Today marks one week since stepping on stage…
I want to take a moment to speak on the subject of post competition struggle. It is very real and often people lose the battle, in the end suffering from extreme weight gain, depression and serious metabolic damage.
How does one prevent this from happening?
First, you have to be realistic with yourself. You have to realize that after restricting yourself for 12-15 weeks (often much longer), that you are going to indulge and enjoy those guilty pleasures that you have deprived yourself of for so long. You deserve it; however, these indulgences can lead to not only binging (believe me, it inevitably will happen), but worse than that, forming a pattern of extended overeating, losing complete sight of your goals.
It is absolutely normal to take a week off from tracking and allow yourself to eat a couple of things off plan everyday without the worry or stress of counting calories or macros. During this time, I would suggest avoiding the scale. It is without question that during this week you will show an increase on the scale of five to six pounds depending on how strict you were with your sodium intake throughout prep. RELAX! Your body is in a mild state of shock and its trying to find a balance. Don’t let this send you into a constant overeating coma. The best thing you can do while in this moment of free reign and flexibility is remain in the gym! I cannot stress the importance of this! Not only will sticking to a training routine help control the excess calories being consumed (as well as help eliminate the surplus of sodium), but more importantly, these gym sessions are to keep you in check, mentally. You simply cannot transition out of a lifestyle that is 100% dedicated to training and whole nutrition, into a free for all, eating frenzy and completely terminate your training (without huge repercussions).
Bottom line, take a week, and enjoy some of life’s guilty pleasures; but don’t let it consume you. Continue to make conscious decisions with your main food sources. Have your oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast, but if you want a glass of chocolate milk to wash it down, then enjoy a glass of chocolate milk.
Set yourself a date that you will return to pre-competition macro-nutrients and then, return to that regimen with a plan (aka: reverse dieting begins).
For me, that day is today, one week post show. I have remained vigilant in ensuring that I get adequate nutrients from whole foods without specifically tracking macros; however, In addition too, I have enjoyed my fair share of sporadic satisfactions 😉 While my training sessions have remained steady, I look forward to a more attentive regimen.