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Articles > Nutrition > Pre-Contest Diet Plan
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Meal Plan
Meal One
Breakfast burrito: 4 egg-white omelets with veggies topped with tofu cheese in an organic whole-wheat tortilla wrap.
Half grapefruit.
Post Workout
High energy protein shake
Meal Two
3-4 oz. lemon-rosemary chicken
1 cup sweet potatoes
1 cup steamed spinach
Meal Three
1 cup mixed greens with fresh veggies
1 tablespoon poppy-seed vinaigrette
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
Meal Four
3-4 oz. 5-spiced salmon
1 cup grilled zucchini, squash and mushrooms with flaxseed oil
1 cup mixed green salad
1 tablespoon orange-soy vinaigrette
Meal Five
1 baked sweet potato, or snack on 2-3 oz. nonfat chicken salad
Meal Six
Low-carb protein shake

There must be tens of thousands of commentaries and views on what the correct pre-contest diet is. Clearly if you are getting ready for a bodybuilding competition your objective is to drop as much fat off your body as possible.
Step 1: work out approximately how many calories your body is burning each day. For example if you eat 2000 calories a day, and do everything you normally do, such as go to work, do your training, etc., and your body weight remains constant, 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.

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 and 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 fat from your body. 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.

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 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, based on a blunder that you made in the meal before, or in anticipation of 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. If you eat enough protein in the off-season not only to repair muscles, but also to allow them to grow, then you won't need to change the amount of protein you eat pre-contest.

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.

Pre-Workout Meals
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.

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.

 

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