Macros For Women:Figure, Fitness & Bikini Competition Prep DietGuide

I received this question from a listener of my podcast the other day and I felt it was helpful to pass it on.

“Hi Jimmy, my name is (removed for privacy) and I am a IFBB figure competitor who is looking to do a show this summer. I’m contacting you today because I know you are concerned with your clients health as well as fat loss. During my last prep I had a really hard time and was eating next to nothing and still couldn’t lose weight. My digestion was bad, I was always bloated and my coach told me the answer was more cardio. After watching your videos and listening to your podcast, I wanted to talk to you about my macros. Do you have a general guideline?”

About The Author
Jimmy Smith,MS,CSCS is the president of The Physique Formula, an all natural supplement company. Use code “medium20” at checkout to save 20% on all supplements including bcaas with stevia at

I’ll be the first to admit, she is not the only figure, fitness or bikini girl who is prepping for a show to admit that they have digestive problems. You can likely push through a bikini competition prep dieta few times and ignore some obvious sign of digestion but after awhile, it gets you. When figuring out the proper macros for women, I also factor in both hormone and digestive health.

Macros For Women: How Much & How Little?

Its extremely hard to provide a general template or recommendation for a meal plan, you can hire me here if you want a custom one, but what I can share is my criteria for building a competition prep diet.

I also start with 1.2 grams per pound of body weight in terms of protein. Why 1.2 grams? You can look at studies done on high protein diets that range from 1 gram upwards of 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I’ve found that staying lower on the scale allows the athlete to get enough protein for recovery and muscle growth but it isn’t too much to cause digestive stress.

When you are training for a show, the sheer amount of food that you eat can itself cause digestive discomfort. 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight will give you more than enough recovery and, when combined with BCAAS, will retain muscle.

Figure, Fitness, Bikini Competition Prep Guide:Fasting

Intermittent fasting is crazy popular in todays figure, fitness and bikini world. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense, you fast for an extended period of time which research suggests increases good hormones while lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and triglycerides. On face value, fasting looks great.

But that’s until it isn’t so great. A figure, fitness or bikini competitor who is training multiple days per week runs into a problem. They need proper pre workout nutrition to fuel their training yet fasting can help them get leaner, so what’s the answer?

I suggest a fast on a cardio online or off day. The major issue with fasting is that in order to build the most natural muscle possible, a figure, fitness or bikini girl should consume 2.5 grams of leucine or 30 grams of complete protein every 3 hours. Physique Formula BCAAS come in handy in this situation and BCAAS can be used on a keto diet or fasting.

Figure & Bikini Competition Prep Guide

During the course of a prep for a figure or bikini show, the athlete is going to get leaner but they will need to get even leaner than that. What’s the answer? It’s certainly not to eat LESS. This is where intermittent fasting can actually be helpful. If the athlete is progressively getting leaner on a lower carb diet, I find fasting to helpful to achieve that NEXT level of fat loss during a contest prep diet.

A study in Acta Physiologica Scandinavia, a Scandinavian physiological journal, showed that fasting can positively impact body fat loss without impairing metabolic rate or muscle mass. Remember, during the deep stages of contest prep, metabolic rate to be at a crawl but you NEED to get even leaner.

This study shows that fasting shows further decreases in blood insulin levels and RQ which shows increases intra-cellar fat burning. It also shows an increase in noradrenaline, a major fat burning hormone with NO increase in cortisol.

But the BIGGEST benefit? Glucagon levels INCREASE which shows that the body will rely on MORE stored body fat for a fuel source.

Carbohydrates On A Figure Competition Diet

Carbohydrates, while often the feared nutrient, can actually increase muscle recovery and propel fat loss if they are manipulate properly. Instead of cutting them all out or ascribing to the popular internet theory of telling a 120 pound female to eat 400 grams, I typically start my clients around 100 grams of carbs.

This helps me learn their metabolism. For example, do they report that they are fatigued and tired? Okay, then I need to bump their carbs up by 20–30 grams.Carbohydrates are the most individual macronutrient so you need to pay attention to it the most in any type of figure, fitness or bikini competition diet.

Fat is kept at 30 grams unless they report digestive problems, which could mean their fat is too low. As long as their fat comes from coconut oil, olive oil and other healthy fats, I’m fine with it.

About The Author
Jimmy Smith,MS,CSCS is the president of The Physique Formula, an all natural supplement company. Use code “medium20” at checkout to save 20% on all supplements including bcaas with stevia at