I am one of those people that always thinks of protein first, greens second, and really anything else is not an issue. But since I am preparing to compete after 9 years I have to factor in my nutritional needs seriously. I need to build up specific muscle groups, and then lower my body fat. So there are a few things for me to take into consideration. First and foremost I am 59 years old. Post menopause, a plus, and a sensitive immune system, huge minus. I have a lot of fine line experimentation because of the later. The other one is aging skin. We loose collagen as we age and so to get lean enough I have to make sure that skin stays tight especially on the backside.
Technically based on the Nutritional Almanac the average non fitness obsessed human body needs .42 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. For ME, I double that based on extra strain on the muscles during intense training. Some do more, but I am pretty sure I will only have to double that. I am still experimenting on my carbohydrates, for it is extremely necessary for building muscle, so not sure yet which ones are most effective for me. ZERO sugar, for it completely takes my energy away and super depression. Then the most dangerous is cutting out fat with only an extreme minor amount for joints and tendons. Having some body fat is important for the immune system so that is going to be my careful monitoring priority, for to compete in Physique, I have to be as close to zero as possible. I always have and will only use hemp, macadamia, and and maybe some coconut oil.
Shingles are a common thing in people over 50, had chicken pocks as a child, and bad immune system. It does happen in younger people but not that often. It has however been getting more common in younger competitors in this industry due to the lack of proper nutrients dieting for their competitions.
Since the diet and cardio are the key factors for conditioning I am not going to do more than 30 - 45 minutes daily between now and 16 weeks out. Anyone that thinks cardio is not important is ignorant and or using dangerous fat burning supplements and they WILL pay for it in the end.
That is my basic plan. Understand this is for ME. I am not giving advise to anyone for we all have different issues. It drives me crazy with so many unexperienced nutritional advisers out there now wrecking peoples thyroids and immune systems. But that is another topic.