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Reverse Dieting

Post comp blues is a real thing.

After months of focus and dedication you don’t ‘have’ to train or eat clean.
What I’ve seen happen as a coach, competitor and friend to many fitness professionals is two things:

1. Rebound
2. Development of Eating disorders

For weeks and in some cases months you have likely reduced your caloric intake in a bid to reduce body fat, as a result you have down regulated your hormonal function, reduced the total volume of food eaten daily and sometimes during those last few days manipulated water too!
Your diet will have likely been whole food natural sources and in the final weeks you may have removed potential inflammatory foods to maximise your body’s efficiency and minimising the risk of any kind of digestive or immune based reactivity.

And now you’re planning on stuffing your face with it? Come on now …

Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying don’t enjoy some cake and a burger.
The damage isn’t done with one cheat meal or ‘relaxed’ day – the damage is done when after months of eating on a strict plan you are now ‘free’ to eat anything and you do … I can tell you from first hand experience – it’s hard to stop!
Sugar is a highly addictive substance as blood sugar swings high and low you will constantly crave more sugar and so the binge cycle begins.
You’ve also bought yourself ridiculous amounts of treats and now they’re just staring at you ….

In addition to the blood sugar dips, you have to contend with the emotional sense of loss after losing your goal.
Everything you have done has been in pursuit of being leaner, your mind was focused on the next meal, the next workout and now you have nothing to ‘focus’ on so your eating and training becomes haphazard and you feel out of control.

Overall, the fact is your BMR will have down-regulated and although the spike of eating highly calorific foods will up regulate things your body is just not able to process such a high influx of calories and that quantity of sugar and fat!
Your body’s response to the extremity of a binge will set off your blood sugar but also your mind ..
So do things in stages, bring yourself out of the depleted state in a steady fashion and remember your doing it that way because fitness is a lifestyle!

Some tips from me:

1. Get back on plan! Use the plan from the week before peak week (if you manipulated the week before the show)
2. Bring calories back up slowly weekly, depending on how you look and feel
3. Allow treats / caloric allowances weekly
4. As needed cycle your calories around training and rest days
5. Set another goal! Whether it be physique focused or in another area of your life – give your brain something to work towards!

Although competing is highly rewarding and a fantastic focus for training it takes its toll emotionally and physically and what I urge you to remember is that without your health you have nothing and by acting in such extreme ways you’re compromising that.

If you feel lost, if you don’t know how to handle a reverse diet and your worried your eating is ‘out of control’ I strongly recommend getting a coach.
There are a number of them in the Pure Elite Group who can work with you to ease your body back into higher calories and reduced training without a negative rebound or the issues that develop with food.

Lucy x
Team Superfox

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