Bikini Ready Series
Pt 1 Cara Maher
Summer is right around the corner – barbeques, pool parties, beach volleyball, and …. bikinis! Luxe Life is dedicated to helping its readers rock a bikini confidently this summer, and so I have asked for the help of several of my fitness inspirations to help us do just that without any extreme or crazy diets or workout programs. The first two parts of this series will hone in on nutrition because no matter how hard you workout in the gym, you cannot out-work a bad diet.
The most important key to a tight bikini body is good nutrition, and Caraline Maher is a top example of using a flexible (non-extreme) approach to food and getting awesome results for herself and her clients. Cara is an NASM certified trainer with a B.S. in Exercise physiology. She was a 3-time All American Volleyball player in college (she’s 5’11”!) and has been competing in the NPC for 2 years. She is also in the running to become the next Ravish Sands Bikini Cover model. In part 1 of the ‘bikini-ready’ series, Cara Maher shares how to ‘control the controllables’ with a macro-approach to dieting.
LuxeLife: Hi Cara! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me! I’ve been following you for quite some time and you have such an inspiring transformation (from college to now) and physique. It seems like you are always bikini-ready! Nutrition is such a huge part of attaining a bikini body. You use macros, correct? Can you explain a little about that?
Cara: Yes, I follow IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). Basically, in short, it means tracking your caloric intake via the specific amount of each macronutrient (Carbs, Fats, proteins) you are consuming. For each gram of Carbohydrate or Protein, it is 4 calories, while each gram of fat equates to 9 calories. IIFYM allows me to have my sweets (I’m a huge sweet tooth) and get creative with my meals when I want to. However, the misconception is that people who follow this flexible dieting lifestyle just eat crap and call it fitness. That is False. The majority of us still eat about 80-90% clean whole foods, and then have 10-20% leeway on making less nutrient dense foods “fit.” I am currently in prep, and still have sour patch kids or candy everyday.
Luxe: That’s awesome! I have a huge sweet tooth as well, and have found that being able to include a small amount each day within my macros helps me stay happy and doesn’t offset my fitness goals, like yourself! What if someone has never done macros or is new to macros? How can someone find the best macro-set for herself to reach her dream physique & maintain it?
Cara: I think the best [macro-calculator] out there right now is Katy Hearn’s macro calculator. It’s on her website. But these are just estimates and do not take into account A LOT of things. So going solely on these numbers won’t be as good as getting a good coach to help you figure out what’s best for you and adjust them as needed.
Luxe: I completely agree- the calculators are nice, but a coach was really helpful when I was first beginning with macros myself. What about supplements? Do you use any or recommend any?
Cara: Supplements really are not necessary at all. They are there to “supplement” your diet and to help you if you want it. But I think a good place to start would be a preworkout, creatine, and a protein powder. I use all Pescience products (code CARA for 30% off).
- Preworkout: Prolific or Alphamine & High Volume (stim free pump enhancer)
- Creatine: TRUcreatine
- Protein Powder: my favorite flavors are our Frosted Chocolate Cupcake and our PB Cookie
Luxe: I would have to second the Frosted Chocolate Cupcake flavor – that’s also one of my favorites! You have a show coming up! What is your goal this year in competing?
Cara: Yes – 2 weeks (early May)! My goal this year is to get on that national stage and DO WELL! I always want to win, that’s just my personality, but I’ve never done a national show before, and it’s a whole new ballgame with the best physiques out there. I’m super excited to be among so many amazing, and hard working individuals this summer!
Luxe: I am sure you’ll do awesome and have a great time! One thing I always love to hear is what inspires individuals like yourself – day in and day out. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Cara: I’ve kind of been saying this since College, because I would always say it to my team, but “Control The Controllables.” It’s all we can do, and certain things will be out of our hands, so don’t stress. (I’m an overthinker and a worry wart so I have to remind myself of this a lot).
Luxe: So true! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and chat! Good luck with your prep and NPC shows this summer! We will be cheering for you here at Luxe Life!
To follow Cara, or contact her:
- Instagram: @carafit3
Written by : Rebekah Clementson