How to diet during busy season & on bodybuilding improvement season

Woah, how is it already December?!?! I do not know about you, but I think this fall and year has flown by. A lot of it is to do with staying busy each day, every weekend, going none stop. But thing is, I love the grind. I love the hustle.

Strong Sweet Caroline | improvement season dieting

Since August and moving to Georgia, I have improved tremendously at being task oriented and completing action items to advance me towards my goals. This is not just in business but also in hobbies and passions like bodybuilding. I am not competing anytime soon but that does not mean I get to slack on my diet and training.

With that in mind, I wanted to discuss how to diet during busy season and more specifically my experience with bodybuilding improvement seasons or “off seasons”. It is not for the week minded or lazy. Bodybuilding is not for the lazy, period. Even if you are not in the sport, you may have another passion, goal or hobby that requires diligent effort and continued execution. Therefore, to improve, you cannot slack.

Read on for my steps to success in dieting during busy season and improvement season and my new program for January meal prep!


First and foremost, you need to identify your goal.

Are you looking to increase size and mass? If so, where and what body parts? Overall symmetry? This will affect your training routines and eating patterns.

Second, create structure around that goal.

You tell me you want to increase size and mass, specifically in your glutes and hamstrings but also more caps to your shoulders. If I were your coach or seeking to work with a coach, I would adjust the volume of your training to be more leg and glute focused, possibly increasing frequency of workouts each week, increasing time under tension, etc. When you get as specific as possible and outline your path or options, it will steer you in the right direction for execution.

You tell me you want to lose 15 pounds. Do you know what you eat in a day or week? That might be a good place to start is writing down everything you eat each day for one week. Then, you can actually determine how much you are eating and where to adjust.

Third, do not get caught up in social media with shredded friends and athletes who are on a different structure and goal than you!

Just like in a horse race, the winning horse does not try to look around its blinders to see who might be gaining on it. It focuses its eyes on the strides ahead toward the finish line. If that motivates you to stick to your diet for long-term success, by all means, print a photo off and stick it on your mirror! But don’t get caught up in it.

Fourth, now that you have your goal, structure and are focused on YOU, fuel your body accordingly.

It is sad that so many out there think that burgers and fries, pizza and donuts are good for you in an improvement season. I actually cut them out entirely.

Why? Because quality food matters. When you are at a caloric surplus (which most society is overeating not undereating), the nutrients absorbed into your body work to maintain your metabolism. If you are constantly eating foods that are more processed, higher in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and not nutritionally dense, they will slow your metabolic rate and cause you to store more body fat. I know I do not want that. To prepare for previous shows, I spent WEEKS doing cardio to strip the fat off my body.

So, when at a surplus, what do you do? Eat right. Be strategic. And even if you do not want to do it, eat the carbs. You’ll appreciate them later.

I decided to photograph all the foods I eat in one day. I am at a caloric surplus now and did not realize that including my intraworkout drink, I have eight meals per day. But, here’s where it gets interesting.

Strong Sweet Caroline | How to dietStrong Sweet Caroline | How to diet

Each meal is under 500 calories. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you’re luck if anything on the regular menu is 600 calories or fewer. You can modify and customize orders, but it’s the idea that those meals are often lacking the nutrients you really need and have more filler foods and ingredients than necessary.

I eat pretty close to the same thing every day. I follow “if it fits your macronutrient dieting”, commonly referenced as IIFYM. Does that mean I get to each chocolate and poptarts if I choose? Yes. Do I do so daily? Nope! I’m strategic about everything I eat.

This has been my progress the past two months. Slowly putting on muscle, weight and body fat. The majority comes from consistent eating habits and hard ass workouts.

Strong Sweet Caroline | improvement season dieting

Top was October 1, bottom December 1

I’ve come a long way. And now I’m transitioning to bikini instead of figure. So, there lies another challenge. Learning new poses and as mentioned above, restructuring my programming. Time for more glutes, squats, lunges and plyometrics to build the booty!

Additionally, my meal prep company is growing, new clients are signing up and my website will be launching in a few short days! With all this happening, I’ve realized how crucial my meal prep planning is. I want to share that with y’all and help teach others to be successful at meal prep.

I am launching my first Meal Prep in 30 Challenge!

Strong Sweet Caroline | Meal Prep in 30 Challenge

 

This will teach you everything from grocery shopping, macronutrients, storage containers, seasonings I use, cooking methods, and more so that you can start your 2018 on the right food with health and wellness in the forefront.

It is only $30 to enter. There are objectives to complete each week and when you do, whoever completes them, in addition to engagement on social media and other bonus challenges, will be entered for a drawing to win

  • My first ever dessert ecookbook
  • $25 gift card to Whole Foods
  • 1 sample pack of Enlightened Broad Bean Crisps
  • 6 Pack Bag meal prep bag!

Reach out with any inquiries and sign up today!