If you're getting in shape for an upcoming competition, you're probably already engaged in strenuous physical training and a strict diet. Some competitors however find it difficult to trim the last few pounds for a competition to give them the maximum advantage. If you're one of these people, you may need to take extra steps in order to get in competition shape. These can include additional calorie restriction and increased intensity in the exercises you perform. Speak with your doctor before taking any steps to get in shape fast for a competition.
Drink at least 64 oz. of water in addition to any other beverages. Staying hydrated is always important, however, when you are taking your body past it's usual physical limits, it's critical. According to Extreme Nutrition, 75 percent of all Americans are in a state of chronic dehydration. Water is necessary for all the body's processes including digestion, metabolism and excretion of wastes. In addition, water helps fill your stomach and is absorbed by dietary fiber to help you feel full for longer, so you eat less. Carry water with you everywhere and drink 8 oz. before you eat any food, to help you decrease your caloric intake.
Cut out foods and beverages that contain added sodium or are naturally high in sodium. Excess sodium causes your body to retain water in order to balance the salt concentration in the blood, organs and tissues. This leads to weight gain and bloating that can make it difficult for you to exercise properly for competition preparation. Read nutrition labels for the foods you eat and even the beverages you drink. Many electrolyte beverages contain added sodium that may be causing you to retain water. If you can't do without your electrolyte beverage, thin out the sodium concentration by mixing half a serving with half a serving of water.
Increase the intensity of your exercise. If you're a jogger or runner, increase the pace, the duration and the incline of your daily workout. All of these require more calories, increase your metabolism and force the growth of the larger muscles of your legs. As your muscles grow, the metabolic demands on your body increase, even when you're at rest. If your competition involves weights or resistance, increase the amount the you are using to train. If you usually experience total muscle failure at ten repetitions of an exercise, increase the weight so you reach failure at eight repetitions. This too, will increase your muscle size as well as burn calories and fat fast.
Eat more dietary fiber and more fiber rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Bodybuilding.com explains that most people don't eat enough dietary fiber. Fiber is important for digestion but it is also an important weight loss tool that can help you eat fewer calories. Fiber combines with water in the digestive system and swells into it's bulk form that helps rid your body of wastes. If you are already restricting calories significantly, consider using a sugar-free fiber supplement, available in capsule, powder and tablet forms.
Speak with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet or level of physical activity.