Firstly, I'm going to start this blog with a rant. So for those of you who have been following me you know that I follow IIFYM (if it fits your macros). During my comp prep my calories are reduced over about 8 weeks in stages. I never go below the 1600 – 1700 calorie range as I believe that this is starving the body and that it is very unhealthy for women. I had a friend tell me that she was eating 1100 calories at the end of her comp prep and also doing a considerable amount of cardio. I honestly don't know how the brain can even function correctly when you are eating and training like that. What worries me even more is that so many competitors are mothers. I'm waiting for the day when there is some sort of tragic accident because people aren't functioning correctly (mentally) due to what they are putting their bodies through. PLEASE PUT YOUR HEALTH FIRST. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT.
Now back to the topic.
There is a theory that when you diet, your metabolism adapts to the limited food intake and decreases. After competition, most people feel compelled to eat everything in sight. After my competition in March I put on a whopping 9 kgs before I started to diet again. This was due to binge eating after my metabolism hitting an all time low as I was the most lean I have ever been. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted. Due to competing this is no longer the case.
After my competition in October this year I came to terms with the fact that I would have to try a reverse diet. The aim is to increase your calories again slowly whilst maintaining your weight so that your metabolism eventually returns to its normal rate.
I have by no means done this perfectly. I took over a week to eat whatever I wanted and then started tracking my calories and macros again. I've still been eating out when I want to but not getting out of control. It's 3.5 weeks post comp and I've only put on 1kg since my competition. I'm hoping that I can perhaps only put on 1 more kilo and maintain that. Given that I do not know when I am competing next I will not be doing a bulk cycle as I want to feel comfortable with my body all year round. I have written a program suitable to my goals which are to:
1. Increase strength
2. Maintain fitness
3. Maintain healthy levels of body fat (not competition lean)
4. To live with balance
I will post my new program in my next blog and I hope this helps a few people out. I've had a lot of inboxes from girls who are feeling very depressed post comp. Know that you are not alone and there are people out there who can help