Diane Nunez, Figure Competitor

My off season diet consists of more calories and carbohydrates at each meal but in small quantities. I carb cycle, low carbs Friday through Tuesday and high carbs Wednesday and Thursday and protein goes from 4-5 oz down to 3. I don't consume fats on my high carb days and I keep fruit to a minimum.

Carb cycling is a powerful weight loss tool. It's a great way to "confuse" the body so to speak and keep your metabolism on fire. In the off season its a good way to add mass while keeping body fat down. You boost your carb intake on days you exercise and cut back on days you don't. While doing this your body must draw on its stored energy reserves for power, which means you'll be burning fat.
To determine how many carbs you should eat on a high day is to eat 1 to 1.5 grams per bodyweight. Carbs should always come from clean foods such as brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, ezekiel bread, yams etc...complex carbs! Fibrous carbs are not counted typically as they are high in fiber and low in calories.

For pre-contest there is no fruit consumption, protein is 5oz consistently. My pre-contest diet changed from 3 carbs a day to carb cycling 3, 2, 1 then to 2, 1, 0. What I found most effective was the ketosis diet. That is where I had a significant weight loss. I was doing keto for 5 weeks and after that starting introducing carbs back into my diet. My carbs choices are usually brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. I never stray from those choices.

This was my 1st competition so I don't have anything else to compare it to. I did have a weight loss stall during the 2, 1, 0 carb cycle and that is when I went to a ketosis diet.

One of my favorite off season recipes: Protein bites
1 scoop whey protein
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond butter or natural peanut butter
Roll into 4 balls and refrigerate. It's a quick, healthy snack.

My weight training program consists of a 4 day split.
Monday is Chest and Shoulders
Tuesday I teach spin class/Abs
Wednesday biceps/triceps
Thursday Rest
Friday Legs
Saturday back
Sunday spin class/Abs

After weight training I do 20-30 minutes steady state cardio either on the elliptical or I walk on an incline on the treadmill.

Life is all about balance. You always find a way to do what you love and what is going to serve you the right way to be fit and healthy on a consistent basis.

Diane Nunez
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