How to be a Successful Vegan Bodybuilder?


How to be a successful vegan bodybuilder? Andra Purba shares her tips to win in a bikini competition, her vegetarian bikini competition meal plan and what exercises she does when preparing for bikini competition.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE FAT BY EATING PLANTS

 

“PUTTING ALCOHOL DOWN WAS THE BIGGEST PART OF MY SUCCESS.”

Bikini competitions aren’t something I ever thought I would ever do, but I’ve done two shows now and placed Top 3 in both.”

Name: Andra Purba
Occupation: Food and Beverage
City/State/Country: Las Vegas, NV USA
Age: 33
Height: 5’8”
Type: Bikini Competition
Weight/Competition Weight: 136lb. / 130lb.
Instagram: Andra604_702

What was your childhood like?

I was raised in Vancouver, BC. It is a beautiful place with so many outdoor activities.

We did a lot of camping in our beautiful mountains as well as water sports on the lakes.

I’ve always been outgoing and like to have fun; sometimes getting myself into a little trouble.

I was raised with an amazing group of friends that I still have to this day. Im lucky to come from such a supportive family and circle of friends.

Did you have mentors growing up?

My older sister and mom definitely played a role in planting the fitness seed for me. Growing up, my mom went to the gym daily and was/ is an avid runner.

You will still find my mother in the gym every day and has aged gracefully, so it’s definitely a great incentive to stay on track. She has shown me that we don’t need to minimize our fitness goals just because we get older.

Seeing the shape that my mom is in tells me a lot of people just use age as an excuse. She can still outrun me! My sister was an accomplished competitive swimmer and swim coach growing up. She loved to try different different types of physical activities even as an adult, from Taekwondo to Kayaking.

I’ve learned not to be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself by trying new things. As we get older we lack new experiences and that can make life monotonous. My sister is now in her mid 30’s with a young son and is vegan, and a double Ironman. She continues to raise the bar for herself, which makes her still my number one role model.

What is one of your personal passions outside of fitness?

I love to travel. I once took a one-way trip to the UK when I was 19 and traveled most of Western Europe. In the past few years I did a road trip through New Zealand, traveled Fiji, and I’m actually heading to Maui at the end of the month.

What uncommon activity do you schedule into your daily routine?

I was recently introduced to guided meditations on YouTube and I LOVE it! I’m addicted. I do it throughout the day. If I’m feeling anxious I’ll do one in the middle of the day.

At night if I’m having problems sleeping, I’ll do a guided meditation for sleep. They have been so beneficial and I’m pretty sure I’ve turned into that annoying person that won’t stop talking about their new favorite activity.

When did you first hear about vegetarian bodybuilding?

I can’t say that the actual niche was something I was introduced to. I’ve been vegetarian for eight years and got serious about the gym scene about two years ago.

I started working out with a trainer who trains a lot of competitors. She herself was actually in the Olympia this year and took 7th in her division.

With that, the idea of competing was introduced to me.

Bikini competitions aren’t something I ever thought I would ever do, but I’ve done two shows now and placed Top 3 in both.

I guess I’m also a “Vegetarian Bodybuilder” lol.

Vegetarian bikini competition meal plan:

What does your diet look like while preparing for a bikini competition?

Really cutting back on the carbs and fat and eliminating all the sugars.

Favorite post-workout meal at the moment?

I love my chocolate peanut butter protein shakes! After many years it’s still my favorite post-workout meal.

Describe your training regimen (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc) and do you ever overtrain?

Right now I’m lifting four days a week:

  • Back
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

Not necessarily in that order. I always try to do shoulders and legs with my trainer. I do Yoga once a week, usually after leg day and cardio five times a week 20-30 minutes.

My favorite exercise to do are pull-ups. It just makes all the muscles pop in such a great way and is really empowering. When it comes time to cut for my next show the cardio will double. I’m convinced that’s overtraining, but my trainer tells me otherwise.

How much sleep do you get?

I sleep seven hours a night. If I sleep too long I feel just as sluggish as if I didn’t sleep enough.

Do you meditate?

I do guided meditations and I love it! Morning, noon, night, whenever I want to feel rejuvenated.

