A concern many athletes have after finishing a fitness competition, is what to do now that it’s over. During your fitness competition preparation you ideally reached your goal weight through a regimented structured program for 12-20 weeks. However, this regimented program routine wasn’t planned to be your forever lifestyle, so what should your next steps be? Should you go back to eating normally?
There can be big repercussions if you simply go back to eating "normally", the way you were eating before your competition. Many athletes post competition wind up gaining lots of unwanted weight because of the extreme variances of caloric intake, while not giving their bodies the right amount of time to adjust properly. This is where reverse dieting becomes a crucial part of post competition training. There is a strategic way to implement reverse dieting after your competition ends, so that you don't experience unwanted weight gain. Here are my reverse dieting tips!
INCREASE YOUR CALORIE INTAKE SLOWLY
My post competition plans have always consisted of strategically increasing my overall calorie intake by 50 calories per week. After my fitness competition I was taking in around 1600 calories, so from there I upped my calorie intake by 50 calories a week. Once I got back up to normal maintenance of eating around 1900-2000 calories daily, then I was able to have more freedom with where and what I ate.
MONITOR YOUR CALORIES
I used MyFitnessPal to track ALL my food intake. This made it easy to see exactly how many calories I was eating daily. I also made almost all my meals at home. This helped me know exactly what was in all my foods.
“IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS”
I am a fan of following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) protocol. This is an approach that you can eat any foods, as long as it fits in your daily caloric budget and your daily macronutrient split (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). This way, I never feel like I am denying myself anything I want.