Nutrition

The Right Diet for Right Now

Expert Kim Oddo gives advice on what type of diet a bikini competitor should follow in the off-season.

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Q. What type of diet should bikini competitors follow in the off-season? — Dr. Brooke (via Community)

Off-season programs are meant to help you maintain healthy body-fat levels while giving you time to add lean muscle and balance your physique, says longtime bikini-competitor coach Kim Oddo, owner of Body by O in Temecula, CA.

Aim for 35% of your calories to come from protein, which supports lean muscle growth, says Oddo. About 45% of calories should come from carbs, which will provide glycogen to fuel your workouts. Finally, healthy fats should be the remaining 20% of your calories, to help stabilize hormones and offer long-term energy for activity. Calculate your total number of calories based on your daily energy needs. If you’re trying to add lean muscle, add about 500 extra calories above your current base; if your goal is to lose some body fat, trim about 500 calories from your base. Adjust your calories based on your results.

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