What do you do to relax?

I like getting massages. I try to go twice a month. If I can get myself to sit still long enough I’ll do a movie marathon on my comfortable couch with a blanket and tea.

What tips can you share that have led to your success?

Putting alcohol down was the biggest part of my success. It is such a distraction and can hinder your next day workouts. Also extra sugars and calories. Aside from that, always having food prepped and ready for your next meal.

I take a lunch to work everyday, even though we have a free cafeteria. If I know I’ll be out during my meal times I’ll make sure I have food with me. My purse is also a very convenient lunch bag!

Do you think plant-based fitness is a fad or will it continue to build credibility? Who are some people leading the way?

I think there are a lot of fitness fads out there. Being on a “diet” is not sustainable. Making a lifestyle change is something different. It’s an overhaul of everything with an intent for permanent change, leading to lasting results. Being a fitness enthusiast with a plant-based diet is the opposite of a fad to me.

People in the gym are constantly trying to tell me that I won’t get results unless I eat meat and I’m always having to justify myself and my dietary choices. If I have to work twice as hard to be a meat-free athlete then so be it! This is the only way we will be able to prove our credibility.

I know through personal experience in competing that I have changed the opinions of many people that once believed steak, chicken, and turkey were the only way you would ever be successful in this lifestyle.

What are your near-term goals at the moment?

Well I qualified for the USA’s at my last show (July 24). So right now I’m working hard at making some gains and I’ll start the process of cutting 12 weeks before my show. I am on a 6-month training regimen for this one! Its a biggie! Here’s an article worth reading if you’re thinking about entering a vegetarian bikini competition (has a meal plan).

For more ideas on how to be a successful vegan bodybuilder, watch this video – How to Gain Muscle on a Vegan Diet | Vegan Muscle Building Meals & Gym Routine

Author Bio:

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 – How to be a Successful Vegan Bodybuilder

Vegetarian Bikini Competition Meal Plan – What Do Bikini Competitors Eat?


Vegetarian Bikini Competition Meal Plan - Quinoa, fruit (apples, pears, grapefruit, lemons), sweet potato, greens (kale, spinach), black beans (black bean spaghetti), mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, protein shake(s), nuts (almonds), legumes (garbanzo beans/chickpeas), and LOTS of water (1.5-2 gallons/day)!
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE FAT BY EATING PLANTS

 

DR. HARRIET DAVIS IFBB PRO

Dr. Harriet Davis is a very impressive woman by anyone’s standards.

Brains and beauty. I really appreciate how Harriet didn’t start hitting the weights until after she was 40 years-old (more like 40 years-young) if you can believe that. What an inspiration to those who thinks it’s too late to start.

Name: Dr. Harriet Davis
City/State/Country: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Age: 43
Height: 5’2″
Type of Competing: IFBB Bikini Professional
Weight/Competition Weight: 115lb./110lb.
Facebook: facebook.com/harriet.n.davis

You’ll also notice that there’s only a 5lb difference in Harriet’s competition and off-season weights. This consistent trait in vegan bodybuilders is a sustainable health advantage that plant-eaters have over meat-eaters in fitness arena.

Once I transitioned to a 100% plant-based diet, the first thing I noticed was that my daily energy levels increase as well as my mental sharpness and focus. Most vegans and vegetarian athletes will tell you that their bodies feel good (physically and emotionally) almost all of the time.
—Dr. Harriet Davis

When and why did you become a vegan bodybuilder?

I have always had an aversion to consuming meat. When I entered college, I chose to cut all meat from my diet and I became vegetarian (1989). Over the years, I started to develop several “intolerances” to different foods including dairy/eggs and therefore, in 2007, I decided to become a gluten-free, vegan foodist and never looked back!

Shortly after I turned forty, I started to notice changes in my physique that were not typical of the past. I began to notice less muscle definition in my legs (and more adipose tissue). So, over the next year (2011-2012) I increased my weekly running mileage (25-30miles/week) and as a result, I developed a stress fracture in my foot. But the undesirable changes in my physiques did not respond as I had expected.

