This is perhaps the most important facet of successful show prep, and for most, also the most difficult. For 8-16 weeks you must be willing to give up all sorts of junk food (such as pizza, burgers, fries, cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream and more), as well as high calorie condiments, and of course, alcohol. The diet must be comprised of only high quality, clean proteins
, fats and carbohydrates, with each meal specifically timed and carefully measured for content. When getting ready for a contest, a digital food scale will become your most trusted ally! There is no room for “guesstimating” or eyeing portions when the goal is getting into top shape. You must also make sure to plan ahead, especially if you work a full-time job and/or go to school. You will not be able to skip meals, grab a protein bar
or hit the fast food drive-through when a show is nearing. Thus, I will introduce you to another one of your greatest allies, which is known as Tupperware. Before leaving home each day you must pack each meal into containers and take them with you wherever you will be going. This is all part of something competitors like to hashtag as #PrepLife. Below you will find a list of contest-friendly foods that can be included in your diet for the entirely of your prep, as well as sample meal plan so you can see how to put things together. While it is not mandatory that you include all of the listed foods, it is best to try and have the widest variety as possible so as to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of each. With that said, do not force feed yourself any foods that are unpalatable to you, or you will find the process to be even more difficult. Additionally, you can use various spices and even some salt to make your meals tastier and may even be able to find various condiments that are calorie-free/artificially flavored to keep things more interesting to the taste buds. It is not until the final few days before a contest that salt and sweeteners need to be eliminated.