Beauty and the Barbells- Part 2. The Figure Competitor Eating Plan

450px-Healthy_FoodsIn my last post, I took a visit to the gym with figure competitor Angela McKie-Burrows. She gave me the inside scoop on some of her favourite exercises from her vigorous program. Now, I want to the scoop on what she’s eating to grow those muscles and fuel her workouts. She believes that what you eat is 80% of your success, and workouts will only take you so far.  Angela has four solid meals per day, and two snacks. It is also imperative that she remembers to stick to the meal plan below. Her meal plan gets adjusted every 2 weeks to accommodate training goals and body composition. As competition nears, protein servings will increase, while healthy fats and complex carbs are decreased.

Sample Menu:


-4 eggs. 3 whites and 1 with yolk
-1/3 cup Oatmeal
-spoonful of peanut butter or 10 nuts
-Tomato and cucumber

Mid-morning snack 1
4 oz lean chicken, turkey or fish, a serving of carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa) and 1/3 cup of blackberries or raspberries***

1 hour workout – post workout snack to replenish glycogen (a form of energy known as glucose/sugar) – a banana, 250 ml chocolate milk or protein bar***

4pz Lean chicken, turkey or fish and a serving of raw vegetables or a kale salad (squeezed lemon juice/olive oil dressing)***

Mid-day snack
-Whey protein shake with Almond milk – sugarfree

Lean chicken, turkey or fish, a serving of grilled vegetables, a serving of carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa) and 1/2 an avocado
Angela has omitted most dairy from her diet, and drinks almond milk. She also has at least 3-4 litres of water per day. Closer to the competition, she will reduce her water consumption.

I asked Angela how she deals with so much temptation. (this is something I struggle with and wanted her insight.) She began to talk about cravings. What are cravings and how can we control the strong urge for something that is often not beneficial to our goals and health? She explained that many times, people do not understand where the craving is coming from. She believes that the craving is the body’s way of telling us that we are in need of something sweet or savoury. There is nothing wrong with addressing the craving, but we must know how to. Instead of reaching for that bag of Doritos (her weakness) or chocolate bar, Angela will allow the craving to continue sending signals to her body. She will have a small piece of dark chocolate and allow the satisfaction to reach her brain. She will savour the treat, and finds that the craving will pass once being addressed. All we have to do is honour the craving, feel it and not fight it, but answer it with a small taste of what we are craving. She feels if more people did this, they would avoid complete sabotage of their diets and that it does not take a ton of cookies to satisfy that craving. We are so used to rushing and immediate gratification, we do not allow our minds and bodies to connect with the craving, she continues.

As for the often demonized carbs, she believes that having a small serving before a workout is helpful fuel. Carbs are in the form of sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.

Another tip to success is prepping. Angela will always have her go-to snacks ready and available, such as a handful of nuts, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. Even on nights when she is out on the town with girlfriends, she knows that all too often a stop through the drive through ends the night. While her friends enjoy their late night burgers and fries, Angela has her container of healthy snacks readily on hand. One night, she made such an impact on her friend that she threw her burger out the window. Her friend proclaimed, “how can I sit here putting this crap in my body, and you’re eating carrots?” Spreading the joy of healthy-living is high on Angela’s list of priorities.

Prep and diet are crucial, but support is something that Angela believes is the most important element of success. Her sons are her biggest supporters and are always there to remind her why she is doing this, even when she is exhausted and doubtful.

I wish Angela the best of success as she gets ready for showtime. I am not prepping for a competition, but I have already applied many of her diet and training tips to help me along the way.

15 thoughts on “Beauty and the Barbells- Part 2. The Figure Competitor Eating Plan

  1. I’m so glad you did her nutritional approach as a separate post. The hardest thing for people, once they finally build up the courage to get active, is learning about proper nutrition. It’s really a science. Her meal plans are absolutely fined tuned and perfect for her goals. When I’m training, my concept of “eating” shifts towards “fuelling”. This year, I even started approaching it on a macro level. While the average person who wants to get fit may not want to get as technical as an experienced bodybuilder or fitness competitor, it is absolutely necessary to understand proper nutrition. I completely agree that it’s 80% or more of your fitness results. What to eat, when to eat it, and most importantly… WHY?! I hope this post gives your readers some insight into why it’s so important and gets them better equipped towards a stronger fitness plan. Great work Shar!

    1. Thanks very much. The eating side of this lifestyle is exactly that, a science and very complex at that. Nutrition is just so vital and can really make or break progression. Macro nutrients and all that jazz is so technical.
      Good luck with your training and goals. If I were to undertake such an endeavour (which I have no plans to) I would definitely have to hire a nutritionist because this is so over my head. You really have to know what you’re doing to succeed, even more so than the training component.

  2. I like how this lady thinks! My down fall is not enough snacks on hand. I think have some red pepper instead of salted peanuts. But which easier to reach? Salted peanuts or cutting pepper. You have to be really strict with yourself to make good eating habits that become just that. I find medjool dates help me a lot overcoming sugar cravings. Seriously nature’s candy! Finding and recognising triggers is another part of the battle. I think for women, that a few days before that time of the month is a hard fight.

    That said, I try to have healthy snacks on hand. Trial mix when I’m out, carrot sticks and grapes at the cinema!! I smuggle them in!

    1. I find the same thing. Prep is so essential. We do tend to go for the easiest thing to grab, so making those healthy foods “grab ready” makes perfect sense. I should look into those dates when I feel a sugar craving coming on. Yes, that time of the month I crave not just sugar, but salt and a lot of starch too.
      Smuggling in healthy snacks is in the movie theatres is necessary. All they have there is junk food.

      1. Yes salt and starch! I have to have either chewy sweets or bread and peanut butter. I think it’s because of not eating meat, around that time I crave the chewiness of meat. Weird! I let myself give in a little, because if I don’t, well it can get messy! I try the rest of the time. When Paul’s around he cooks, so it’s easier. When he’s away, it’s a struggle, especially when I’m tired and just want to sleep, but have to eat. Sleep wins 9/10! Sad I know. The best way to stop the unhealthy snacks, is not have them in the house. I think a new challenge, reach for carrots as well as 1 unassisted pull up! Still on assisted!

      2. That is interesting. I guess tofu is not very chewy. lol. Sleep has got to be good or things can get very bad for me too. When Andy is away, I try to pre-cook healthy food because he’s the cook of the household too. That can be a new post. Reach for carrots, do one unassisted pull-up.

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