Feeling frustrated with my physical appearance, in December 2012, I decided to hire a vegan personal trainer. This was beneficial because the trainer was able to help me identify several nutritional issues that were contributing to me gaining fat rather than building muscle. After 3 months of nutritional revisions, and personal training, my body had started to respond the way that I desired. Then, being the goal-oriented person that I am, I decided to start competing.

What are the advantages of being a vegan as an athlete?

I would have to say is an abundance of energy! Once I transitioned to a 100% plant-based diet, the first thing I noticed was that my daily energy levels increase as well as my mental sharpness and focus. Most vegans and vegetarian athletes will tell you that their bodies feel good (physically and emotionally) almost all of the time.

Describe your bikini competition diet while preparing

Vegetarian bikini competition meal plan:

Quinoa, fruit (apples, pears, grapefruit, lemons), sweet potato, greens (kale, spinach), black beans (black bean spaghetti), mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, protein shake(s), nuts (almonds), legumes (garbanzo beans/chickpeas), and LOTS of water (1.5-2 gallons/day)!

Favorite food in your prep diet

Black Bean Spaghetti

Describe your diet off season

My off season diet is very similar to my competition prep diet but, I am more liberal with fruits, and monounsaturated fats (avocado, nuts, etc.).

Favorite breakfast dish?

Quinoa and Kale

Favorite post-workout meal?

Black Bean Spaghetti, grilled asparagus, with sautéed onions and mushrooms.

Supplements that you personally use?

Garden of Life Raw Fit protein powder; KIND Organics: Women’s multivitamin, Vitamin B12; Humapro branched-chain amino acids

Describe your training for a competition (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc)

  • 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)

Describe your training off season (favorite exercises, weekly training schedule, etc)

My training off season is essentially the same except I only have one cardio session a day (and for a shorter time). Some of my favorite exercises are:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Glute bridges
  • Deadlifts

What special tricks of the trade can you tell us?

Posing and presentation are very important when preparing for a show. Like with anything else, practice makes perfect. The more time you spend practicing, the better you will look on stage. When you practice often, not only does it make you more confident, but it will also make you look better on stage. You want to make sure you keep your head up, abs tight, and stand erect.

When practicing your posing, hold each pose for 60 seconds—this will help build your stamina for when on stage. You also want to make sure you work on your transitions so you are fluid with your movements and everything moves smoothly from each pose.

Another huge tip for posing is to smile! By smiling you look comfortable on stage and look like you’re having fun. There is nothing worse than going to a bodybuilding show and watching a competitor go out on stage and look like he/she is not having fun.

What plans do you have for your future in fitness?

One of my main goals is to build more muscle (Glutes) and continue to improve my physique for the 2015 season. Since I have recently earned my IFBB a pro card (July 2014), I am actively competing on the professional circuit with a goal of becoming qualified for The Bikini Olympia by 2016!

How does the future of vegetarian bodybuilding look from your vantage point?

As time progresses, I anticipate that there will be more and more vegetarian and vegan bodybuilders. Plant-based products are now mainstream. Vegetarian foods are readily available. There are also many companies that have developed excellent products (supplements, protein powders, etc) for vegan and vegetarian competitors. With that being said, I expect the future of vegetarian bodybuilding to grow exponentially over the next few years.

For more ideas on vegetarian bikini competition meal plan, watch this video – VEGAN BIKINI COMPETITOR DIET🏋🏻‍♀️ – 6 WEEKS OUT 1800Cals

Author Bio:

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 – Vegetarian Bikini Competition Meal Plan

Bikini Competition Diet – What should I eat a day for bikini prep?


Vegetarian Bikini Competition Diet Components should include high-quality protein from plants, no bread, pasta, or junk foods, low sodium, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, high-protein carbs, such as sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, nuts, and seeds, and more amino acids, fiber, and Vitamin C
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE FAT BY EATING PLANTS

 

BIKINI COMPETITION DIET AND MEAL PREP

Why are so many bikini competitors switching over to a vegetarian meal plan?

One simple reason. It’s the superior competition diet.

When they follow a plant-based diet, competitors stay leaner all year round and don’t have to cut as much for competition. Not only does this give athletes a competitive edge, but following the practices of vegan bodybuilding and plant-based fitness is a way to become a champion.

