T Nation

Post-Contest Binges

Last Saturday I won my age/weight class in a natural bodybuilding contest. My current plan is to maintain a lower off-season bodyfat level than last year ( maybe ~9%). So naturally I pigged out Sat night and Sunday–but I planned to get back to a reasonable diet on Monday. It started out well but today I went nuts and ate everything. Is this normal a week after the contest? Just wondering if anyone here competes and experienced something similar.

I don’t compete, but some of my friends that do have been known to go on some crazy binges the week after a contest…

Depends upon experience. After a LONG time competing, I no longer binge after a contest. It does not provide me any benefits. I would actually prefer to have a nice dinner in a favorite restaurant after a contest. And then I’m done.

After my first contest, I did as you did. Ate anything that wasn't nailed down for two days after the contest. Did I feel any better? Hell no. I felt worse. I realized that you know, the food ain't goin' anywhere. It's not like you'll wake up the day after a contest and pizza is no longer offered anywhere on the planet - or Chinese food, or steaks, or scones, chocolate cake, etc. The food will always be there and it ain't your job to eat it all after a contest.

You will learn to gradually pick up your calories after a contest. Which is actually the best thing to do. Certainly go out afterwords, have a nice big dinner - but I never really think it's a good idea to binge like that.

I won my weight class and was 2nd overall in my contest 4 weeks ago. It was my first competition also. I ate a ton of junk on saturday night and sunday. Not kidding, my diet consisted of pizza, apple pie and carrot cake for 2.5 days. On monday, i resumed my regular diet though it wasnt as easy after eating such junk for 2 days. So, your cravings are totally normal and it will take some will power to get yourself back on track, but keep in mind your future competitive goals and your short-term goals (maintaining 9% bf) and you’ll be fine.

Thanks for the feedback. Last year I dieted from 210 to 178 (contest weight), and eventually rebounded to 198-202. This year I got down to 170, and won, so I’d like to make the process easier next year. I find “bulking” (especially for meso-endos)leads to fat gains over muscle gains. I read that Patricia stays near contest shape year round, and I find that inspiring.