What a Fitness Competitor Eats

JoJo on stage

Women who compete in the bikini division of a fitness competition will tell you that a lot of what accounts for the extreme results is the strict diet. Here, Jojo, a female triathlete and a recent 2nd place winner in the masters bikini competition at NPC Border States lets us in on those secrets.Below are my questions and her answers.

Q. You’ve always been slim and fit and didn’t need to lose any weight by traditional standards, but fitness competitions have a completely different view of what is ideal. From what I’ve seen, the judges are looking for muscle definition, but on an extremely lean frame. How much weight did you lose?

A. I lost ten pounds and most of that weight lost was during the last week prior to the competition.

Q. What did you eat that last week?

A. I ate every 2-3 hours, 6 small meals a day. For breakfast I ate oats and egg whites, and the other five meals consisted of tilapia and asparagus, without salt or sugar.  That last week I also cut all protein shakes, salt and artificial sweeteners.  And towards the end of the week I cut water in various stages down to almost no water by show day. I also added some carbs and treats back in about two days before the competition to fill back out a little.

Q. Since you were eating fewer calories to maintain your ideal body weight and you severely limited even good forms of carbs, how did you feel?

A.  During general contest prep, I felt great and had lots of energy for workouts.  That last week of depleting various items was the only time I felt tired, lethargic and had hardly any energy. By the end of the week after having some carbs again, I had lots of energy.

Q. Prior to that crazy last week before the competition, what did your diet look like?

A. Prior to that last week my meals consisted of a lean protein, such as tilapia, ground turkey breast, or egg whites followed by low carbohydrate vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or a salad. Sometimes I ate a little bit of fruit. My diet wasn’t consistent because my trainer would alter my foods depending on how much I weighed that day or where I was at visually. Sometimes she would put me on a high carb diet and I would have rice cakes, white or brown rice, fruit, sweet potato and even pasta. Other times I was on an extremely low-carb diet. Each person is different so no one should copy another person’s plan as it may not work and could be potentially harmful.

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