A well-planned vegetarian diet is great for competitions and it naturally boosts your energy levels. It also keeps your weight under control and ensures that wild mood swings stay in check.

What are Bikini Competitions?

Unlike regular fitness competitions that involve both athletic and posing routines, female bikini competitions typically consist of a swimsuit (model posing) routine. Unlike bodybuilding competitions, fitness and bikini competitions focus more on overall shape, symmetry, and conditioning instead of muscularity and extreme leanness. This “newer” divisions of bodybuilding gained popularity in the 1980s when interest in traditional female bodybuilding lost momentum.

The top objectives when preparing for a bikini competition include:

  • Improve muscle tone
  • Lose fat
  • Balance body symmetry

The foods you put into your body play a tremendous role in how you will look on stage and stand up against your competitors. Contrary to popular opinion of steak eating fitness competitors, vegetarians and vegans have an advantage when it comes to competition dieting.

This article will take the guesswork out of the bikini competition diet and break down the many aspects of competition prep to give you a competitive edge.

Want to Become Stage-Ready Faster? A Vegetarian diet can help you lose weight.

Vegetarian bikini competitors naturally stay leaner than their meat-eating friends.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who don’t eat meat have a lower average BMI than those who do.

The study also pointed out that vegans have a much lower obesity rate (9.4 percent) compared to meat-eaters (33.3 percent). Another study found that people can lose more weight when they follow a vegetarian diet instead of one that includes meat.

“This is the first randomized study that directly compares how vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous dietary patterns that do not emphasize caloric restriction can impact body weight,” said lead researcher Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D. of the University of South Carolina. “We found that participants consuming vegan and vegetarian diets lost an average of 8.2 to 9.9 pounds over eight weeks, while those consuming some meat lost 5.1 lbs.”

Plant-based diets can also aid digestion, which is crucial for bikini competitors making dietary changes.

“Clean eating” is defined by the rejection of processed, chemically-enhanced foods in favor of whole, natural ones. Every adult who cares about her health should pay attention to what she eats, but bikini competitors need to pay even closer attention. 

Natural, unprocessed foods are the #1 staple of healthy plant-based diets, which means that sticking to clean eating is easier.

A diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables is naturally rich in nutrients, including fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer and promotes regular bowel movements.

Interestingly, healthy fats, like those found in vegetarian foods, help keep hormones regulated. 

Hormones play a role in hunger and weight control, and hormone balance is essential for women fitness competitors. Good sources of plant-based healthy fats include organic coconut oil, hemp oil, and borage oil.

So many meatless foods like beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain protein, making it easy for you to meet your daily protein requirements on a plant-based diet.

Too many vegetables leaving you feeling funny? You can reduce bloating and gas on a vegetarian diet, cook cruciferous vegetables instead of eating them raw. You can also make broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts easier to digest by mixing them up in a blender or food processor.

Meat-free diets have been proven to boost mental health.

As any bikini competitor knows, getting mentally prepared is half the battle. Preparing for a competition takes its toll, and vegetarian diets can restore an overall sense of wellbeing. Research studies published in Nutrition Journal and Public Health Nutrition have revealed that vegetarians exhibit significantly better mood states and experience fewer negative emotions than omnivores.

Linda Dame MEd, MSW RSW shared that cutting animal products out of your diet can reduce pain and anxiety, paving the way for more peace and joy. Successful bikini competitors must remain confident, motivated, and passionate, and vegetarian foods can help give you a mental boost when you need it most.

Vegan Bikini Competition Diet Risks

Bikini competitors strive to look fit, not ripped. Competitors are scored on their proportions, symmetry, shape, balance, skin tone, and stage presence. But there is a clear distinction between appearing fit and being fit. In fact, most fitness models and competitors aren’t at peak health when they compete.

According to professional bodybuilder Lee Apperson, getting lean is an art form, and starving yourself is the worst idea possible. Even so, vegan bikini competitors frequently engage in workouts that are too intense for the number of calories they consume.

