Lets talk about something very scary: Metabolism damage! It is without a doubt going to happen when you diet and hang out in a calorie deficit for more than12 weeks. (In my case I did it for 8 months, repaired, did it again for another 7 months. Not ideal). I had metabolic damage well before my competition prep and It made it so much harder for me to prepare and enjoy any of it! A lot of people are asking me “aren’t you going to balloon back up after having dieted for so long and after getting leaner for a competition?”
The answer is yes!! I was terrified, and was warned that it would happen! So before I stepped on stage and before I competed I did my research on what is called REVERSE DIETING!! This does not only apply to those who are competing but also to those who are just hitting their weight loss goals! I see way to many challengers and coaches pop back up in their weight wayyyyy to fast after having lost it! I did the same thing right after I lost my first 60 lbs… I gained 10-15 in a matter of weeks eating a normal 2,000 calorie diet around the holidays!! That was a clear indication that I had metabolic damage!! I was gaining weight while doing tons of cardio, and eating less than 1800 calories a day. Not right!! Yesterday I attempted a 1400 calorieday and I was in completely stuffed out of my mind and bloated beyond 6 months pregnant looking… def not right!
I remember that happening to me and knew that it would happen to me after this competition. There is was no way I was going to let all of my hard work go to waste. I wanted to keep my lean body and muscle mass! So here is the plan!!!
I will be repairing my metabolism for the next 2 months and it might take longer!
1. I will add back in 100-200 calories a day per week. (So this week it will be 1400 calories, next week it will be 1450-1500 calories)
2. I will measure my body fat and weight in each saturday to judge whether or not I have gained weight, maintained, or lost. If there is a gain, I will hang out at the 1400 range until my body adjusts. If I maintain I will add in 100 calories. If I lose weight I will add in 200 calories.
3. I will continue to lift heavy in the gym and do a few days a week of cardio. I will aim to burn 2/3 the amount of calories I was burning before my competition and taper back slowly to half and then down to a 1/3 and then focus mostly on lifting and mild cardio for health purposes.
4. I will continue this process until my body is capable of metabolizing 2,300 calories a day (with workouts) and not gain weight as that is what my body is supposed to do according my Doctor! Right now… It isn’t even metabolizing half of that.
5. Follow a 80/20 rule in clean eating. Follow a flexible dieting strategy to keep my sanity. I ate 100% clean for months on end and it got to me mentally. I need to include treats in my diet and I will do so by following “if it fits your macros”. So expect to see some seriously yummy protein packed treats on here
But aren’t you competing again Anita??? Yep I sure am! What I am doing now is putting on some muscle, lifting heavy, working on repairing my metabolism so when I do compete again, I wont have to do as much to lean down! I will already be lean, and have a killer metabolism, so that when the lean down phase does come, it will happen at a higher calorie intake and less cardio!
I had put my metabolism through the ringer well before my competition prep! I lived in a serious calorie deficit for 7 months and then I went back to eating a lot more food and then went back to eating not enough. I never gave my body time to reset and repair. Its about time I do so!