Tips to Avoid Post-Competition Weight Gain

Q: H A:How can I avoid gaining an unwanted 25lbs after a bodybuilding competition?    It's not a joke that pushing your bodyfat levels to absolutely insanely low levels can leave your body and mind in an absolute mess post competition.  Not only are you conditioned to fear carbohydrates, you simultaneously crave them (your celebratory meal probably had enough fat and sugar to last the next couple weeks).  Let me try to simplify the situation, and attempt to provide some relief.   1. If you spent 6 weeks eating a 4:1 ratio of protein to carbs during prep and overnight you decide to go to 1:1, I'm sure you know what is going to happen. Expect some rapid fat gain. The best strategy is to keep the carbs low until ur body stabilizes (usually 4-6 weeks).  Each week you may want to add an extra serving to the day.  If you avoid insulin spiking foods (opting for slow digesting carbs) you will likely find this alot easier.2. Bodybuilding is really a lifestyle, not just 12 weeks of prep and then on to eating whatever you feel like.  I would recommend you start rebuilding your body by doing the opposite of what u did to get it down. You could call it reverse dieting if you like. Just remember that you are extemely sensitive post-show to sugar and mentally everything will be enticing.  I understand there is a sense of entitlement here.  Ive witnessed plenty of competitors rewarding themselves with a 20 restaurant checklist of fast food joints or greasy diners they need to eat at.  The simplest way to avoid post show weight gain is to continue to pay attention to your nutition.  If your body took a strict and perfectly calculated system to get ripped, it more than likely requires one to stay there.3. The final stages of bodybuilding competition put you in an unhealthily low state of bodyfat where your mental clarity and hormonal systems are functioning in survival mode. You wouldn't want to stay here for long. I would allow bodyfat to return in a controlled method by capping ur carb total for each day. You should require somewhere in the vicinity of 4-6 weeks for your systems to stabilize. Please be patient.  How will you know you've stabilized?  Libido should return, intense hunger cravings should disappear, and your level of thinking is back to normal.  I'm going to assume you will feel less agitated and more at peace with yourself. And go easy on yourself, your body requires bodyfat to work out, as a form of stored energy, and it assists in management of it's hormone levels.  I would say if you can just survive 1 month on a plan that looks similar to a contest prep plan (perhaps with extra carbs added in), you should be able to find a natural rhythm to your body.  Remember that you need to take care of your stress levels, perhaps meditate, and shift your focus to your health.  These are skills that you will hone after each competition so practice to improve them.  Often when the show is long over and I'm considering junk food, I ask myself this: would I eat like this normally? If the answer is no, I dig inside for that same dilegence that got me through 12 bodybuilding competitions and treat my bodywith the respect it deserves nutritionally

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