2.5 Weeks Out – Contest Prep Diet
As I sit here noshing on my chicken and green beans at 5:00 in the morning I figure what better time is there to begin my post about my prep diet than now? It wasn’t always chicken and green beans for breakfast but at just over 2 weeks out from my show, I am pulling out all the stops…
As I mentioned in my two previous posts, readers must acknowledge and understand that there are no cookie cutter prep guidelines, ESPECIALLY when it comes to diet. What works for me will most certainly not work for everyone, and may even be totally counterproductive for someone else. My own prep changes dramatically from show to show, let alone person to person. That is actually one of the most important lessons I have learned throughout this six-week prep; what worked for me 3 years ago no longer works for me now. My age is different, my weight is different, my lean muscle mass and body fat percentage are different – thus, the way my body metabolizes food is dramatically different. I have also given myself 6 weeks to prepare for this show, as opposed to the 8-12 I used to give myself. All of these factors contribute to the formulation of my current prep diet.
Let’s rewind about 4 weeks… I was eating a TON throughout my improvement season. I was eating roughly 2,200-2,500 calories per day consisting of around 225g carbs, 200g protein and 65g fat. My most missed and craved meal of the day - Peanut Butter Proatmeal:
I dream about that Proatmeal!
There are several different philosophies in the nutrition world. Some of these include IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), Keto, High Carb, the list goes on… Personally, I am a huge believer in tracking my macros. I believe that it is important to include protein, carbs and fat into a balanced diet. All 3 are important and I don’t believe in eliminating any of them completely. I weigh and measure and keep track of my intake year round, but with slightly more flexibility in my off-season, and I give myself 1-2 cheat meals per week. When I decided to compete again and give myself just 6 weeks to prepare, however, flexibility went out the window.
The moment I started my prep my carbs were cut in half, along with my fats, but my protein remained the same. While the decrease in carbs sounds dramatic, I kept a cheat meal in two times a week, which always seemed to come right as I started to notice a decrease in energy levels. I always make sure that my cheat meals consist of nutrient dense FOOD – not sweets. As badly as I crave ice cream and donuts, my body benefits a lot more from a full fat burger and French fries.
After the first two weeks, my carbs were cut in half again. I was eating one meal with carbs per day and my fats and protein stayed the same. I also introduced a new, higher glycemic index carb than I am used to – white rice. My carbs typically consist of complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potato and quinoa but my physique has responded nicely to the change.
*Protein supplement of choice while cutting – EVL Stacked Protein LEAN in Chocolate Decadence
With just over 2 weeks left in my prep I have reduced my cheat meals to one cheat per week, still consisting of a hearty, calorie dense but also nutrient dense meal. I’m now the local Tampa Bay burger taster. I’ve made it my mission to try all of Tampa’s best, most famous burger vendors :D.
I also need to make sure that my body is focusing on burning fat, rather than muscle, so proper supplementation is essential. My favorite muscle sparing and recovery supplements when I am cutting include:
EVL ENGN SHRED – Pre-workout
EVL BCAA Lean Energy – Itra-workout
EVL Glutamine – Post-workout and before bed
EVL BCAA 5000 – Post-workout
Diet is hands down the hardest part about contest prep. I get tired and hungry and I do suffer from some serious cravings, but it’s amazing to watch my physique change right before my eyes. Little changes go a long a way but it is important to stay consistent and TRUST THE PROCESS. I like to think of discipline as any other muscle in your body; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. With that being said, I’ve reached the home stretch. Wish me luck and stay tuned for a post-show update with a few pieces of advice from yours truly!