Fitness 360: Nutrition Program—Gal Ferreira Yates

Gal’s nutrition plan has to account for her thyroid deficiency. She eat simple, small meals in a strong advance against her metabolism.

Due to her thyroid condition, Gal's metabolism is low. That number of calories she takes in has to also be small. Gal says she gets the best results from eating 5-6 meals per day, spread three hours apart. Her pre-contest nutrition is mostly orchestrated by her husband, Dorian Yates.

Because she can't eat many calories, Gal takes supplements to give her body a boost and ensure that she gets the proper nutrition for growth.

Gal manipulates her diet to change her physique. "Competition and modeling require different looks. Sometimes, I need to be skinnier, other times more muscular. Some shoots I need to be softer, and for some, harder." In order to change her body composition, Gal plays with the amount of carbohydrates in her diet. "For pre-contest, I have fewer carbs, of course, and don't vary too much in my protein, carbs, and fat sources. I try to eat food that is low on the Glycemic Index and try to get my body to use fat instead of carbs for fuel." Off season, when she isn't modeling, she's able to eat more carbs and vary her diet.

To prepare for her Physique competitions, Gal has added more carbs to her off season diet.

Keep the Balance ///

To Gal, cheat meals are a necessary part of a diet. "I don't believe in "healthy" cheat meals. To keep the metabolism working fast, I give it something totally different than it's accustomed to having. If you have "healthy" cheat meals on your "break day," your body is just going to continue to act like it's on a diet. Your metabolism may slow and you may start to plateau." If that's not a refreshing look at nutrition, I don't know what is. Gal's cheat meals include ice cream, pizza, pasta, bread, or cheese fries. She says she eats whatever she fancies, but only does it for one meal once per week.

"It's important to keep the balance," says Gal. "If you've really followed your training and diet 100 percent during the week, there's no need to feel guilty or scared about having a cheat meal."

Gal's Nutrition Philosophy ///
Meal 1
Pre Workout
Post Workout
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Bedtime

In the off season, I have about 80 grams of sweet potato or cassava. If I'm dieting pre-contest, I don't eat carbs at night.

  • Total calories off season: 2,000 Calories
  • Total calories pre-contest: 1,300 Calories

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About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

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