The final days before show time tend to be the unhealthiest ones. After many competitors reach their “peak” (i.e. target weight and desired shape), they find it difficult to maintain it for more than a few days.

Some vegan bikini competitors are willing to take dangerous health risks to enhance their aesthetics.

Furthermore, the techniques and dietary manipulations typically required to “peak” are unnatural, unrealistic, and unsustainable in the long run.

Risks of Extreme Dieting and Training

  • Unwanted loss of muscle mass
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Mental burnout and frustration
  • Sprains, strains, and injury

Nutritional Deficiency

Although plant-based diets have many advantages, vegan bikini competitors should be especially careful of certain nutritional deficiencies.

Most Common Vegan Deficiencies:

  • Protein
  • Calories
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Looking to Peak in a Healthy Way? Pace Yourself

Professional natural bodybuilder Layne Norton recommends losing 1 to 1.5 pounds of weight per week to retain your competition-level muscle mass.

If you have 20 or 25 pounds to lose, you probably won’t be able to lose it all in 12 weeks and still retain your lean muscle mass. Start dieting as early as possible before your competition so that you can move at a safe and efficient pace.

How Vegetarianism Can Improve Aesthetics for Competitions

Aesthetics are a key reason that many people turn to vegetarianism in the first place, and that extends beyond personal sensitivities and respect for all life. We also have a greater appreciation of beauty, nature, and art in the foods we eat and how our bodies look and perform.

What Do These Healthy Internal Benefits Mean for External Aesthetics?

Vegetarian diets revolve around raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, and natural sources of protein. Coincidentally, these are also the types of foods used to get your body ready for competition. This means that competitors who already maintain a vegetarian diet typically have less weight (body fat) to lose than their meat-eating counterparts.

Vegetarian bodybuilders also naturally have lower body mass indexes, blood pressure, and levels of cholesterol, as well as less risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, dementia, and Type-2 diabetes.

IFBB Bikini Pro Marzia Prince is one of many vegan bodybuilders who has spoken publicly about how much better she looks and feels since going vegan. Vegetarian and vegan competitors tend to pay more consistent attention to the nutrients in their diets to make sure they are consuming what their bodies need throughout the year.

Boosting Your Metabolism

Almost all bikini competitors need to shed a few pounds in certain places, and your metabolism plays a key role in making this happen. Metabolism is affected by genetics and your lifestyle habits, but there are many natural ways to speed it up.

Spicy foods are known to boost metabolism, and a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism revealed that natural chemicals called capsinoids increase the amount of heat and energy that you produce and promote physical activity.

These are a few vegetarian metabolism-boosting foods I recommend (get “organic” whenever you can):

  • Chili peppers (great source of capsinoids)
  • Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens
  • Hemp protein
  • Chia seeds
  • Lemon
  • Water (A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that metabolism rates jumped 30 percent after drinking two cups of water.)

Other general tips to keep your metabolism working at its peak all day long include getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, sleeping in a cool room (66 degrees Fahrenheit), drinking tea, and reducing stress.

Vegetarian Bikini Competition Diet Components:

  • High-quality protein from plants
  • No bread, pasta, or junk foods
  • Low sodium
  • Raw, organic fruits and vegetables
  • High-protein carbs, such as sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, nuts, and seeds
  • More amino acids, fiber, and Vitamin C

Meal Plan Structure

Most competitors swear by the concept of six to seven small meals per day, but how and when you eat those meals makes a big difference in how your body processes food.

Space out each meal about three hours apart, and eat the last one at least an hour or two before bed. Multi-sourced vegan protein shakes should also be an important part of your daily meal routine.

Make sure that your breakfast contains a small serving of protein, a serving of vegetables, and a serving of complex carbohydrates. Your lunch should consist of a medium serving of protein and two to three servings of vegetables. Dinner should have a generous serving of protein, two to three servings of vegetables and a serving of fat.

You can structure your meals around these “big three” and work smaller meals in around them. For example, if you have a caloric goal of 1,800 calories per day, try sticking to 300 calories per meal and assess your energy levels throughout the day.

One you figure out your target number of calories per day, keep a food journal to document your meals and make changes to your plan based on what’s working and what isn’t.

