What to Eat the Week Before a Fitness Competition

Glass with bread
A piece of baguette on a glass of water. (Image: Vladimir Liverts/Hemera/Getty Images)

Your diet the week prior to your fitness competition can make or break your success. You need to closely monitor your carbohydrate and water intake to ensure you are coming in lean and tight, not bloated or flat. It is essential to consume the correct levels of carbohydrates and water so there are no surprises on the day of competition.

Carbohydrate Depletion

Five to three days out from your competition start carbohydrate depletion. This amount will vary from person to person, but dropping carb intake to between 50 and 100 grams per day is standard for fitness competitors during this time. Some people will need fewer daily carbs while workouts are being performed and some will need a slightly reduced level of carbs to make sure they are not spilling over.

Food Sources During Depletion

During your carb depletion phase, consume five to seven small meals daily and drink at least 3 liters of water a day. Protein must be consumed with every meal, from sources such as egg whites, whey protein, fish or chicken breasts. Most of your carbs will come from vegetables such as green beans or asparagus, but you can include starchy carbs in the morning or around your workout.

Carbo Loading

Starting two days before competition you'll start to carbo load. On these days, your daily protein intake should drop to about 50 grams and your carb intake should increase to 200 grams, according to Debbie Kruck, author of "The Figure Book." You should start to reduce water intake the day prior to the contest, only sipping when thirsty.

Contest Day

On the day of the contest, only sip water throughout the day. The morning before the judging, consume small amounts of oatmeal, fruit and yams. Stick with eating clean. Some people eat junk the day of the competition, and this could have negative effects on your look and on your stomach. After prejudging, consume some protein and starchy carbs.

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