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Look Lean and Fit on Your Wedding Day • A Figure Athlete's Secrets

Updated on August 30, 2014

Most women never want to stand on stage in a skimpy bikini and high heels while flexing their muscles like figure athletes do. But sometimes in life there are special occasions when you just want to look amazing. It could be your wedding day, a family portrait sitting, a pool party or a school reunion.

Figure athletes have a toolbox of tricks that help them look so fantastic on show day. They are closely guarded secrets, but I am breaking the unwritten code of silence to share some of them with you.

The next time you are faced with a major event in your life where you want to look your absolute best, try some of these strategies.

Discover the tricks figure competitors use to get stage ready
Discover the tricks figure competitors use to get stage ready

Seven Days Out

Cut the Carbs

Food containing carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes are wonderfully satisfying and provide you with energy but they also make you retain water. For every gram of glycogen (the form carbs take when stored in your muscles) in your body attracts three grams of water. In order to look as lean as possible you need to cut out carbohydrates for one week prior to the big day to shed the water.

The simplest way to reduce your carbs is to stop eating anything that is white or has flour as an ingredient. Your diet should primarily consist of protein and fat - eggs, fish, chicken, pork, beef, cheese, nuts, and nut butters. As this is only for a week, you could avoid vegetables as well as they tend to cause bloating in some people.

Exercise Lightly

This is not the time to run a marathon or sign up with a personal trainer. Just follow a moderate program of light weights and lifestyle cardio. You want to avoid making your muscles sore from strenuous exercise because repairing muscle causes inflammation.

Increase Your Water

Try to increase your normal water intake by a small percentage. There is no reason to force gallons of water in, but a healthy increase will help flush out your system.


During this time you should get your hair cut and/or colored, your nails professionally manicured, your teeth whitened and your body hair removed. Waxing is recommended because you need to stay smooth for a few days and you should treat yourself to having the hair on your forearms waxed. It makes your arms look amazing!

While you are at the salon get your eyebrows shaped and waxed and your eyelashes tinted. Have a facial if you enjoy it ... pamper yourself (and lie down for a while!)


If you are not used to a low carb diet you may feel a bit washed out and lack your normal mental skills. We call this carb brain. Have a very clear task list to refer to over these seven days because you will forget things you would normally remember.

Don't schedule any highly stressful activities during this last week before your event because you may find them a bit overwhelming. Try to take it easy.

Three Days Out

Cut the Dairy and Artificial Sweeteners and Add Some Salt

As well as continuing to restrict your carbohydrates it is time to cut out dairy foods and artificial sweeteners. Some people are unknowingly intolerant to these foods, so eliminating them from your diet will help make you lean.

Add a bit of extra salt to your meals just for the next two days.

Stop Exercising

Stop exercise completely at this point. You can still take light walks, but avoid any intense exercise involving your legs which is normally the hardest part to slim down.

Keep Drinking Your Water

Continue to drink your increased amount of water.


Once your waxing has settled (2 days after) it is time to get a spray tan. Wear loose comfortable clothes to the tanning salon and try to go as long as you can without putting on anything more restrictive (knickers and bra). Include your face in the tanning process because it makes it easier to match your makeup to your tanned skin.


This is the toughest part of the countdown because you will be craving carbohydrates, you'll probably have a headache and you will feel exhausted. If will be especially difficult if you usually drink diet cola because you need to eliminate it at this point. Try switching to unsweetened black tea and coffee if you are suffering from caffeine withdrawal.

The Day Before

Introduce Complex Carbs in the Evening and Reduce Salt

The day before the big day you want to eat low carb until lunch time, and then introduce a small amount of complex carbohydrates at dinner - brown rice or plain white potato - and cut back on the fat - chicken breast or white fish and no nuts. Don't head for the cookie jar or the chocolate or you will make yourself sick and you could bloat up.

All day prior to the big event try to avoid anything that is salty like ham or bacon and don't add salt to your food at all.

Reduce Water

From lunchtime, only drink water when you are thirsty in small sips. Figure athletes stop drinking altogether but cutting back will achieve similar results. By cutting salt and water today you will flush out any last bloating you may have.


Everything should be pimped and preened by this stage. All you need to do is touch up anything that needs attention.


It is time to get excited. You should be looking pretty good by now. Try on your frock or your bikini and see the difference from a week ago.

image by flaivoloka
image by flaivoloka

The Big Day

Make sure you eat something for breakfast with carbohydrates - oats, whole grain cereal - and have a snack of rice cakes and chicken before you leave the house. Take some snack food with you to tide you over to your next proper meal.

Continue to minimize your water intake but don't get dehydrated because the last thing you need is feeling faint on your big day.

Have your hair and makeup done and then go forth and shine.

Hopefully there is a meal involved in your special event, but if not, plan to go to your favorite restaurant for dinner and enjoy your well deserved reward meal. Drink plenty of water once you start eating and take it easy with the alcohol because it will go straight to your head.

The Day After

You will gain scale weight as soon as you start to eat and drink normally again. This is because you have been manipulating the fluid levels in your body. If you have been watching the scales go down rapidly over the last week, you might be disappointed to see them go back up again very quickly. This is completely normal. This is not a weight loss strategy, nor a long term diet, just the finishing touches for your special day.

Please Take Care

This is an intense program so if you feel unwell at any time, please go back to your normal eating and drinking routine. Looking drop dead gorgeous isn't worth it if you make yourself sick.

Be Beautiful

If you want to make an extra effort to look in the best shape you of your life, then give this plan a try. By utilizing the secrets of figure competitors and body builders you will be amazed at the transformation in a few short days.


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      Andre 3 years ago

      Lynn, It is good that you are eating hatiehler than ever. But the cheese and alfredo sauce are not good for you. Sure, it tastes great, but it's not healthy. You are so close, but eating added oils and fats is offsetting all the good you are trying to accomplish. I highly suggest you check out Dr. Esselstyn to see what you are doing to your endothelial cells. Then try Dr. McDougall's starch based diet. You can feel healthy and actually be healthy. You owe it to yourself. Good Luck. Ken

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      Aditya Soni 5 years ago from India

      I heard a lot about the sessions which models take before any shoot . But you have mentioned the whole workout stating the tips before the shooting day , on shooting day and a day after . These tips are not only beneficial for the actors or models but also anyone can adapt these tips for the healthy future . Great job mate....God bless

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      Katie Paul 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I'm glad you enjoyed it ?

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      truparad0x 8 years ago

      This is good stuff. I knew competitors and models go hardcore for their diet before a competition or a shoot, but never knew the details.