The bikini competitor meal plan and prep saves your sanity … and money.

Marzia Prince (2007 Ms. Bikini Universe, IFBB Bikini Pro) feels more in control by eating plant-based:

“I used to be on a strict competition diet but now being vegan, I eat organic plant-based foods and don’t feel like I am on a diet. I listen to my body. I am more in tune with my body now, than I have ever been.

“Gone are the days of fad diets, ‘competition diets’, and being lost on how to eat. I feel like I have taken back control of my body. Aha! So this is what they say mean when they say lifestyle!”

Darlene Adamusik (fitness competitor) talks about how vegan meal prep saves her time and money:

“Before I became a vegan competitor, buying meat, eggs, and fish was getting too pricey. Not only was it expensive, but my digestion was also getting worse. Since going vegan, my digestion has improved, I’ve saved money, and cooking has become optional.

“I enjoy the fact that you can throw food together without having to cook it, and it’s been truly helpful with my digestive issues. It can also help with weight loss, but this is true only if done correctly. You must be careful with balancing how to meal prep vegan the same way you would balance a diet that included meat.”

 When to Start Your Bikini Competition Diet

Planning and preparing meals can feel like a big hassle, especially if you’re new to the world of competition prep. It’s easy to make excuses about not knowing what to buy, not having enough time to shop, or that healthy food is just too expensive. However, the best way to get the results you crave is to plan ahead.

Most fitness professionals recommend starting your show prep diet and supplement schedule at least 12 to 14 weeks before the competition. In most circumstances, muscle needs to be gained, fat needs to be lost, and your metabolism needs to be adjusted. To increase your chances of success, plan to start your new diet at least three to five months in advance of your competition date.

To start, take the time to schedule grocery shopping into your day. Stick to your list, and buy nothing more and nothing less. Choose a convenient day of the week to prepare several meals worth of vegetables and protein in advance, and organize your Tupperware containers in the refrigerator so they’re easy to grab in a hurry.

Sample Vegetarian Bikini Competition Meal Plan

Meal 1

  • Protein shake with chia seeds, almond milk, and cocoa
  • Quinoa porridge with strawberries
  • Fresh or cold pressed green veggie juice

Meal 2

  • Protein shake with almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. of almond butter, plain (no salt added)
  • 1 grapefruit

Meal 3

  • Kale or spinach salad with balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of lentil soup
  • 4-6 oz. sweet potato

Meal 4

  • Protein shake with chia seeds, almond milk, and banana
  • 1 tbsp. of almond butter
  • 1 apple

Meal 5

Veggie burger with 1/4 of an avocado

Spinach salad with balsamic vinegar

Meal 6

  • Protein shake with chia seeds, almond milk, and banana
  • 1 tbsp. of almond butter

Vegan Diet Plan for Bodybuilding

Meal 1

  • Vegan protein shake
  • Handful almonds

Meal 2

  • Chia seed pudding (or oatmeal)
  • Collard green wraps with hummus
  • 1 grapefruit

Meal 3

  • Veggie burger with 1/2 avocado
  • Kale and spinach salad

Meal 4

  • Bowl of lentil, bean, or vegetable soup
  • 1 apple

Meal 5

  • Almond butter sandwich with Ezekiel bread

Meal 6

  • Vegan protein shake
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter with celery

Easy Plant-Based Alternatives

It’s important to switch up your eating routine to avoid boredom and resist the temptation to binge on old favorites that don’t fit your current lifestyle. Here are some other great vegetarian foods to swap into this meal plan to add some variety:

Protein

  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Hemp seeds

Carbohydrates

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes

Fruits

  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Grapefruit

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus

Fats

  • Cashew butter
  • Flaxseed oil, flaxseed meal, or flaxseeds
  • Olive oil

Food Cravings

Research has shown that dieting can increase food cravings. Kristin Shaffer from Figure and Bikini offers a few helpful tips on preventing the type of sugar cravings that set competitors off course:

  • Stick to small meals throughout the day
  • Chew slowly
  • Avoid foods that spike your insulin, like bread, crackers, and cookies
  • Swap out sugars with high-fiber vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini
  • Incorporate a weekly cheat meal into the early stages of your training

Cheat Meals

Giving up the foods you love can be hard, which is why many competitors allow themselves an occasional chance to cheat. As a general rule, bikini competitors can choose one meal per week to be a cheat meal in the early days of training for a competition. Some trainers promote the occasional cheat meal as a healthy balance to stabilize blood sugar levels.

