Getting Ready for a Fitness Photoshoot (Part 1 – Nutrition)

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In this 3 part series, I’m going to be describing the techniques to prepare for a fitness or modeling photoshoot. For this first part, I’m going to be focusing entirely on nutrition – what to eat and when to eat it. The second part involves fitness/workout techniques and the third part involves general lifestyle techniques for photoshoot preparation.

Although the second and third parts are important, just following these steps exactly will prepare you to look your best on shooting day. Nutrition is incredibly important, and following these strict guidelines will prepare you to look your best.

Keep in mind that every body is different, and as a result some people are going to react stronger to different nutrients. I would highly suggest doing a “mock preparation,” as that’s the best way to test and see what your body responds to.

I’m going to assume that your shoot is a week away – you can never truly prepare for a photoshoot, so the key is to always be ready. Nonetheless, use this guide to help you regardless of how much in advance your shoot is.

Note: BE SAFE. Altering your nutritional intake isn’t the best thing for your body, and with specific techniques (like water depletion), it can be severe and even fatal if not monitored properly. Remember: It doesn’t matter how good your shots may come out if you’re not around to see them.

Days 7 – 3 Before Photoshoot

The first 5 days, one week out, are incredibly crucial. For example, if you’re photoshoot is on a Monday, the previous Monday – Friday are huge days to set up this entire process. Here’s what you do:

Two Gallons of Water a Day –  Trust me, stories of people dying from too much water are rare. The truth is, water is incredible for you, and having a ton of water will help you later on in the process. I would suggest buying two 1-gallon jugs, as this will make the measuring process easier.

NO Carbs, Sugar, Sodium – Yes, this may be tough, but it’s crucial to looking your best. Shy away from eating out, and try to prepare 100% of your meals. Stick with chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc – anything with high protein, no carbs, and almost zero sodium & sugar.


2 Days Before Photoshoot

1/2 Gallon of Water (64oz) – Now it’s time to start drinking a lot less water. Your body is used to flushing a ton of water out (the 2 gallons), so when you drastically and suddenly change the amount, your body doesn’t have enough time to react. This will make your skin cling tighter to your body, and as you drink less and less, your skin will be tighter than ever.

Carb Load – At this point you haven’t had carbs for days, so now it’s time to pump your muscles by having a ton. Shoot for 3-4 grams of DRY carbs per pound (ex. if you weigh 100lb then shoot for 300-400 grams of carbs). No joke: Have either Pixy Stix or Sweet Tarts, as they’re made entirely of Dextrose or Maltodextrin. Your muscles will absorb it incredibly quick, meaning it will only pump them out and make them look bigger – without being converted to fat. Other great dry carbs are oats and rice cakes (make sure they don’t have sodium!)


1 Day Before Photoshoot

20oz of Water – Like I said in the beginning, be careful – especially if this is your first time doing it. At this point you only want to have a water bottle, as you want to flush out as much water as possible. I would also suggest having Dandelion Root, as that will dehydrate you more without excess water intake.

More Carbs – This is where you really want to know what your body responds to. I would usually shoot for 1 gram of carbs per body pound, but remember that everyone reacts differently. Also remember to have them be as dry as possible.


Day of Photoshoot

Sip Water – Only have water when you need to. If you feel up for it, have more Dandelion Root to dehydrate you more.

NO Protein – Again, everyone reacts differently to this, but I usually avoid protein on the shoot day as it can make you look bloated.

Dry Carbs – I’ve heard of people having pancakes and other carbs on the day of their shoot to help improve muscle appearance. Especially if you’re shooting all day, rice cakes with peanut butter can give you the energy to go for hours. Note: Carbs with fiber can make you look bloated (like beans), so avoid any that have it.

Snickers – Have a snickers bar roughly 15 minutes before the shoot. This will help keep your energy levels up while also improving muscle vascularity.


Check Out Part 2 Here: Fitness

Check out Part 3 Here: Lifestyle

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