Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What do I get to eat and when do I get to eat it?

What do I eat?...Is honestly one of the most frequently asked questions even when it come to every day nutrition.  A lot of people do not know what "eating clean" is.  Eating clean is simply a set of guidelines that you use to set up your diet.  These guidelines are..

1. eating 5-7 small meals a day
2. never eat carbs alone
3. include protein
4. include complex carbs
5. include veggies
6. fewer ingredients the better

Now to break these guideline down for contest prep...
1) Eating 5-7 small meals a day will keep your metabolism high all day long.  While not preparing for a contest I tend to eat 5 meals a day.  During contest prep however, I am going to aim for 6 meals a day.
2) Never eat carbs alone..carbs should always be paired with some sort of protein
3) Include protein...every meal should consist of a portion of protein
4) Include complex carbs...complex carbs should be eaten in your earlier meals of the day. They should be tapered off in the last two meals of the day.
5) Include VEGGIES!!!! EAT UP!!! veggies are your secret weapon! These should be eaten throughout the day and into your evening meals as well.
6) Fewer ingredients the the labels..the more ingredients that are on a label typically states that these foods are refined and highly processed..and therefore NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

Back to what you CAN EAT!!!

Protein                               Complex Carbs          Fibrous Carbs          Healthy Fats
-Chicken                            -Oatmeal                       -Spinach                    -Olive Oil
-Tuna                                 -Sweet Potato               -Broccoli                   -Peanut Butter
-Protein powder                 -Brown Rice                  -Green Beans            -Almond Butter
-Lean Fish                          -Wheat Bread                -Asparagus               -Almonds
-Egg Whites                                                             -Cucumbers
-Lean Beef                                                               -Onions
-Lean Ground Turkey                                               -Peppers
-when it comes to fibrous carbs, almost every veggie is game.  The only ones to typically stay away from are peas, carrots, and corn.  These veggies have higher sugar content then others.  And wheat bread should only be eaten for the first 6 weeks of contest prep.  I try to eat it very seldom just because you are not going to be able to have it later on.

Now that we know what to eat, we have to figure out when to eat!
It is very important to eat every 3-4 hours, this keeps your metabolism boosted throughout the day.
Not only is timing between meals important but it is also very important to time calorie intake and macronutrient intake.  Calories should be tapered throughout the day, this means that your first meal should be  the highest in calories and your last meal should be the lowest.  In terms of macronutrient timing, complex carbs should be eaten in the first few meals of the day and should be tapered off in your last two meals of the day.  The reasoning behind this is because these carbs are your energy throughout the day and by dinner time you do not need the amount of energy as you did for breakfast.  At breakfast you are taking in fuel to get you through the day, while as for dinner you are pretty much just eating to keep that metabolism up.  Healthy fats should be eaten through the day, typically I eat them every other meal because that is what works best for me.  Fibrous Carbs should be eaten in as many meals as possible and protein should be in every single meal!!!

Dairy is very controversial, at 12 weeks I am cutting it out of my diet completely.  Many dairy products are full of fats and make you retain water.  If you cannot live without your dairy, eat fat free varieties and they need to be cut out by 6 weeks.  By this time you should have noticeable fat loss and  when cutting the dairy out it will amplify it a little more and aid in thinning the skin out a little bit.  Even though thinning of the skin is more important in a figure or bodybuilding competition.



Pre-contest prep homework! Caloric intake and Marconutrient breakdown..

This blog is designed to help others that have hopes of doing a bikini competition and like me can not hire a competition coach. I am a personal trainer and have played around with my own diet to know how my body is going to react. I have done a ton of research about this topic and find it frustrating that it's not all in one place until you want to front the money for it. This inspired me to put my contest prep into a blog along with the facts, figures, diets and workout plans I use. Along with progress pictures along the way to not only motivate myself by to hopefully inspire others to have the will power to change there body image and ultimately better their self confidence!!!!!!

One of the most important aspects of preparing for a bikini competition is nutrition. When it comes to nutrition, it all seems to be a numbers game. The best place to start is finding your BMR. Now, BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate. These are the amount of calories your body needs everyday just to sustain your bodies regular functions, such as breathing. For the average person to maintain their weight, they need to consume a few hundred calories above their BMR. While cutting for a competition, you typically consume a few hundred calories less then your BMR. Now all of this information is not going to help unless you know what you BMR is, so the formula is...

655+(4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) - (4.7 * age in years)

For me, I am 5'7" and 150 pounds, my BMR is about 1,523 calories. Now to cut for my competition I have decided do decrease my calories intake to 1,300. Calories intake is important, but another key factor is the ratio of your macronutrients along with the types of food you are eating.

Macronutrients consist of protein, carbs and fats. The ratio that I recommend to start out with is 40/40/20. In other words, 40% of your diet comes from protein, another 40% comes from carbs and the other 20% comes from fats. This is a healthy ratio to start out at, even if you are not cutting for a competition. This ratio will be adjusted throughout the contest prep as it gets harder to get rid of that stubborn fat. The next step is to take this ratio and calculate it into calories. Each gram of protein and each gram of carb is 4 calories, whereas, a gram of fat is 9 calories. The first step is to figure out the calories you need from protein each day. To do that, you take your total calories times the ratio of protein. In my case, 1,300*.40= 520. Now, when you look at a nutrition label, they do not talk in terms of calories for your macronutrients. Therefore, we must take the total calories of protein needed in a day and divide that by 4. Because there are 4 calories in a gram of protein. This comes out to 130 grams of protein a day for my contest prep of 1,300 calories a day.
The same formulas need to be used to figure out the grams of carbs and fat that is needed daily. For the carbs,in the ratio we used, it is the same as the protein. So for my diet I need 130 grams of carbs daily. For the fats, 1,300 needs to be multiplied by .20 to get 260. The 260 is the calories from fats needed daily. That needs to be changes into grams. As stated before, 1 gram of fat is 9 calories. Therefore, we will divide 260 by 9 to get 28.8 grams of fat daily.

This is just the start of nutrition for contest prep. More to come in the next few days :)