Hunter Labrada explains how to prepare his meals in college and his state of mind during a cut
Every Saturday for much of his off-season and now his preparation for Olympia 2022, Men’s Open competitor Hunter Labrada sits down for a Q&A where he reads questions sent to him via a prompt on his Instagram page. On September 17, 2022, Labrada answered questions about how to eat as a bodybuilder in college, on a tight budget or with a busy schedule.
Check it out below:
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college meal planning
Labrada was asked how he managed to eat while studying at Texas A&M University. He got his degree in economics but didn’t compromise his eating habits to get it. He kept a blender in his room and made protein shakes of whey protein and oats to sip on the way to class.
During his freshman year, which he spent in a dorm, Labrada took advantage of college meal plans at his cafeteria. He ate variations of chicken, rice and vegetables from a “Hibachi” style section of the cafeteria “almost every day”. His school lunch plan also covered his meals after practice at the “Chipotle knock-off” across from the gymnasium where he trained.
Labrada suggested that eating habits should stay consistent whether you live in a dorm or a house. He also said:
It’s very, very, very cheap to eat right for bodybuilding.
In Labrada’s opinion, the biggest cost of running a meal plan isn’t money, but the “expenditure of their time.”
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Target weight, hunger pangs and Mr. Olympia
The second question Labrada asked was a survey about his target weight for Olympia 2022. He entered Olympia 2021 at 256 pounds and expects to take the stage in Las Vegas, NV this year between 264 and 266 pounds.
To lean into that shredded weight for Olympia, Labrada will go into a calorie deficit — as all bodybuilders competing in this contest will — to appear in pro-show shape. To ease the feeling of hunger during this time and maintain a healthy relationship with food, Labrada says it’s important to find activities that make her forget about this feeling. He suggests doing chores, hanging out with friends, or reading a book as some examples of ways to do this.
Do something; don’t just sit.
Another trick used by Labrada is to drink seltzer and other calorie-free soft drinks. They don’t mess up his calorie deficit, but the carbonation takes up stomach bulk to give the illusion of fullness.
Labrada’s last question revealed how much he values the Mr. Olympia title. When asked if he’d rather get $1 million or the Olympia title, he chose the Mr. Olympia title “without even having to think about it.” Money comes and goes, but the Mr. Olympia title is something you can’t buy.
We’ll see if Labrada can improve on his fourth-place finish from Olympia 2021 in 2022 when he faces the world’s best in Las Vegas from December 16-18.
Featured Image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram