A well-crafted bikini competition diet plan can make all the difference in how well you place.
You can have the best body, coach, and poses, but how you eat 14-30 days before the competition can ultimately determine your success. Your diet during this period is what pulls everything together, and ideally makes you look ripped, but not starved.
General Advice for Competition Prep:
- follow a plant-based nutrition plan that is based on macros (carbs, protein, and fat).
- choose meals built around a primary protein source
- have a cheat meal every seven days
- no cheat meal two weeks out
- avoid alcohol, even wine
- drink at least a gallon of water each day
- cut out water starting the day before the show
Bikini Competition Meal Plan – Bikini Competition Tips from the Pros
Samantha Shorkey talks about her diet before a bikini competition:
Like most bikini competitors, to get really cut right before their competition, I eat asparagus constantly (a natural diuretic) and consumed dandelion root (another natural diuretic.)
Diuretics help to flush out the sodium and excess fluids in between skin and muscle.
Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which not only helps to flush out the fluids but it helps rid the body of excess salts too. And salt (sodium) equals bloating—something you definitely don’t want on stage.
I also cut out water starting the day before my show.
Generally speaking in terms of diet, (whether training to compete or not), I get most of my protein from tempeh, tofu, beans and high quality, vegan protein powder. I like mixing them with hemp or brown rice protein powder.
My go-to starchy complex carb sources are yams, squash, quinoa, and oatmeal. For fats, I love almond butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and flax seed oil.
“With bikini division, there isn’t really a bulking period so I generally never allow myself to get any bigger than about 135 lbs. (I’m 5’7). I basically just add in more cardio over time and very gradual calorie reduction to lose any extra weight.”
Suskia Strafella describes her training for a bikini competition:
I start off at 6am with my morning cardio spinning/cycling of 30–45 minutes and finish off with an intense ab workout every single day. I then do my evening weight training after work.
“I really enjoy my cardio sessions as I have so much more energy for that being in the early AM!”
When it comes to my resistance training, I incorporate a lot of high reps, super sets, giant sets and barely any rest in between my sets unless I’m about to throw up! My high reps and different training techniques are quite a new method for me so let’s see how it goes with my future prep!
Andra Purba’s vegetarian bikini competition meal plan:
- Meal 1: Half cup homemade sugar-free granola (I bake oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar-free maple syrup). For my protein shake: I blend almond milk with berries, protein powder, and peanut butter.
- Meal 2: (post-workout) low sugar, low-carb protein shake.
- Meal 3: Spicy buffalo tofu with sesame green beans and an apple.
- Meal 4: Protein Bar (Quest) with some almonds.
- Meal 5: Plain Greek yogurt with stevia, protein powder, and peanut butter.
- Meal 6: Protein shake before bed.
Dr. Harriet Davis shares her training schedule for a competition:
- Monday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs (quads, inner/outer thighs), abs
- Tuesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: shoulders, arms (biceps, triceps), abs
- Wednesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: (hump day): glutes, hamstrings.
- Thursday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: total body workout.
- Friday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs, abs, back
- Saturday: REST DAY!
- Sunday: cardio (am/pm). Track workout (sprints, high knees, etc)
Kristine Lee MacIntyre’s vegan meal plan for leaning out:
My meal plan for eight weeks leading up to a competition:
- Meal 1: Vegan protein powder prepared with water and a half cup each frozen berries and baby spinach.
- Meal 2: 1/3 cup oats or cream of wheat prepared with 1 cup water and half a banana, dash of cinnamon.
- Meal 3: Vegan protein powder prepared with water and a half cup each frozen berries and baby spinach.
- Meal 4: 4 oz tofu or other vegan protein such as tempeh, soy based ground round or veggie burgers, or white fish (such as sole, cod or halibut), 1/2 cup carbs (such as 1/2 cup sweet potato, brown rice, bulgar or quinoa) 1/2 cup greens (such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli or brussel sprouts). Remember to omit the use of seasonings containing salt and fats.
- Meal 5: Vegan protein bar (either homemade or bought such as Square Bar, 22 Days or Vega Sport) or my homemade Vital wheat gluten muffins, and half a vegan protein shake.
- Meal 6: 4 oz tofu or other vegan protein such as tempeh, soy based ground round or veggie burgers, or white fish (such as sole, cod or halibut), 1/2 cup carbs (such as 1/2 cup sweet potato, brown rice, bulgar or quinoa) 1/2 cup greens (such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli or brussel sprouts). Remember to omit the use of seasonings containing salt and fats.
- Meal 7: Vegan protein shake and six natural almonds.
- Make sure to drink at least five to six glasses of water a day.
- Coffee or tea with unsweetened non-dairy milk and no sweeteners.
- I do allow myself to have one cheat meal a week limiting the calories of this meal to 400.
- The diet does get stricter at six weeks out, and then again at two weeks out with no cheat meal.
Stefanie Dawn keeps her meal plan simple before competing:
I started off high carb with a ratio of 70/20/10 (CARB/PRO/FAT) and ended up being somewhere around 25/35/40 when I switched coaches. I started with zero supplements, and ended up having to incorporate B12, BCAAs, glutamine, and electrolytes.
My average day consisted of:
- Oats with a scoop of protein powder
- Green veggies with tofu or black bean burger
- Pinto beans
- Spoonfuls of peanut butter
- 2 more protein shakes
Q: What advice would you give someone struggling with the protein concept?
“I feel so much better when I don’t focus on protein intake, but adequate calorie intake and nutritional density. If you don’t think you can perform or build muscle without high protein, try high carb for a few months [during off season].”
Marzia Prince (Ms. Bikini Universe) explains why a competition diet can only be done short-term:
Whether you are a meat-eater, vegetarian, or vegan, I believe a competition diet is short-term. You can’t live on that diet forever. It is missing important nutrients and calories to sustain life. It can be done only for a shoot or competition to achieve a certain look. You want to live life to the fullest and nourish your body every day.
“There’s definitely an advantage to being a plant-based athlete, I’m leaner and more muscular compared to when I was eating meat.”
I never have to worry about gaining a ton of weight on the “off-season.” I’m only 5 lbs. off from a shoot or stage. I adjust my nutrition to my goals. As a trainer, I believe the body is always changing. You are not going to look the same at 30 years-old than you do at 40 years-old. Things change. Goals change. Life changes.
Zoe Feuerstein shares the positive benefits of competing:
I’m passionate about fitness and creating positive change in my own. I’ve see the power of it my whole life.
“It has saved myself, and others, from downward turns in life such as addiction, depression, and loss of joy.”
I decided to compete because I liked the idea of having a goal that would test my limits physically, mentally, and expand my knowledge on training and nutrition. I was inspired by Layne Norton and his clients, such as Femme Fittale.
I was introduced to them when friends at my local gym suggest that I compete. I loved that it connected me with others in the industry and pushed me to be my own personal best.
For more ideas on bikini competition meal plan, watch this video – Bikini Competitor MEAL PREP
Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.
V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice, providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.
A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.
The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”
To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – Bikini Competition Meal Plan