The Elite Physique

Peak Week Bloating Issues

Is Peak Week Bloating A Problem For You?

peak week bloating

Peak week bloating has been an issue for many competitors in the recent years.  This could be due to a number of factors.  I’m going to cover some of the nutrition mistakes competitors make the final week, which leads to that ugly bloating issue.

Peak Week Bloating

Did you know that peak week bloating can be avoided?  It’s possible that you can go into your competition, ripped and dry.  It’s the look the judges are looking for.  But, the question is, how to you get super dry to step on stage and win the entire show?  Often times, the bloating issues is due to dietary intake during peak week.  What you put into your body the final weeks before your competition is critically important.  It can literally make you or break you.  Let’s discuss a few dietary misconceptions related to peak weak bloating.

First, Avoid Misinformation

Sadly, there are some copycat coaches misinforming competitors about peak week.  Just because someone competes and places well doesn’t mean her or she are qualified to coach others.  Shockingly, I had an IFBB Pro come to me and ask me for fat loss help.  A PRO!  After some time, I realized that she was coached during her competitive career.  She never had to learn, like some of us do.  No one was around to help me or take me seriously.  I had to learn dieting, training, cardio, supplements, exercises, reps, sets, and peak week prep on my own.  My knowledge didn’t happen with one show, it took years.  In addition, I competed consistently until I got it right and got what I wanted out of the sport.  I met all my competitive goals at the age of 30.

You don’t become contest prep knowledgeable by competing in one show or being coached.  Knowledge is gained by studying, failures, and experiences.  You just can’t get that via controlled coaching or participating in just one or two shows.  Choose your coach wisely.  Find out what he or she has done in the past, how many clients he or she had, their transformations and placements.

Dairy Products During Peak Week

Since I’m talking about copycat coaches, I saw where a copycat coach posted that dairy doubles as a carb and a protein.  WRONG.  She couldn’t be more wrong, and she’s “coaching” people.  Here’s the truth about dairy.  Dairy is a carb.  It’s a carb that contains protein.  It’s not the daily-double.

Now, let’s get into the dairy and bloating issue.  Let me set the record straight. Dairy doesn’t prevent you from getting lean due to sodium. For many vegetarians, dairy is the staple of their diet!  Dairy products, such as cottage cheese, does not cause you to hold water and it does not prevent you from getting lean.

If you can’t seem to get your body fat to move anymore, you have a thick-skinned look, or even bloated appearance, you need to look at your dairy content. Omitting diary about 6 weeks out can help pull things together.  In addition, it’s important to slowly wean dairy out of your contest diet several weeks before your contest date anyway.  Personally, I have all dairy removed from my diet the final 3-4 week before my contest date.  Why?  To ensure I come-in hard and ripped.

Keeping dairy in your prep diet can make you appear bloated because you can’t get that thin-skin appearance with.  Also, it does contain carbs and sugar. So, it’s really a no-no during the final few weeks, but not because of bloating, just the appearance of bloating.  Keep in mind that dairy is ANYTHING that contains dairy, not just your low-fat milk. Dairy includes cottage cheese, yogurt, low-fat cheese, etc.

Bread and Gluten-Free Bread

But it’s gluten-free bread. I don’t care.  If you eat any form of bread during your final few weeks of a competition, you don’t care how you look on stage and don’t care how you place.

You have to realize that a contest prep diet is about getting lean and detailed.  It’s impossible to get detailed by eating bread, gluten-free or not.  You need to start thinking and dieting like a competitor if you want to look like you own that stage. During the process of your prep, remove the bread in your diet and replace diet with more complex, clean, and natural carbs like sweet potatoes and non-starchy veggies.

Such healthy and natural dietary changes will pull your body fat down quicker. You don’t NEED bread to be healthy and fit, so temporary removal of it will help you get over some dietary sticking points. You can remove and replace bread from your diet about 6-8 weeks out.

Fruit and Peak Week Bloating?

This is an interesting topic.  Processed sugar is damaging to the body and it causes fat storage at an unbelievable rate.  We’ve been conned since the 1960s that sugar is just empty calories, but it’s so much more, and worse than that.  With that, I want to make it clear that the sugar in natural fruit (fructose) is 100% perfectly acceptable.

Fructose is a natural sugar, right from Mother Nature herself.  Look, her job is to take care of our health.  The sugar in fruit does not affect the insulin the same way processed sugar does.

YES, you can have fruit. Fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need. Fruit doesn’t cause an insulin spike like processed sugar does. However, if you are getting really lean for your show and you just can’t seem to tie-in quite tight enough, you can omit fruit 3-4 weeks out for that extra ump.  I avoid  all fruit the final few weeks.

Booze and Red Wine Backstage?

Alcohol is the single oldest and most commonly used drug. It can appear innocent since it’s derived from grains, juice, and honey, but a constant and excessive intake of it can cause numerous problems to your health and your weight.  Most alcohol contains about 7 empty calories per gram. It negatively affects protein synthesis. It increases estrogen as well as fat storage and it dehydrates you along with depleting your vitamins and minerals and interferes with their absorption process.

If you’ve been around the competitive circuit for any amount of time, you may have witnessed competitors drinking sips of red wine backstage.  There’s a reason for this.  No, they are not drunks.  Well, some are. I saw a female bodybuilder at one show I was in getting good and liquored-up backstage.  However, drinking backstage has a purpose and it’s not to relax you.

Having a small amount red wine before pre-judging acts as a natural diuretic, excreting that last bit of water to pull you in hard and tight.  The judges are looking for ripped physiques. By properly timing a small amount of red wine before stepping on stage, you can step on stage fuller and more conditioned with enhanced vascularity.

One More Thing on Bloating…red arrow pointing down

I can give you so much more information on how to look amazing on stage by simple dietary and training tweak.  It’s all in your application and timing.  Before you go, get my FREE Contest Prep Lessons below so you aren’t sore thumb standing out on stage.


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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