These are some other reasons to plan cheat meals into your meal plan structure:

  • Motivation to stick to your competition meals
  • Curb cravings
  • Metabolic boost
  • Provide extra energy to the body

These are a few tips about cheat meals from Tad Inoue, a professional competitive fitness diet coach:

  • Cheat at the end of your day
  • Don’t skip any other meals
  • Make your cheat carbohydrate-rich
  • Don’t let your cheat meal last more than 45 minutes

Craig Ballantyne shared a few of his vegetarian cheat meal favorites at Men’s Health:

  • Tofu
  • Brown rice
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Chocolate brownies
  • Wine

Cheat meals are great for morale, but there are certain rules you should remember if you’re serious about competing. To aggressively lose fat, you’ll need to strategically schedule your cheat meals and cut them off entirely when you’re two to three weeks away from your competition.

Keep in mind that cheat meals need to be carefully controlled. Excessive and ill-timed cheat meals don’t just take a toll on your physique, they can affect you mentally, too.

Dieters often report feelings of shame, guilt, and self-hate after cheat meals – all emotions that have no place in competition prep. Cheat meals can also make it more difficult to resist cravings and transition back into a training diet. Carefully assess your cravings, habits, and motivation before deciding on a cheat meal structure that works for you.

Mental Preparation for a Competition Diet

Competing doesn’t just occupy your time; it impacts your daily habits and routine. Since our routines are shared with the friends and family we care about, and competitors often feel a strain on their personal relationships during training.

Taylor Chapman, ACE-certified personal trainer, and bikini competitor shared, “I hated that I had no life for three months. I lived in the gym and out of Tupperware containers. You miss out on a lot of outings and events while competing because it can be very tempting to go out with your friends and not partake in eating or drinking. But in the end, it’s worth it when you reach your goals.”

Bikini Competition Prep Tips

In the world of competition fitness, there’s always a competitive season (with sometimes up to 16 weeks of prep time) and an off-season to bulk up, add mass, and enjoy a wider variety of foods. Pre-competition diets are designed to cut body fat and focus on eating clean foods.

For the best results, you can follow these tips.

  • Eat every three hours to increase your metabolic rate.
  • Decrease carbs without cutting calories.
  • Do aerobic workouts twice daily to burn stubborn fat.
  • Do cardio before eating carbs but after eating protein.
  • Swap out potatoes and rice for more vegetables.
  • Continue to drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid processed food stripped of nutrients.

According to nutritionist Felicia Stoler, “By carefully choosing complementary protein sources and monitoring overall intake, vegan athletes can consume adequate amounts of protein to fuel their performance.”

Dr. David Neiman, director of the human performance lab at the North Carolina Research Campus of Appalachian State University, told Ace Fitness Magazine, “The vegan diet is high in carbohydrates and low in fats, so it will naturally support endurance performance. People feel that the plant-based nature of the diet will magically help performance, but it’s the carbs that do it.”

However, the key to success for a bodybuilding or bikini competitor is to minimize the transformation your body must go through from one season to the next.

A vegetarian diet can help bring stability to your diet so that it suffers less of a shock when you kick it into full performance mode. All of this translates into a more aesthetically pleasing body, a healthier year-round lifestyle, and a more competitive fitness career.

Thinking of competing and want meal prep advice as a vegetarian?

For more ideas on bikini competition diet, watch this video – Bikini Competitiors MEAL PREP- How I meal prep! Bikini Prep Diaries

Check out our vegetarian bodybuilding program to learn exactly how to build lean muscle and tone up by eating plants. Many competitors have used the protein-rich recipes and meal plans for both vegetarian and vegan diets with great success. It’s a strong approach guaranteed to give you an edge for your next bikini competition.

Author Bio:

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 – Vegan Bodybuilding Diet