The Ultimate Diet Plan For A Competition Body

This detailed meal plan tells exactly what and how much to eat told by Shannon Dey & Gennifer Strobo.

Keep your program on track by making sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients for your training.

Just as important as your hard work in the gym is your attention to your diet. The right foods will help fuel your fitness and keep you energized while enhancing recovery. The best part is, the healthy eating habits you’ll use during contest prep can last well beyond showtime. Similar to the fitness prep program, the diet prep plan, designed by IFBB pro and nutritionist Gennifer Strobo, is divided into three segments. The first segment is about establishing a healthy, balanced diet, which means eliminating some of the junk like processed foods and high-sugar items and adding in more nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. In the second phase, it’s time to get a little more serious. You’ll add in some lower-carb days to help you cut body fat and boost your metabolism. Phase 3 begins two weeks before your show date, with a stricter plan that will help you deliver a peak performance. (You may need to start this a little earlier depending on where your progress is for the show, says Strobo.)

Food Groups to Include 

Lean Proteins:  Choose from a variety of proteins, including meat, eggs, dairy, and protein powder. Just make sure you’re watching your portion sizes. That generally means 3 to 4 oz of meat or fish per meal, 1 cup of liquid egg whites, 2 whole eggs, or 1 scoop of protein powder.

  • Chicken breast (3 oz) 
  • Eggs (2 whole)
  • Egg whites (1 cup) 
  • Flank steak (3 oz) 
  • Ground turkey breast (3 oz)
  • Lean ground beef (3 oz)
  • Salmon (3 oz) 
  • Shellfish (3 oz)
  • Tuna (packet) (3 oz)
  • Tofu or tempeh (3 oz)
  • Whey protein powder (1 scoop)
  • White fish (3 oz)

Fresh Fruits: Sweet, delicious, and nutritious, fruit will help ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients. Don’t forget, even savory fruits like tomatoes count!

  • Apple (1 small) 
  • Applesauce(1⁄2 cup) 
  • Banana (1⁄2 large) 
  • Berries (2⁄3 cup) 
  • Cherries (2⁄3 cup) 
  • Grapefruit (1 cup)
  • Pear (1 small) 
  • Pineapple (2⁄3 cup, chunks) 
  • Tomato sauce (2⁄3 cup) 
  • Salsa (2⁄3 cup)

Greens And Other Veggies: Try to have at least one cup of vegetables per meal, and vary your choices. “It’s important to keep things interesting—especially in these early weeks. You don’t want to get burned out on asparagus and still be two months away from the show!” advises Strobo.

  • Asparagus (10 spears)
  • Broccoli (1 cup) 
  • Brussels sprouts (1 cup)
  • Cabbage (2 cups) 
  • Cauliflower (1 cup) 
  • Celery (4 stalks) 
  • Cucumber (1⁄2 large)
  • Green beans (1 cup)
  • Lettuce (2 cups) 
  • Mushrooms (1 cup) 
  • Onions (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Snow peas (2⁄3 cup) 
  • Spaghetti squash (1 cup)
  • Spinach (2 cups)

Balanced Carbs: Carbs deserve a place in your diet, especially at this point in your show prep when you are just getting started. They help provide the energy you need for workouts and keep you on an even keel. Just watch your serving size—about 1⁄2 cup (4 oz) of carbs in your meals is suitable at this point, says Strobo.

  • Beans (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Brown rice (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Butternut squash(2 cups, cubed) 
  • Low-carb wheat tortilla (1; about 25 grams of carbs)
  • Oats (rolled, not steel-cut) (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Puffed-rice cereal (like Rice Krispies) (1 cup)
  • Quinoa (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Red potato (4 oz) 
  • Rice cakes (4 plain)
  • Sweet potato (4 oz) 
  • Whole-grain frozen waffle (2) 
  • Whole-grain pasta (1⁄2 cup) 
  • Whole-wheat bread (2 slices)

Healthy Fats: The right mix of fats help to keep your body energized and your heart healthy,” says Strobo. In addition to providing satiety, “good” fats help your muscles feel fuller, she adds. Since fat has more than twice the calories per gram of carbs or protein, keep your portions in check.

  • Almonds (12 whole) 
  • Avocado (3 oz)
  • Cashews (8 whole)
  • Coconut oil (1⁄2 tbsp) 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (1 tbsp) 
  • Flaxseed oil (1 tbsp)
  • Nut butter (1 tbsp)

SEE ALSO: Phase One of Our Competition Body Workout Plan