The bodybuilding world remains amidst Cydney Gillon‘s Olympia dynasty. She claimed her sixth consecutive Figure Olympia title in 2022 in a seemingly uncontested fashion despite competing against an imposing roster. Twelve days after her victory, Gillon took to her YouTube channel to pull back the curtain on how she eats cheat meals.
If I’m trying to be the best, you don’t really have a chance to take a break from that.
While Gillon believes “nuances” allow for leniency in diet, ultimately, the process takes precedence over pastries — “if you want to be the best, you have to do what others will not.” Check out how she approaches her cheat meals below:
Before Gillon’s Olympia reign, she would allow herself out of the dieting cage so-to-speak for a few days after a show. She would eat whatever she wanted and then get back on track the following week. She even took a reprieve from training — just a full-on vacation. That all changed after claiming her first Olympia win.
Gillon’s post-show diet was the most significant area of improvement she knew she could capitalize on to help further her ongoing Olympia reign. Gillon tried eating her cheat meal the day of her show to fill out and then getting right back into her diet after that. She further refined this by allowing herself a buffer period between the completion show and returning to her diet with a method she calls “food festival.”
Food festival means for four or five days, I eat whatever I want from 12 o’clock one day to 12 o’clock the next.
The difference between a food festival and a cheat meal is the former is a scheduled block of time for four days straight, whereas the latter is a single meal. For Gillon’s cheat meal, she always plans it to be the last meal of the day — along with the two gallons of water she drinks daily. Her cheat meals last until she’s full rather than measuring quantity or calories.
Nowadays, during one of her food festivals, Gillon cuts her water intake in half — down to a gallon per day — to prevent water retention with the influx of additional carbs. The goal of the food festival, lasting for several days, is to replenish the body after a challenging prep. The caloric deficit leading up to an Olympia is no small task, and nourishing the body afterward with a food festival has proven effective for Gillon.
Gillon’s results at the Olympia speak volumes, and that’s thanks, in part, to her food festivals. We’ll see if she continues her dynasty in 2023 with a seventh consecutive Olympia title.
Featured image: @vytamin_c on Instagram