How to diet for physique competitions?


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Contest Preparation
How to diet for physique competitions?

By Akshita Arora Bodybuilding or Physique athletes are judged on muscularity, symmetry, and conditioning (level of leanness). Preparing for competition involves a deadline to achieve minimum body fat levels while preserving maximum muscles. Therefore, the nutrition strategy for contest prep is slightly different from general fat loss. Calories: To lose fat, we need to be in a calorie deficit (i.e. eat less than our maintenance). But we also need to preserve as much muscle mass as we can. For this, ideally, we should be in a small (<15%) to a moderate (<25%) deficit, resulting in not more than 0.5-1% weekly weight reduction. Protein: Importance: Preservation of LBM in a calorie deficit state Recommended protein intake of athletes: 1.6 g/kg to maximize LBM gains with resistance training with an upper limit of 2.2 g/kg (1). Fats: Importance: Aids cell growth, hormone regulation, etc. Recommended fat intakes for athletes: 20-30% of total calories Carbohydrates: Importance: the preferred source of energy that helps in improving training performance Recommended carbohydrate intake for athletes: Carb intake for physique athletes can fall in a range of 4-7 g/kg, depending upon the phase of training or remaining calories after completion of protein and fats requirement. References: Helms, E. R., Aragon, A. A., & Fitschen, P. J. (2014). Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 1-20.

Faizan Khan

I have 2 questions 1. Small to moderate deficit from the maintenance calories? 2. 0.5-1% weekly weight reduction in pounds or kilograms?

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