You just finished your show, and you're ready to EAT. ALL. THE. FOOD.
Well, let me tell you why that may not be the greatest idea. Should you have a post show meal and even a big, free meal at breakfast the next day? Absolutely. But, after that, it's time to dial it back in and reverse out properly.
Ah, yes. Reverse dieting. The phase that messes so many competitors up and sets the goods and the greats apart. The phase where the most gains are made for some, and the phase where all the gains made are lost for others. So, what is it?
We'll get into why it's important, but here are some of the benefits of reverse dieting:
Improve satiety and satisfaction after eating meals
Raise thyroid hormone levels which raises metabolic rate
Drive up BMR and NEAT levels
Mentality clarity, energy levels rising, libido rising, strength rising
More freedom with food choices, since calories are raising
Feeling strong again
Solidify the results of a post diet phase
I wanted to take all of you through why it’s so important (both for your health and your success as a competitor). Let’s start by stating the obvious:
The human body is not naturally meant to be as lean as we get to be on stage. The body will fight against this because of evolutionary reasons, and that’s OK! But, it also means that the weeks after your shows are some of the most important weeks of the entire process.
After you’re in contest prep and are lean enough to be on stage, you need to properly exit that diet in a strategic way. You can have that post show meal and even breakfast the day after as a free meal, but you then need to quickly get back on a plan as opposed to going back to eating intuitively or eating like you did before the contest diet. Your body has adapted to low calories, so if you immediately go back to normal, you’re going to see rapid weight and fat gain.
Your body is in a unique situation post show and very sensitive. The body is primed to either hold onto fat or build a ton of muscle. You want to do the latter (this is why many competitors end up being shocked by their gainzzz in the weeks after a show).
So, how do we do this?! We build up calories over a period of time to combat negative metabolic adaptations that happen with caloric deficit! We want to build up calories and energy expenditure back up to your natural maintenance levels.
Want to learn more about reverse dieting? Message me on IG at @kikerslaugh_ifbbpro!
UPDATE: I've gotten some great feedback on this post, so I made a YouTube video on how I'm currently handling my reverse diet! Check it tout below.