair falling out, fainting, diarrhea are just a few of the issues that comes with following diets that are too extreme and limited:
- Diet where you are limited to eating only one or two foods a day
- Programs that require you to drink the majority of your food in the form of protein powder or other powdered supplements.
- Diets that try to manipulate water or cause dehydration
- Programs that require tons of supplements (watch out for supplements ads in magazines and online) instead of food.
- Diets that require you to eat fewer meals per day as opposed to more (the more meals you eat – the more fat you will lose).
- Diets containing mostly foods of little nutritional value such as lettuce, crackers etc.
Dieting the right way before a show will insure that you are ready to fully recover and build muscle in the off-season (if that’s what you need to do)… otherwise it may take months for you to fully recover from a bad diet. The big misconception is that you have to do something extreme with dieting to get ready for a show. The truth is that extreme dieting is the quickest way to derail your competition goals.
Solution: Click Here to Discover 31 safe and healthy Figure Prep Diets.
Eat whatever you want and not gain weight
…or maybe even lose a pound!
Is it possible?
Yes, It’s definitely possible to eat whatever you want on the holidays and still lose weight. The key is what you do on the days surrounding your big eating days:
New Years Eve
New Years Day
Let’s face it, you’re going to eat on those days (above) anyway so you might as well do it in a way that will not cause weight gain… and you may even lose a pound!
The general idea:
Basically what you are going to do is eat low carb and low fat on the days before and after the holidays so that you can eat whatever you want on the actual holiday. This is the same type of thing I do with my figure competitors in between shows… and they LOSE weight!! So, it does work.
3 Types of Days
These are days you will eat like you would normally eat
These will be your toughest days. Calories will be lower and you will have to eat clean…. absolutely no cheating. the good thing about it is that it’s fairly easy to follow a diet like this for a few days because it contains a lot of vegetables which can satify cravings until the big eating days.
Eat Whatever You Want
Although it’s possible to eat a bunch of calories on the holidays. The reality is that it’s hard to gain even a pound of fat in 2 or 3 days. The ‘weight’ you gain will be mostly water which you will get rid of by eating clean in the days following the holidays.
The chart below outlines the days surrounding the holidays and how you should eat on those days
Tues Dec 27
Wed Dec 28
Wed Dec 21
Thurs Dec 22
Friday Dec 23
Mon Dec 26
Thurs Dec 29
Friday Dec 30
Christmas Eve Dec 24th
Christmas Dat Dec 25th
New Years Eve Dec 31st
New Years Day Jan 1st
Eating ‘clean’ days are the key:
These are the days in which your calories and carbihydrate intake is lower. Interspersing these days in the mix will keep any fat gain from happening. Sort of like taking one step forward for every one step backward. If you are really tight on your diet and combine that with a workout then you will probably lose a pound by the time this is all over with. Any extra calories you can burn on your ‘clean’ days will come from fat, since there will be very little sugar (carbs) in your system.
During these days you will eat the majority of your calories from protein… mainly chicken breast if you can. You should be eat a hefty amount of vegetables everyday. Avoid: PEAS, CARROTS, CORN and BEANS (they contain more sugar/carbs) – green beans are ok.
How much to eat:
Below are some sample days of eating. Below are three ‘eat clean’ days (choice 1, 2 3,). For example – if it says 200 grams of chicken, 300 grams of carbs and 500 grams of chicken etc. – then this is what you will eat in the course of the day. Split it up into meals and eat it throughout the day. The only thing you want to avoid is loading up your carbs at night (ex. don’t save all of your rice/potatoes for your last meal… make sure you spread it out.
Clean Days Choices:
Chicken: 250 grams
Egg Whites: 6
Rice/potato: 100 grams
Whey Protein: (scoops) 2 scoops
Oatmeal: small bowl
Vegetables: 500 grams
Fish: 300 grams
Whey Protein: 2 (scoops)
Egg whites: 6
Rice/potato: 200 grams
Vegetables: 600 grams
Oatmeal: small bowl
Chicken: 170 grams
Whey protein: 2 scoops
Cottage cheese: 150 calories
Egg whites: 6
Rice/potato: 80 grams
Vegetables: 500 grams
The idea is to pick one of the choices and follow it on your ‘eat clean’ day(s)
Spread the food throughout the day
– Don’t end-load your meals (waiting until night to eat the majority of your food)
– you can eat either white or brown rice
– you can eat either white or sweet potatoes
– no alcohol
– you can switch between choices (you don’t have to follow the same ‘choice’ each day)
Figure Diet: the competition diet is pretty basic. Lean protein, fibrous carbs (vegetables), complex carbs and good fats. The diet should be structured to change as the body gets leaner.
- Meat: Chicken is the food of choice 80% of the time with fish and tuna being eaten 20% of the time. Some competitors switch to fish in the weeks prior to a show to help with fat loss.
- Protein powder: Every competitor uses protein powder each day between, 2-4 scoops. Closer to competition, competitors will replace some of their chicken or fish meals with protein powder to keep fat loss going. You should choose a powder that taste good to you, otherwise you get tired of it real quick.
- Supplements: A multivitamin once a day and protein powder, that’s about it for 95% of my competitors. Creatine should only be taken in the off-season. If i find that someone is taking creatine during precontest training, I will have them stop immediately because it makes you hold water.
- Cheat foods: Peanut butter seems to be the big winner when it comes to cheating. Almost every competitor admits to cheating on the diet. 70% will choose peanut butter. Ice cream is enjoyed by 30% of competitors and potato chips are eaten by 40%. They say the best thing to do is make sure there is none of the ‘offending’ food in the house… otherwise it will be eaten.
- Compliance with the diet: 99% of competitors cheat on the diet. I know a few who I ‘think’ won’t cheat… but I can’t be 100% sure. They often try to lie about it, but i get the truth eventually. Actually cheats are harmless and can be beneficial if kept to a minimum. The brain (psychology) and body (extra energy) benefits from the extra boost a cheat can give them.
- Artificial sweeteners: 60% say they use some sort of artificial sugar or flavoring in their coffee (also about 80% drink coffee). These have to be eliminated the last week of a show because they can hold on to water in your body. You can lose 3 or 4 lbs just by eliminating artificial sweeteners from your diet (depending on how much you use).