Here Is Men’s Physique Bodybuilder Steven Cao’s 3,040-Calorie Prep Diet – Fitnessnacks

    Men’s Physique competitor Steven Cao is prepping for his next pro show: the 2023 Mile High Pro, in Denver, CO, on June 10. Should he win, he will qualify for a return trip to the Olympia stage after his debut in 2022 saw him finish outside of the top 15. Erin Banks won the Men’s Physique Olympia title.

    On May 10, 2023, Cao took to his YouTube channel to share his prep diet for his upcoming contest. Cao explained every meal he plans to consume daily leading up to the show, including their macros. Check it out below:

    [Related: Savannah Watchman Wins 2023 California Night of Champions Pro Bikini Division Show]

    Steven Cao’s Diet Plan 

    Cao starts his morning with a fresh bag of jasmine white rice, a cup of coffee, and two capsules of the fat-burning supplement a2 AM. After that, he walks his two pugs for 10-15 minutes before tackling cardio on a stair climber. Once his cardio is complete, Cao consumes his first meal of the day:

    Meal One — Breakfast 

    • Eggs — two whole eggs
    • Egg whites — eight ounces 
    • Oatmeal (eight ounces of water) — 75 grams 

    Total Macros

    “It’s really important that you get a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning to kickstart your day,” Cao says. “Typically, when you’re asleep and fasting…some people don’t tend to eat [when they wake up]. I really encourage you to eat [to] get your metabolism running.”

    Given the amount of muscle mass on Cao’s lean frame and the volume his training schedule calls for, he needs to consume sufficient calories “just to feel comfortable.”

    [Related: The Best Chest and Triceps Workout, Scaled for Every Experience Level]

    Speaking of training, below is the second meal of Cao’s day that functions as his pre-workout:

    Meal Two — Pre-workout 

    • Cream of Rice (with 12 ounces of water) — 90 grams
    • Almond Butter — 16 grams
    • Girl Mode Cream and Chocolate Protein — two scoops 

    *Note: Cao added cinnamon for flavor, but it does not add any additional macros.

    Total Macros

    • Calories — 812
    • Protein — 60 grams
    • Carbohydrates — 112 grams
    • Fats — 14 grams

    Cao drinks a fiber supplement — two grams of Metamucil — once or twice per day. It helps with his digestion and keeps him satiated. The above meal feels like dessert to Cao and is positioned before training because it is easy for him to digest. That combination of digestive ease and flavor makes it his preferred meal of the day.

    After eating, Cao takes a 40-50 minute nap to help digest the food before heading to the gym. On this particular day, Cao attacked a back workout and followed it with his post-workout meal:

    Meal Three — Post-workout

    • Chicken — six ounces
    • White Rice — 250 grams

    Total Macros

    • Protein — 46 grams
    • Carbohydrates — 70 grams
    • Fats — two grams

    Cao’s post-workout meal is all protein and complex carbs. The protein starts the muscle-building process since it’s consumed shortly after his workout. The carbs replenish muscle glycogen burned during his training. 

    Meal Four — Dinner

    Total Macros

    • Protein — 41 grams
    • Carbohydrates — 70 grams
    • Fats — 13 grams

    Cao’s fourth meal again leans heavily on protein and carbs and includes vegetable juice for crucial vitamins and minerals.

    After only a two-hour buffer, Cao prepares his final meal of the day:

    Meal Five 

    • Chicken — six ounces
    • White rice — 250 grams

    Total Macros

    • Calories — 505
    • Protein — 46 grams
    • Carbohydrates — 70 grams
    • Fats — two grams 

    Cao drinks EAAs with his last meal to aid recovery after workouts. He doesn’t advise his audience to follow the same diet he uses for his prep, since his macros are not necessarily correct for someone with different goals.

    Instead, those looking to try a bodybuilding prep diet should use it to reference how an IFBB pro eats while prepping for competition. Though Cao admits his diet is relatively bland, the target is a lean frame with full muscle bellies. We’ll see if Cao’s diet brings him success when he takes to the stage in Denver as he hopes to score a 2023 Olympia qualification.

    Featured image: @stevencao_ on Instagram

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