Ok! I’m really excited to get you into this final part of our intro series, and expose my approach to contest prep dieting for you.
I’ll start off this post saying this, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Another one I’ll throw out, all roads lead to Rome…
In that respect, I mean that there are many ways that you can approach a diet, and get results. In the contest prep and bodybuilding circles, the way that many folks approach dieting is handed down tradition of what they had been given by a coach or trainer, or it was something read in a magazine, or maybe even a fellow competitor who recommended that xyz diet be followed, as it worked for them.
The problem with all of that is these diets aren’t individualized, customized, nor supported by any of the current science we know now, and as it pertains to sports nutrition and fat loss.
When I was a trainer coming up all these years, nutrition was the one things that had stumped me, and the one area I knew was the key that would unlock my ability to service any client, regardless of goals or needs. I knew that as soon as I understood nutritional programming, my ability to truly EVOLVE my clients would be endless.
So I spent a ton of time taking college level courses in nutrition, getting advanced certifications, and attending workshops with industry leaders… Just so I can have a much better understanding of how to truly take ALL of my clients to the next level.
The RoxStar Approach to Contest Prep
I have a saying – and you’ll hear me use it over and over again…
You must eat to be lean. Eat to be strong. Eat to have muscle. Eat to have the body of your dreams. Food is your greatest ally, NOT your worst enemy.
In that respect, you want to get yourself to a place where yes, you are eating in a caloric deficit, but you are also eating enough to be able to still be in a deficit without starving yourself – and losing valuable muscle tissue.
Just the other day, I had a conversation with one of my newest Inner Circle Mastermind Coaching clients about how her former coach had her eating around 1200 calories per day on her tall 165 pound frame. Anyone who knows even just basic nutrition program design can look at that and see that it’s a number that is TOTALLY off – and completely irresponsible.
If you are eating anything below just a basic equation of 10 x body weight, then you are eating way too little for your frame, let alone your lifestyle and activity level.
Now, I’m VERY specific with how I design client plans. I’m a big fan of the Mifflin-St. Jeor Formula when it comes to factoring the number of calories someone needs to eat per day. I then figure out their macros based on their body type – endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph, or a combination of any of the above.
And because I take that specific approach, it is 100% set up for YOUR needs. From there I can put together a plan based off of your likes, dislikes, sensitivities, and allergies.
All food groups are included because honestly, the worst thing you can do when it comes to your prep plan is completely cut out entire food groups – unless there is a real sensitivity, digestive issues, or allergies related to them.
Adding Variety and a Flexible Diet Approach to Contest Prep
Variety is the spice of life, as they say. And it’s definitely that one aspect of dieting that can mean the difference between being successful at your goals, or completely crashing and burning.
Now, if you’re like me, then you prefer having a game plan that’s easy to follow and stick to. It makes life easier, putting you on autopilot so you can just get the work done.
At the same time, I hate feeling locked in, and if I want to have something else on my plan, I want to have it without everything falling to the wayside – or feeling guilty about it. And I take that into consideration for my clients as well.
What I find is that by allowing them variety in their programming, they’re able to focus on what’s most important (staying consistent and compliant), and they are able to stick to their plans a lot easier simply because they don’t feel so restricted.
HOW I allow them to add variety (and add it themselves) is quite easy! We do it through my exclusive food substitution calculator.
Here’s a demo of the calculator in action. Members of my Inner Circle Mentorship Coaching Program also have access to this tool on their profiles, to add variety to their meal plans as well. This tutorial is from that site, but it is the same exact calculator my one on one clients have access to as well.
The best part about all of this is that not only are you eating in a way to lose fat and get to your best, but you are now also establishing habits that will keep you leaner all year round – and in an even better place than when you started with me. But most importantly, you will NEVER rebound due to the way we approach prepping. The urge to binge post show isn’t there, so getting back on track is EASY.
Another thing we’re really big on with the RoxStar approach to fat loss is that cheat meals become a part of the equation early on. In fact, we use them to keep your metabolism fired up throughout your entire prep. What a lot of folks don’t realize is that cheating IS an important part of the process, simply because of the hormonal implications it has on the body.
I actually go into great detail on this topic in my book 12 Weeks to Lean, but I’ll give you a briefer to understand the why behind this method.
During periods of prolonged dieting, your metabolism slows down due to a downregulation of hormones that control metabolic rate and hunger. Your thyroid slows down, which for many woman poses a problem because some have borderline lower thyroid output naturally in any case. And this cascading event can send fat loss to a screeching halt – if you do noting about it.
And doing “something” about it like cutting calories and raising cardio isn’t always the answer – nor the smartest move. And that’s precisely where cheat meals come in.
Having that one day during the week where you boost caloric levels close to maintenance, upping your carbs, and upping fats can have amazingly POSITIVE implications on hormonal and thyroid output. They have the effect of boosting metabolism, even if for just a few days, which will only further push fat loss along.
So it for this reason why cheating is one of the most important tools you should be using during your entire prep. Now, this isn’t a free for all, there are rules that must be adhered to. But at the end of the day, yes YOU CAN actually have your cake, and eat it too – and still see huge results and amazing fat loss during the process.
But the final part of what makes the RoxStar Fitness Healthy Contest Prep so awesome is that we aren’t just focusing on the show, but the days and weeks afterwards. And that’s where reverse dieting comes in.
Reverse Dieting Post Show – Avoiding that Contest Rebound
The final and most important aspect of your entire prep is the aftermath of the show, and how you come off of your diet. It’s so easy to just get into the trap of eating as you did before you started prepping – but that’s actually one of the MOST DANGEROUS things you can do.
What you have to realize is that your body is NOT in a position to eat regular foods again. The richness of the influx of carbs, salt, fats, and more can wreck havoc on your digestive system, leaving you feeling bloated. In addition, you’ll see your body balloon up to UNCOMFORTABLE levels due to water retention. And then finally, you WILL gain body fat back at a very fast rate as your body is simply trying to get back to your natural settling point, and keep you from dying (what it sees all this prolonged dieting as).
The only way of preventing this IS through reverse dieting. So I always say to every client, expect to stay on board with me for at least a good month or two after your show. It allows us enough time to ramp calories back up, to watch your body closely as we add those calories in (making sure you don’t gain weight at an alarming rate post show), and to successfully set you up for your off season in a positive way.
All of these things combined from the customized programming, the dietary freedom, to the reverse dieting… They are all the reasons why my RoxStars kill it on AND off of the stage. And there’s absolutely NO REASON, why you can’t be too!
Got questions or comments you wish to add? Go ahead and post them below, and I’ll be sure to follow up personally with you!
Ready to start your SMART contest prep with me? Click here to see the packages I offer, how things work, and how to get started!
A few words from one of my clients…