(1) Take one day at a time, one work out at a time.

Preparing for a competition can be both hard and tiring, so what I recommend is simply to take each task as it comes, just focusing on that one thing until it’s complete. Don’t think too much about the day ahead, enjoy every moment and take it easy. If you’re going to work out and your energy is low, don’t let your mind takeover and think, “omg my workout is so long, or too hard or I don’t have energy”. Go in with a strong mind-set, just taking one exercise at a time and giving it everything you have. Forget the rest until it’s done!

(2) Have your food ready to go

When you’re in contest preparation one of the most important thing is your diet and food intake. To make sure you stay on track with your meals, the best thing you can do is have them ready! If you are doing it yourself make sure you prep them when you are not hungry to avoid that little cheat of a few extra grams on the scales. Personally, I think the best thing you can do is hire a food company to manage your meal prep meaning you don’t need to worry, and you can focus on the many other things you need to reserve energy for! I place my nutrition in the trusted hands of Fresh Fitness Food, who deliver my bespoke diet to my door every single day. The stress of meal prep is a thing of the past! The best piece of advice I could give is never leave home without your food, wherever you go, anytime of the day. FFF make that easy delivering all my food in a handy cool bag, meaning it can come with me wherever I go.

(3) Liquids are key

When you are in contest preparation your food diet is restricted, so it’s likely you’ll feel hungry a lot of the time. This is where staying on top of your liquid intake can be hugely helpful. There’s only so much volume FFF can add to my Tupperware before it simply become a cabbage patch! Be sure to drink plenty of water through the day. Water will keep your belly full as well as helping you with hydration levels and getting rid of toxins. Tea and coffee are also a good go to since both contain caffeine to help keep the energy levels up.

(4) When cravings hit

Cravings are one of the most difficult parts of the contest prep process! Your mind is constantly trying to take control of your body. Most of the time our bodies are so tired that we begin to feel the desire to eat all the carbohydrates and sugars we can possibly squeeze in! To help with those cravings, you really need to learn to trick your mind. Make sure that when you eat your meals, you eat them really slowly and drink water while eating. This will help you to feel full and reduce the cravings. Sometimes I’ll use chewing gum to trick my mind which has helped me quite a lot with past prep phases. Just make sure you’re aware that over doing gum can bloat your belly, and even if it’s sugar free having too much can add extra calories to your diet. You can also add a little bit of Stevia, the natural sweetener to your flavoured tea or coffee. This will help to calm those sugar cravings!

(5) Make friends with your mind

Your mind can become your best friend or your worse enemy. Some people underestimate the power of the mind, but everything starts from there. When you’re in preparation for a competition, the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion can cause us to start having negative thoughts… “I’m hungry, I cannot do this anymore, I’m not getting lean, I’m tired…”. There are a million negative thoughts that cross our mind, but the secret here is to BE CONSCIOUS of your thoughts. Direct your mind to be as positive as you can and remember that your body achieve what your mind believes. If you catch yourself having bad thoughts, make a conscious effort to change it into something positive. Always remember why are you doing it and why are you competing. Imagine yourself on that stage in the best shape of your life and I promise that will make it all worth it!
Cristina Silva, WBFF Pro and FFF Athlete