It’s a tough time for competitive bodybuilders. And it may just offer some insight for non physique competitors as well.
Basically, I’ve just come off of controlled starving my body for 7 months. Let’s just say the body doesn’t like that! Even when you do it right, which I think I did, your hormones get out of whack. It’s all due to the body’s survival mechanisms. There are many different variables that get affected, a few notable ones: reduced testosterone, increased cortisol, reduced serotonin, increased hunger hormones and decrease satiety hormones, just to name a few.
Now is the time for me which is called by many the recovery or recovery diet period. This comes with its’ own set of difficulties. Essentially what I want to do is make my way back to reasonable bodyfat levels, but do so in a controlled fashion. I’ll be going from the leanest I’ve ever been in my life, so seeing that dissipate can be tough, mostly mentally.
Diet adherence, even though it’s a calorie surplus, can also be much tougher than the pre-contest during this recovery period as well. Without a clear goal, hitting macros perfectly can be tough. Wanting to relax and just eat whatever you want , sometimes mirroring an eating disorder, is a real temptation. This will lead to all types of problems though. Since the body is such a survival mode, it will add body-fat at an alarming rate. As a matter of fact, I have gained almost 30 pounds in less than a month after my first contest many years ago. Not good!
So now is the time to set some new goals, performance namely and settle back into a healthy lifestyle.
So what can you take from this, even if you’re not a physique competitor? Well many of us have done a “diet” where you lose 10-20# for an event and then put it all back on, and then some after. It’s important to see healthy eating as a lifestyle that does not have an end date. Periods of weight gain and loss are part of that and are normal, but we want to be sure to keep check of our mental health as well. I’m speaking as much to you as I am myself here.
Time to settle back in and set some goals! First one up? 405 Deadlift for 100 reps (10×10).
More to come!