"What did you eat on prep?" - one of the most common questions I get asked about my bikini competition. I am very open about it and happy to share the exact meals with macros, BUT what everyone needs to understand is that this particular diet will not have the same effect on 2 people. All the consumed food below was weighed and calculated to fit my advised diet plan. Although there are healthy food options in general, I still had to avoid certain ones as they did not fit into my daily macronutrients.
I'd also like to add that I haven't used any fat burners or extra substances to get into the stage condition I was in - it was purely food, extra vitamin C + magnesium, protein powder and occasional BCAAs.
Carbohydrates were kept low throughout and I didn't mind it, as they're not a big part of my daily off season diet neither. My prep took 8 weeks in total and here's a breakdown of the macros I was on. Please note that my body fat % wasn't too high off season and that's why I could see the results pretty fast.
Macros during week 1-5: Protein 180g, Fat 75g, Carbs 0-30g (the aim is 0 but carbs can accumulate in small amounts via vegetables, dash of milk etc)
Macros during week 6-8: Protein 150g, Fat 50g, Carbs 0-30g
Everything that I consumed was entered in MyFitnessPal app, because I believe that precision is key and estimating macros only works for very experienced competitors that can tell a difference between a 200g and 250g chicken breast.
Please note that as much as I was strict with my diet, I DID have 1 weekly cheat meal. For the sanity and better results. Without going too much into the science (you're welcome to google it), having occassional very calorie-dense meals helps with fat loss. Well, at least this worked magic with me and all the consumed burgers, milkshakes, donuts and fries were very much appreciated. Note: cheat meals are only effective for boosting your metabolism after long periods in a caloric deficit.
Now, let's get into my usual daily food and water intake on prep:
- 3-4 litres of water a day. Always drink on an empty stomach for pure hydration and uninterrupted digestion. Either 30mins max before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.
- Breakfast: 4 boiled eggs (2 yolks) + 150g low fat cottage cheese + 2 tea spoons Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Lunch: 200g turkey steaks, 120g tenderstem broccoli
- Dinner: 260g cod, 150g cucumber
- Snacks: coffees and teas with 3 tea spoons of almond butter
The usual protein sources were white fish like cod or seabass, chicken and turkey. I did have some red meat once in a while and always went with the lower fat % to fit my macros.
For veggies I chose the low-carb options such as cucumbers, courgettes, cauliflower, green beans. I had to avoid tomatoes, onions and any fruit.
Seasoning included salt and pepper, paprika and any other spices. I didn't have any sauces or olive oil and vinegar in my salads.
Once you get used to the plain meals, you will start to enjoy them and discover that turkey actually has a flavour to it!
My best cravings killers were herbal teas with cinnamon or liquorice flavours by TeaPigs - they do the nicest ones I think. Plus spooning into the almond butter with those teas made it really enjoyable. You can notice that I rather have a fewer bigger meals than many small ones, it's just how I prefer to eat. I've never been into snacking throughout the day. HOWEVER if there are snacks around - I will eat them.
Make sure that there are no tempting snacks whatsoever in your house. Worst come to worst, you would need to physically get out to buy something you're craving - and there's a big chance that the guilt will kick in on the way and you'll return empty handed or with a bottle of water.
Coffee is one thing that I'm obsessed with, and I've simply substituted the cow milk to almond milk during the last weeks. As sugar-free almond milk is very low carb.
Occasionally I'd make a protein yogurt before bed: Fage's Total 0 yoghurt mixed with a scoop of protein powder.
In terms of vitamins, I kept to higher intake of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D plus Chlorella.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!