A bikini bodybuilder's diet is just as important as their workout routine. What they eat depends on what they're trying to accomplish, which means their intake of protein or carbs will change if they're trying to cut or if they're attempting to put on more mass.
Diksha Gautham, NPC bikini bodybuilding competitor and NASM-certified personal trainer in-progress, shared with us her exact diet on the days leading up to her recent competition. "My diet when I prepped for my bikini show cut was high-protein, low-carb, and medium-fat," she told POPSUGAR.
She was eating about 130 grams of protein a day, which equaled out to one gram of protein per pound of her weight. "It's important to keep protein high when dieting in order to preserve muscle mass and lose fat, not muscle!" she said.
Here's what she ate for breakfast:
- 1 packet of plain oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 3/4 cup liquid egg whites and spinach
Sometimes she would meal prep by cooking the egg whites and spinach into muffin cups, which were "great for on-the-go breakfasts when I was running to work," she said.
This is what her second meal of the day looked like:
- 5 ounces of ground turkey (93 percent lean, 7 percent fat)
- 1 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles
- Homemade tomato sauce
Her third meal:
- 1 protein shake (she used Quest)
- 1 ounce of nuts
- 2 cup of veggies (like carrot sticks, cucumber, or celery)
And her final meal of the day:
- 5 ounces of Indian-spiced salmon
- 1 cup of veggies (like broccoli or asparagus) sautéed in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Since she was consuming fewer calories than usual, Diksha tried to eat foods that were high in fiber so she could feel fuller for longer, which is why she reached for oatmeal and veggies. "I love Indian food, so I put a ton of Indian spices on a lot of my dishes which gave it a ton of flavor without adding a lot of calories," she told POPSUGAR. "I made sure I never ate anything that tasted like cardboard!"
The things that Diksha avoided were premade salad dressings and coffee creamers, as the calories in these small, low-nutrition foods really add up.
Diksha wants to be clear, though, that this diet was specifically made to prepare her for her bikini bodybuilding competition. "This was my extreme diet cutting for a show and customized to my body," she said. Before you make any extreme changes to your diet, be sure to speak with a doctor or nutritionist to make sure you're getting all the nutrition you need.