In this week's blog, Dana and Ashley talk about their approach to nutrition when preparing for a bodybuilding competition and take you through a realistic full day of eating on this type of plan. These diets are extremely rigorous and require lots of discipline, but the end result is always worth it.
Full Day Of Eating
(Dana) "Hey, guys what's up! Today I'm going to not only tell you what I eat in a day but Ashley is going to tell you what she eats in a day! I don't know where she is, lost, probably trying to figure out what workout she's doing, coming up with a different accent.
Anyway, so I'm going to take you through what I eat in a day versus what Ashley eats. Ashley is about 8 weeks out from a show right now so I know what it takes, she's eating 6 to 7 meals a day and then I'll take you through what I do.
We just got done training chest, shoulders, and triceps. I'm actually going to do a post-workout pudding. So we're adding a little bit of water, a scoop of protein, a quarter cup of dry oats, and a little peanut butter."
Ashley arrives just in time to help Dana finish making her drink. (Dana) "I haven't done this in such a long time but when I was prepping for shows this drink was a treat for me. Ashley has already had two meals and it's about 1 pm but this is my first meal of the day. Ashley is about to have her third meal."
Ashley's second meal was this protein pudding but Dana remembers doing the exact same thing because at some point you don't want to drink your food in shakes, it's just not fun. They are in the process of finishing the pudding at which point Dana needs to mix it and grabs a fork (thinking it's Ashleys from early) but it's not!
(Dana) "I think I made it way too liquidy, it needs to be a little thicker so I might add a little extra protein. We are using RUN Chocolate ISOLATE Protein. Don't ask me for macros - I'll add them up for you later."
(Ashley) "I am in the middle of a competition program, I am 8 weeks out. I do two of these a day, a full cup of oats, one scoop of protein and then a tablespoon and a half. If you are not in prep you could do more of Dana's cup size.
I came to visit Dana and I like the quick chopped oats... She got me steel-cut oats!" Dana thought they were fine and would be good but according to Ashley whenever you cook steel-cut oats "they quadruple the size!"
Measuring Your Food
"It is now 4 pm and time for meal two. This meal is a cup of white rice, 6oz of ground beef, and some broccoli. It's a super classic bodybuilder meal." Dana usually eats chicken and rice every meal but she gave her chicken to Ashley. Dana's next meal will probably be around 7 or 8 pm. Ashley has 6oz of rice in a ziplock bag, leading them into a conversation about cups vs ounces. Dana, "My carbohydrates were always by the cup - quarter cup, half cup, etc. Proteins were always weighed in ounces and vegetables were always measured in cups.
Ashley asks Dana what her normal protein serving was and Dana says about 4oz. "So that's something interesting with my prep is my protein has always been 4oz but something that's changed is my fats and carbohydrates. My fats have gone up a little bit but not a lot. You'd naturally think that you need more protein when trying to maintain your muscle in a cut, but my protein has remained consistent."
When Dana started training with George, she thought, "white rice was the devil, and then 6 to 8oz of protein because I thought I needed a lot to build muscle and get lean. But I remember the first time he told me white rice and I couldn't believe it."
Digestion Is Key
It is not a bad thing to eat white rice; it just digests faster and is easier to eat a lot of compared to other carbohydrate sources. Ashley's meals are primarily using oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bagel, and white rice. When you're eating so often, you want to make sure you're digested and ready for the next meal within 2-3 hours. Dana asks Ashley how she is with eating red meats to which she says, "I do red meat once a day, and then once a week I am substituting that for like a fatty salmon - same 4 oz for all of it."
When Dana was competing her red meat or salmon meal would be towards the end of the day with fewer carbs. Mixing fats with carbs is like a snickers bar so George was like if I am going to give you salmon we are going to cut the carbs down in half."
Ashley, "So what is your advice when I start dieting down every part of the chicken, such as seasoning?" Dana's only seasoning is her hot sauce. Even something that has sodium in it is not bad because whatever you are doing before the show you just continue to use it because your body is used to it.
Being a bodybuilder and eating like this is seriously a full-time job!
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