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My Beginner's Diet Plan Actually Works, Says Former Miss Olympia

Dana Bailey, former 2013 Miss Olympia, also reveals her top 4 tips to sticking with any diet.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Dana Linn Bailey, former 2013 Miss Olympia, inspires her millions of followers on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook by offering up her expert diet and fitness advice. In a recent viral YouTube video she breaks down her simple beginner's diet plan to help you get into shape and also offers four tips on how to stick with it. In the video, she takes her followers through her meal prep. "You're going to see what I cook, how much I cook, how I cook it, and then how I prepare all of my meals for the week, how I plan that all out. But first, we're going to go over some really, really simple tips that you can use in your daily diet," she says.  She explains that dieting shouldn't be complicated and simplifies it with a few tips. 


Tip 1: Be Consistent and Realistic

Bailey's first recommendation is to be consistent. "What you're eating, how many times a day you're eating, the portion sizes you're eating, the timing of your food that you eat," she says. "So come up with a plan, and it needs to be a realistic plan." If you have a very active job and you're not going to be able to stop to eat every two and a half hours, then you don't do that," she continues. "It has to be something that you can actually do, and that's sustainable."

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Tip 2: Keep It Simple

Another expert suggestion from Bailey? "Keep it simple and keep it similar," she says, revealing that she eats pretty much the same thing every day, which "doesn't mean it tastes bad," she promises. "I pick things that I like to eat. I make them taste good. I'm not afraid of flavor. Nowhere did it say that diets had to be flavors and boring."  If you are tracking your progress, eating very similarly every day helps you reevaluate how it's going so you can know what is working and what is not.

"My protein choices, my carb choices, and my vegetables are the ones that kind of vary the most and I stick to it. So when I get to the following week, and I need to reevaluate, I can say, 'Okay, all my meals are basically the same. They have the same amount of protein, they have the same amount of carbs, and they have the same amount of veggies.' So if I need to switch anything, I just switch little things like maybe instead of a cup of carbs, I knock it down to a half a carbs, half a cup of carbs," she points out.  "Keep it simple, keep it similar. It will save you time and help you reevaluate." 


Tip 3: Make Good Choices

"The third tip and super fundamental tip is just to make good choices," explains Bailey. "Simple little choices can make a huge difference like choosing water over soda or grilled over fried whole food over processed." This can come in especially helpful when you're traveling or you're eating out at a restaurant, she points out. "You'll be able to look down the men, and there'll be key terms like 'grilled fresh.' Be able to know the difference."  Other good choices to make include not drinking your calories by choosing water over alcohol, soda, and sports drinks.

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Tip 4: Be Prepared or Be Prepared to Fail

"Last but not least, be prepared or be prepared to fail," says Bailey. This is where meal prep comes into play. She explains that it helps avoid situations where you end up "hangry" and more likely to make bad choices, like fast, unhealthy food.  According to research, the more meals you eat prepared away from home, the higher your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and early death. And there is ample scientific evidence linking meal prep to health benefits. One study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found meal planning was associated with a healthier diet and less obesity.

Related: I've Tried Nearly Every Diet and This is the #1 Best for Weight Loss For Me


Here Is Dana Linn Bailey's Meal Plan:

Bailey explains that she cooks the same meals "almost every single week," starting with two proteins, one carb, and two "different styles of vegetables." She adds that you should choose foods you enjoy eating and can cook well.  "All of it is going to actually taste amazing because, again, never once did I ever say or did anyone ever say that dieting had to be boring and that it had to taste bad," she says.  For her veggies, she opts for Brussels sprouts and a veggie mixture of peppers, broccoli, and onions. She chooses to roast them in the oven. She sprays down a "nice flat sheet" with oil and seasons the veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic, "and then I turn 'em over," she adds. She cooks them at 400 degrees and cooks them for "about 25" minutes.  For her carbs, she enjoys rice. She recommends getting a rice maker and adding a little salt to the water. She also adds cilantro for some extra flavor. 

Next up, she makes "bulk chicken." She explains that after buying your chicken from the grocery store, "cut off the fat out," add vegetable broth or water, some oil, Frank's RedHot hot sauce, salt, pepper, and onions. "You'll know it's done" when you can shred it up. "You could cook this overnight, hit 10 hours, do a slow-cooked chicken," she said. "I love shredded chicken," she adds. "It's going to be so juicy, and it has tons and tons of flavor. I think this is the best, easiest way to prepare really good chicken that's not dried out."

Her other protein is shrimp. She buys the pre-cooked type, takes the tail off, adds onions, pepper, and Tennessee whiskey, and cooks until it is "brown and crispy."  It's now time to assemble the meals. She does a half-cup of rice, adds four to five ounces of protein, and adds veggies.  For more instruction, be sure to watch Bailey's YouTube video.  

💪🔥Body Booster: Healthy eating doesn't have to be complicated. Cook large batches of two proteins, two veggies, and one carb a week, and you can achieve your fitness and health goals.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more