Bikini & Bodybuilding Competition Diet How-to Guide (Should you try it to lose fat fast?)

written by Nina Shantel,, published February 22, 2022

I tried five different bikini fitness competition diets from five different trainers, all high in protein. These diets get men and women very lean, very quickly.

You don’t need to lift weights to try this diet, but you’ll get better results and sexier curves (you can only build muscle with exercise, not with food) if you lift weights and do resistance training consistently.

Six small meals eaten throughout the day are typical on a competition diet

If you plan to enter into a competition, expect to weight train six times a week, twice a day (the second time you exercise would be just cardio).

This post will cover the typical bodybuilding/competition diet. You can watch the video instead of reading this article, by scrolling to the bottom of this post.

sugar, cookies and desserts are not permitted on a competition diet

Competition diets are high in protein, generally low in carbs and “low” in fat (lower in fat than the standard American Diet). A personal trainer/coach that trains and designs competition diets will customize the exercise and diet plan based on how much weight you need to lose, how tall or short you are, how much or how little muscle you have, and how old you are (it takes longer to lose weight and gain muscle as you get older). Every coach will have a different perspective on the number of calories, carbs and protein you will need as the coaches are rarely nutritionists and go by past experience.

vegetables are to be eaten daily on a competition diet

Some coaches take your weight and multiply that by one to get the total number of grams of protein you should eat. For instance, at the time I wanted to compete, I weighed 100 pounds so my coach had me eat 100 grams of protein each day. Another coach wanted me to eat 1.5 grams of protein times my weight in pounds, which was 150 grams of protein, mostly from baked, skinless chicken breast or tilapia. The last coach I worked with wanted me to eat 1.75 grams of protein, which was an excessive 175 grams of protein to consume every day.

Coaches reduce the carbohydrates because the calories need to drop somewhere. Carbohydrates also hold water, which will make a person look heavier, even though it is just water weight.

You cannot eat high protein and high carbs and lose weight because the calories will be higher, and higher calories results in weight gain. Most people in the weightlifting realm mistakenly believe that higher protein builds muscles and results in fat loss. Weight lifting results in more muscle, and more energy in the gym and less calories consumed, burns off the fat.

1 tablespoon of olive oil is allowed on a salad per day

The grains on this program include white rice because it’s more easily digested than brown rice. Quinoa and oatmeal are other grains usually included in a fitness competition diet.

Sweet potatoes are a high carbohydrate vegetable that’s permitted on a competition diet plan.

The fruit on a competition diet is usually limited to 1/2-1 banana a day, plus 1/4-1/2 cup of berries, but again, it depends on your caloric intake.

ribs are not allowed on a bodybuilding diet as they are too high in fat

The bulk of the protein comes from leaner animal proteins like baked chicken and grilled or baked tilapia. Some coaches allow for lean steak since it’s high in iron and people get tired of eating just chicken and fish. The other source of protein (other than the grains) comes from an isolated protein like whey, which I advise people to stay away from since it causes digestive upset, bloating and can trigger autoimmune reactions, and increase your risk of cancer.

whey protein powder is a popular supplement for bodybuilders to increase their protein intake

A green salad should be consumed daily with no more than one tablespoon of olive oil. Oil is extremely caloric, processed, clogs blood vessels, and is high in fat so coaches really should advise against adding oil to foods.

salads and small amounts of fruits are to be eaten daily on a competition diet, but beans are discouraged due to bloating

Other than the olive oil, the other fats that are permitted in limited quantities are walnuts and avocado, which are healthy fats.

Vegetables should also be eaten daily, but most coaches prefer you to eat low carbohydrate vegetables like asparagus, green bell peppers, zucchini, and green beans.

The weight loss and fitness program is usually followed for four to six months, or a year, depending on how much weight you need to lose.

