Inside Natural Bodybuilding Part 4
This is part 4 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera talking candidly about his natural bodybuilding successes. He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane. Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder.
Dieting for competition
Tracey: Run me through a typical muscle-building day, food-wise! You’re getting ready for a competition now, so you’re building, you’re trying to strip down some fat. So right now, what’s your typical food like? Starting in the morning, how do you eat?
Tomas: This is what I do in the morning, because from my understandings and from what I’ve read about natural bodybuilding, and then also what I’ve benefited from (because you can read something and it might just not work for you).
In the morning when I get up, I immediately hit some carbohydrates because my body has been through a fast (when we get to breakfast, what it actually means is “break” the “fast”), so I’ll have, let’s just say for right now, I’ll start off with a banana.
I can’t get rid of coffee! I’m Cuban, so I was raised on coffee and now I have to be a little bit more careful with the cream because I love the cream. But less and less tablespoons, I’ll do about 4 tablespoons of hazelnut cream. I’ll have 8oz of blackberries or strawberries and then I’ll have three eggs with it. And what I do is have my fruit first, then I wait about 20-30 minutes and I’ll have my protein. Reason being, just to get the sugar pumping in my body, fill it up and then moving into the protein.
Then in the afternoon (I’m basically a three-meal a day guy, I don’t need 5-6 meals even though I’ve done that), I’ll have a 3oz steak with 2 carrots and half an onion, and I’ll have a tablespoon of avocado oil and medium-chain triglyceride oil, which is a supplement. Then I’ll have, maybe, half a tablespoon of saturated fat, actually saturated fat and consume that.
That really holds me for a good, long time! I’m looking at about 3 ½ to 4 hours in-between meals. Then pretty much, especially when it comes to getting ready for a natural bodybuilding show, you really start being very specific about the foods and your foods become very monotonous.
I basically follow pretty much the same routine. At dinner I’ll have a 3oz steak, I’ll have 2 carrots and I’ll have a half an onion. Because that way you don’t have to be constantly thinking about it. You could add, if you have the time, or you get to the point where it’s just like, “Ok, I’m just going to eat this and move on,” especially when it comes to shredding days before a show.
Tracey: Ok good! So this is another question about food. When you’re cutting up, do you keep eating the same stuff? How do you eat when you’re cutting?
Tomas: No, what starts happening is, as I start cutting up, I get really into the calorie intake. I get to a point where it becomes a visual thing. And what I do is (and of course this comes with experience. It’s taken me over 4 years just to get to this level and I’m not even at the level yet of really understanding), when it comes to diet, I’ll start using the mirror and I’ll start looking at myself and I’ll start manipulating.
It gets to a point that I start saying, “Well, let me drop my carbs a little bit here,” and then I’ll start playing that for a couple of days and if it’s working, I’ll keep that. Then maybe I’ll have to cut a little more of the saturated fats or maybe increase the saturated fats and decrease the monounsaturated fats.
So the best thing to actually do during that whole period is to actually write the stuff down and that way you have it for future reference.
What’s very interesting is that our bodies change yearly! So what works for me one year, might not work for me the next. But it gets to a point where it’s to calories, and you start leaning out. It gets to the point that you might have to manipulate and see where it goes by removing a little bit of this, a little bit of that and see where you actually end up.