Fitness Figure Competitions - Meal Plans To Build Muscle

Dieting does not mean tons of restriction!

Regardless as to whether or not you are leaning, diet plays a crucial roll in your end result. A very high percentage of physique is diet. What you take in will be the difference between a figure physique and a fit body. You can eat healthy, exercise and get a nice fit toned look but that will not be enough for a Figure contest. Unless you are starting with a body type which is almost contest ready, muscularly mature and lean, then you will have the general needs most women have; body shaping, symmetry and single digit body fat.

Diet will affect how much muscle you can put on in combo with the training but if you train hard with a poor diet, you will not see the same optimal outcome. You need to plan out a rough estimate of your diet plan taking you from off season to stage ready. Diet for off season will focus on your building going into pre season which looks at transition into conditioning. On season begins the leaning process.

These cycles are part of your year out plan. If you want to get into more detail you can calculate your calorie requirements throughout each cycle including your protein, carb and fat breakdown which will cater to your personal needs. These figures need to be relative to you and you alone, requiring some calculations and researching of the formulas. Counting calories and grams of fat is not absolutely necessary and I did not do this for over 10 years yet still achieving all my goals and pro cards so don’t do it if it deters you, only if it motivates you. I do now find I like keeping track of more info. Average off season calorie intake is 2000 calories but this can vary depending on your height, weight, measurements and body type. 1200-1800 calories is the lower end for lean down consumption making sure every one of those calories are from clean foods found in the below grocery list.

For diet I recommend ShapeFit's FitTracker fitness tracking program. It has a great database and is very user friendly. The figures are exactly what you need and very valuable. It breaks down all the macronutrients for you and allows you to add food products and their nutrients making it easy to SEE exactly what it going on eliminating any guessing. It’s a small period of time each night to log your data but gives you such a great report when done.

A pre written diet plan is also a great way to be accountable, you do minor adjustments as you go along. I find it easier to log afterwards personally, rather than having it pre done but most of the competitors I train rely on a pre done plan.

Protein needs can vary but you would want to be at 1-2 gram per lb per day using the higher end for off season and the lower end for lean down.

Carb manipulation has many variations; they don’t all work on everyone so you need to find your nitch through trial and error. Most women do well on moderate carbs during pre season as long as they are clean carbs such as those included in the grocery list. Some like to up and down the carbs a few months out then drop them to nothing by your week out and slowly increasing during your last week. I put in an example diet with a general carb portioning but for lean down this diet would most likely be tweaked.

Fat is essential in all cycles and EFAs are the way to go! I personally like Udos Oil, and not for cooking since it will break down. Omega fats will help you with your fat loss and muscle gains as well as injury prevention.

Face it, most of your choices will be simple, repetitive, boring and lacking taste but your body functions great, digestive functions become optimal and there is a cleansing effect to some degree. Creativity is an asset to your diet!

Most sauces are not good for these dieting purposes so you rely on grainy mustards, citrus fruits, vinegars, and non sodium spices to flavor your foods. Even foods which say ‘diet, low carb’ etc are all gimmicks, stick with clean whole foods. Leave the ketchup, dressing and mayo and rely on self made dressings or sauces from the items listed above.

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By Linda Cusmano






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