Contest prep is something that takes a lot of time, dedication, and sacrifice to make it to the stage to look your very best. A lot of the sacrifices come at the expense of social gatherings, events, and dinner parties that you can no longer attend and enjoy since our culture is surrounded by so much food! Does contest prep have to be boring? Does it have to taste pain and seen as a utility instead of enjoyment? We’ve gone through contest prep ourselves and know that you can still enjoy the taste of your food and live in a social setting and stay on track with your diet. Here are some tips and products that will make your contest prep experience more enjoyable.
Eating The Foods You Love with Variations
Life hacks can be found all over the internet with athletes and contest prep coaches looking at ways to keep the diet life fresh and tasty. Muscle Insider runs an annual contest called the “Protein Chef” and you can find a number of incredible receipts from the contest in which people make protein treats, desserts, and meals that you would never think could be health and fit into your macros during contest prep.
In addition to these great receipts, brands across North America are moving towards offering gluten free, low calorie, low sugar/sugar free alternatives to the traditional foods you love. No longer do you need to have calorie filled syrups, condiments, and flour based receipts that will play havoc on your digestive health and waistline. One great example of this is Castle Kitchen Gluten Free pancake and waffle mix that allows you to enjoy all the goodness of pancakes without the negative impacts that can come along with it if you have sensitivities to gluten, dairy, or other animal byproducts. This product is also Non-GMO Verified and you simply add water to the mix for fluffy pancakes or waffles.
Not So Average Supplements
The marketplace today for sports supplements and natural health alternative supplements have come a long way in the last 5 years. If you’d tried things like protein powders in the past, you might have found them to be chalky or clumpy and not very good tasting. With new flavouring options and ways to make products take better without having to use sugar, many great products now exist on the marketplace today that TASTE great! Kaizen Naturals has long been one of the top selling brands in Canada for their ability to make protein powder taste really great to the average consumer.
Protein powders are a great addition to any meal that you want to make flavourful with minimal sugar added. Try mixing protein powder in with the pancake mix above and you have a complete meal that will bring a balanced blend of carbs and protein. The best part of it all it that it tastes so good that your morning breakfast will quickly become the best meal of the day.
Sodium Content Doesn’t Matter
One of the biggest misconceptions with contest prep is that one needs to cut salt/sodium out of their diet in order to get lean. This is not the case at all as your body is extremely good at adapting to your sodium levels and regulating a normal level. The only time you will see/feel a difference is if you are changing your levels of sodium intake daily drastically one way or the other. High days followed by low days can cause you to hold water temporarily which typically will go away in a couple of days once your body regulates itself again. This is something not to worry about unless you are in the final days of contest prep. Sometime well trained coaches will use sodium manipulation to improve your physique and have you peak at just the right time. Keep in mind that sodium is an important part of your diet and that you need it for everyday body functions.