Where do I start....

Dear Nicole, my name is Esther, I’m 34 years old and live in the Netherlands. Last week we had the Flex Cup in the Neterlands wich also holds a Bikini Contest. I told my husband I wanted to join it next year! But…right now I have a vet percentage of 40% (1.70 mtr.) and weight of 86,7 kilos. I already lost about 5 kilos this last week by using an egg-white diet and no carbs at all. I want to lose (a lot) of weight and build muscles. I have one year and don’t no where to start. There’s to much information on the internet… Can you please help me with an (example of) exercise and eating schedule? I know I have to eat carbs as wel but I’m afraid to gain weight again….

regards, Esther

First off, congratulations on losing your first 10lbs! Keep in mind that when you cut carbs, a lot of what you are losing is water weight as well. The first week you will notice quick loss but then your body will have to pace itself, and that’s OK! You definitely need carbs! Without them, your brain, along with a lot of other things will not function well. I highly recommend finding a trainer in your area who is familiar with that contest to guide you as everyone is different. You will need practice with posing, tanning makeup etc. I would call the event promoter and ask for a referral or see what gyms are represented at that event.

Definitely you can utilize the trainer and meal planner on this site for a nominal fee. There are some pretty great routines on here and I love the videos! Here are some basics, they may not work for everyone, or in every phase, but will get you a start. Meals, 5 – 7 per day. Do not go longer than 3hrs without a meal. You can keep your carbs at this far out but the cleanest foods are going to be your lean protein(shakes, egg whites, chicken, turkey, tuna, tilapia, salmon-which also has your healthy fat), your carbs(brown rice, sweet potatoes/yams, brown rice cakes, Ezekiel bread), veggies(greens like broccoli, asparagus, etc) and healthy fats(in salmon, almond/peanut butter, avocado). You want a lean protein at each meal. Also a carb and/or fat. It varies on your calorie requirements and body type but i generally do 1/2c of carbs, 1c veggies, and 4oz of lean meats. (or 1/2c egg whites, one shake)

Workouts, start with 4hrs cardio / week and see how you do. I would have you lifting on a split schedule(3 or 4 day), depending on what areas need more work or if you are symmetrical. Adding in a core/circuit day is good also.

Hope some of this helps. I definitely change it person to person depending on their shape, body response and needs. Also, competition dieting is a bit different than your balanced diet so if you have any special dietary needs definitely check with your doctor or RD first. Also, Muscle&Fitness Hers is a great resource. Good luck on your journey! ;)