Prep Hacks

Enduring the grueling diet to prep for stage is no joke. Not only are you dieting for 3-6 months in a row, but you also have to diet down to BELOW healthy body fat ranges to be “ready” for stage.

Here are the hacks that I’ve learned:

  • ALWAYS have a macro cap/dessert RIGHT before bed.
    • If you’ve been through a prep before you likely know how horrible a feeling it is to go to bed hungry, without any calories/macros left to eat anything. Last prep I got around this by eating my dessert in bed (okay then brushing my teeth) but then going STRAIGHT to bed so my tummy didn’t have time to get hungry again.
    • My favorite macro cap last year was a jello bowl which is basically greek yogurt mixed with Sugar Free Jello Pudding powder (the longer you let it sit in the fridge the fluffier it will become) topped with 2 sugar free strawberry jello packets, some frozen blueberries, and as much nut butter as my fat macros would allow.
    • My favorite macro cap this year is protein fluff. Here is a cake pop flavor & here is a chocolate flavor.
    • Flavored, 0-cal diet drinks can help tide you over until the next meal. These are my favorites:
      • Diet Snapple (Mango & Tropical are my favorites)
      • Diet Lipton Mixed Berry
      • Diet Vanilla Coke Zero
      • Diet Cream Soda & Root Beer
      • Unsweet Starbucks Passion Tea ( I get a Trenta with light ice & I have verified that without sweetener it’s 0 calorie!) + liquid stevia
      • Starbucks iced Blonde Americano with 2 pumps SF Vanilla & 2 pumps SF Cinnamon Dolce BLENDED (it’s the closest thing you’re getting to a Frappuccino. The barista will think you’re weird, it’s fine)
      • Sugar Cookie Hot Tea (with a sprinkle of cinnamon) + liquid stevia. It tastes like cookies. Win.
      • Tazo Dessert Teas — Lemon & Butterscotch are my favorites. I drink Lemon with liquid stevia & butterscotch with a butter toffee flavored skinny syrup
  • 0-cal sweeteners:
    • Natural 0-cal sweeteners:
      • Liquid Stevia. This brand does not have that yucky artificial taste that most sweeteners have. I love the vanilla flavor, but they have lots to choose from.
      • I use powdered stevia in baking. You can find it at the grocery
    • Artificial Sweeteners: (I never have any problems with bloating with these)
      • MUST HAVE: Skinny Syrups. You can buy them online, on Amazon, or I recommend visiting your local Home Goods/Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Ross to get them for cheap!
        • My favorite flavors are Chocolate Coconut Macaron for my coffee, Cookie Dough for Egg White Oatmeal, White Chocolate & Birthday Cake for protein fluff
      • Walden Farms International: Let’s be real, most of this stuff kinda tastes like poop. I used to use their creamer in my coffee last prep, but it tastes like toxic chemicals to me now so I use this creamer. BUT I do still use and like their pancake syrup as well as their Chocolate Syrup.
  • Low or no-calorie sauces & adding lots of SPICES & SEASONINGS make even eating broccoli exciting:
    • Mustard
    • Sriracha
    • Buffalo Sauce
    • Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
    • Everything from G Hughes. You can even use their marinades as salad dressings
    • Kernel Seasonings
    • Got a burger craving? Wrap up a 96/4 beef patty with some toppings in a wrap and voila, burger craving satisfied!
    • Got a sandwich craving? Same thing.
    • You can find Joseph’s Lavash Wraps at Walmart or on Amazon… but I do NOT recommend them because their serving sizes are ALL over. One wrap might weigh 60g (the whole wrap according to the label should weigh 62g) while another might weigh 90g! If you’re trying to be accurate for a contest prep those 30g really matter. Otherwise go for them.
    • I recommend CutdaCarb wraps! They’re thinner and more delicate than Lavash, but because of that they’re lower calorie at only 90 cals a wrap! They ship super fast too. If it’s your first purchase you can find a 10% off code on their instagram.
  • Eat for VOLUME: most of you probably already know this, but 100g of cauliflower rice does not have the same calories as 100g of rice. Therefore you can eat MUCH more cauliflower rice than you can actual rice, filling your stomach up and making you a happy camper with a happy tummy while on prep. These are my favorite volume hacks:
  • Low Calorie, Filling Snacks
    • Miso Soup! You can find instant packets of this at the grocery store & each bowl is 30-35 calories.
    • Fat-Free Hot Cocoa. Nestle brand is 25 cals each with 4c & 1p. Sure it tastes better with milk, but I still really enjoy it with hot water!
  • Finally, a shameless plug. If you are craving… cheesecake for example really badly… make a macro friendly cheesecake! I guarantee there’s a recipe out there for every craving. It’s better to “lean into” your cravings & hit your macros rather than either ignoring your cravings & being grumpy & unhappy, or blowing your macros out of the water. Check out my recipes or do a search to find a recipe on my blog!
    • Some of my favorite macro-friendly recipe books:
    • The Flexible Dieting Lifestyle has everything from pizzas, to cake, to protein poptarts. His books are on the expensive side, but he has sales quite frequently. I own both of his recipe books. He also has many free recipes on his Instagram.
    • Holly Baxter’s Contest Prep Recipe Guide. She’s a WBFF Figure Pro so if you’re skeptical about recipes, her cookbook is wonderful since those are recipes she eats all throughout her own preps!

Non Food-Related Tips:

Most of these are probably no-nonsense tips your coach has shared with you, but I thought I’d list them out anyways.

  1. If you’re hungry & it’s not time to eat, or you’re out of food/macros for the day, DISTRACT YOURSELF. Go for a walk, watch netflix, go to bed, go to the gym, anything to get your mind off of food. Otherwise if you simply cannot survive without something in your tummy, see above for diet drink tips OR have some sugar free jello. The little Jello Cups you can buy at the store only have 1g protein per cup.
  2. Intermittent Fasting. I started IF well before I ever started prepping for a competition. It’s a handy tool to narrow your eating window. I find it very easy to hold off eating until noon-ish & then I eat my last meal before bed. Some people are really strict with it–only eating between 12-8pm for example, but that’s not necessary.

Have another tip that I forgot? Let me know & I’ll add it!