Fitness Contest Preparation:
Diet Advice

Dieting still remains very important for these two contests. Muscle building takes a back burner at this stage in the last four weeks of the contest, because muscle building offers more of a long-term benefit, while extra cardio will give more dramatic results in the short-term. The winner of both of these contests will have to lose a significant amount of bodyfat.

To maximize your results during the final four weeks of the contest, you may want to execute a final “push” period during which you exercise more than usual and reduce extra calories in your diet even further, just for this limited period of time. Of course, it can be HARD to follow a super-strict diet even for just 4 weeks—and you may lose some valuable, hard-earned muscle if you begin losing weight more rapidly. However, losing some muscle is part of the trade-off for losing fat more rapidly. The reality is that to win these contests it may be necessary to diet so hard that you DO lose some muscle in order to lose the largest amount of fat (FYI, unless you are significantly overweight you may start to lose muscle when you lose more than 1.5-2.0 pounds/week. Again, this might be necessary if you hope to win the contests).

If you don’t want to do a final “push” for the last four weeks of the contest because your personal goals are more long-term in nature, that is fine—better, perhaps--in the long run. Just continue what you have been doing with your diet and shoot for 0.5-2.0 pounds/week of weight loss. You can still try the training suggestions on the left-hand column of this page if you like. Otherwise you can continue the training schedule you followed for the past four weeks.

For the super-competitive types who would like to do a “push” period these last four weeks, consider the following diet schedule (may start on Monday or any day of the week). If you weigh less than 150 pounds, reduce the daily calories by 200 each day. This diet is very low in calories for an active person, but the high protein and one high-carb day will help preserve your metabolism.

Day 1 (Sunday): Eat no more than 1500 calories. The majority should come from all from veggies, lean protein, and essential fatty acids (like fish oil or flaxseed oil). You may have some whole grains or a “treat” like a 300-calorie desert as well, but factor that into the 1500-calorie figure. Day 2 (Monday): Eat no more than 1200 calories, all from veggies, lean protein, and essential fatty acids (like fish oil or flaxseed oil). Day 3 (Tuesday): Eat no more than 1200 calories, all from veggies, lean protein, and essential fatty acids (like fish oil or flaxseed oil). Day 4 (Wednesday): Eat no more than 1200 calories, all from veggies, lean protein, and essential fatty acids (like fish oil or flaxseed oil). Day 5 (Thursday): Eat no more than 1200 calories, all from veggies, lean protein, and essential fatty acids (like fish oil or flaxseed oil). Day 6 (Friday): Multiply your body weight by 18 and eat that amount of calories. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, eat 150x18 or 2700 calories. Eat mainly carbs on this day, and stick to low-fat choices. For example, cereal for breakfast, a sub with pretzels for lunch, a big pasta dinner. Day 7 (Saturday): Same as Day 1.

On a diet this strict, it is crucial that you take a multivitamin and 6 fish oil caps daily. In addition, you may want to take extra vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. You may want to take glutamine before bed to help you sleep and aid in recovery. Try 5g mixed with 3 oz. water.

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