Post Competition Weight Gain: Approaching it with Science and Love
"A lot of competitors blow up after their show." "You're going to ruin your metabolism."
There is a lot of talk about post competition weight gain.
And with good reason. Because just like any overly strict diet, amplified by intense training, there are bound to be repercussions.
Some competitors will binge eat consistently after their show and gain more than their average weight. They are mentally and physically exhausted and sick of being in a state of deprivation.
Other competitors will slowly reverse diet, making the weight gain slower, but possibly further damaging their metabolism while getting to the same destination (and suffering serious hunger as their bodies are desperate to get back to a healthy state).
My coach and I decided it would be best to go into maintenance mode, increasing my calories and macronutrients substantially to get my body back to a healthy place without playing the waiting (and starving) game.
Even with this, I suffered some typical post show behavior around 2 weeks out: cravings, needing to eat past fullness, and simply feeling burnt out from tracking macros and being strict with my diet. The stress of planning a wedding didn't help and I found myself overeating most of the week. I decided to allow a little wiggle room and not to feel guilty about it.
Right before competing / This week
This week I reminded myself of my goals, accepted a much heavier weight on the scale, and decided to get back on track. I really dislike the feeling of overeating and it goes against everything I preach. I truly do love my body and want to treat it with love and respect.
In the past this kind of weight gain in such a short time would leave me an emotional mess. But these days I look at everything body/diet related with science and love. I know, as a fact, that I did not gain 8lbs of fat in a week. The quick increase in carbohydrates means my body is holding a lot of extra water, and likely a little fat.
So I set back to my maintenance macros, added in 30 minutes of cardio after my lifting sessions (above 40 could spike my cortisol, which I'm trying to regulate), invested in some good probiotics and got back on track.
My weight is regulating and I feel mentally, emotionally and physically strong. My main goal right now is to gain strength and be healthy - which is what my current macros and programming are set for.
As I always, I want to be very open about this process and share the highs and lows.
So let's end on a high: my new lifting programming is heavily focused on glutes, I am slowly gaining strength, and loving the new curves that come with a strength and weight increase.