Below is sample competition diet:

breakfast: oatmeal with walnuts and berries

post-workout: banana smoothie with unsweetened almond milk and protein powder

lunch: tilapia, white rice, green beans

mid-day meal: smoothie with protein powder with almond milk

dinner: baked chicken, side salad, sweet potato

after-dinner meal: smoothie with protein powder with almond milk

The competition diet that I tried contained 175 grams of protein was the one where I gained weight and ended up with more belly fat.

Below is the breakdown of a typical low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate competition diet. The total calories are 1367, total carbs 95.5 grams, which is low in carbohydrates for a healthy diet, but not as low as a ketogenic diet, which allows no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates. The protein at 145.7 is based on my weight at that time, 100 pounds, x 1.5 = 150 grams of protein per day. Some coaches recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, while others recommend 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

The total fats equal 40 grams of fat. For health, one should not consume more than 10% of calories from fat. Athletes supposedly need to consume more fat so 15% of calories from fat for an athlete is usually an acceptable deviation from the norm.

Fats contain 9 calories per gram of fat, so 40 grams x 9 calories = 360 calories from fat. This competition diet is only 1367 calories so 360 calories from fat = 46% of calories coming from fat! This is documentation that bodybuilding/fitness competition diets are high in fat. (See video below for the exact foods and portions that make up the fat, protein and carbohydrate ratio).

macronutrient breakdown of a fitness competition/bodybuilding diet

Bodybuilding diets are better than the standard American Diet as they omit sugar, butter, high fat meats, processed foods, fried foods, desserts, and are lower in calories, but they are not healthy and are not sustainable.

Bodybuilding diets are superior to ketogenic diets because competition diets (usually) contain more healthy carbohydrates, more fiber and less saturated and overall fat. Coaches acknowledge that a competition diet is unhealthy as numerous supplements are recommended to fill in the nutrients that are lacking. If you are eating a healthy diet, you only need a few supplements, like Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and iodine (if you’re vegan and don’t eat iodized salt).

milk is not permitted since it is high in fat, but low-fat almond milk is allowed in smoothies

In addition, competition diets typically result in lowered energy levels, chronic hunger, obsession with calories and portions, constipation, moodiness and body dysmorphia (see video for details). There is also the added time and stress from weighing and measuring all your food, and the boredom from eating the same meals every day.

I tried five different competition diets from five different trainers and all were ineffective in getting me as slim as I wanted; they all lowered my energy and stamina, and I hatred the food.

egg whites are commonly eaten on a competition diet due to their high protein

There is a better, safer, more effective and sustainable weight loss diet that promotes health, gets you extremely lean, promotes muscle growth, the food is delicious and won’t leave you grumpy or hungry.

I started eating a low-fat, low-protein, high carbohydrate, whole food vegan diet and lost a pound of bodyfat every week, which is shocking because I’m tiny. I thought I was stuck at a certain weight because I’m a middle-aged woman and am a Type 1.5 diabetic who requires daily insulin injections. I thought I had a certain body type and could never have a flat stomach, but my abs are now flat and I have the 25-inch waist I’ve always wanted.

example of a whole-food, high carbohydrate slimming meal: brown rice, corn, beans, bell peppers, and onions

I love this new way of eating as I’m never hungry. I don’t count calories. I eat very large portions. I don’t weigh my food. I eat until I’m full. I love the food. I get to eat lots of carbs like sweet potato fries.

Whole plant carbohydrates like potatoes, whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit do not make you fat. These carbs provide micronutrients, fiber, and fill you up. Eat 80% from healthy carbs for a slimming and healthy body.

In order to eat the majority of your calories from carbs, Limit all proteins and fats to 10% to keep the weight down and your heart ❤️ health up. (see video below for the details on fats).

Let me know if you have any questions.

The photo of the female with the red leggings holding my cell phone above, is me in a Lululemon apparel dressing room.

Top photo above is of my friend Jojo, who did a bikini competition diet and fitness program, and won a few awards, which she definitely deserved. The WordPress app cut off the top portion in the heading so I wanted to show her beautiful face and hair too.

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