T Nation

'Reverse Dieting' (Post Competition)


#1

strange as it may sound, one of the things I've been looking forward to the most in my current competition prep is the POST competition reverse / recovery diet ... After my only previous trip to the competitive stage three years ago I made the mistake of jumping straight into a fairly big calorie surplus, thinking everything I ate during that 'magical' post comp period would just get soaked up and turn into muscle ... no.

Anyway, I'm really interested to hear from folks who have attempted one or more reverse diets ... how gradually did you increase carbs / calories (ie what worked for you), did you end up increasing your metabolic rate ie were you / are you now maintaining on higher amounts of carbs than previously?

please chime in !


#2

I always tried to really ease back into things. Now I wasn’t a real low carb dieter myself, so I may not have skewed my sensitivity as much as some people do, but despite very convincing arguments from people on both sides of the matter, I prefer small steps be utilized.

The real issue to look at, is what your contest diet looked like in order to assess how careful you need to be once you reverse things. With clients of mine, I’ve had a couple of female competitors that had to run keto plans in order to really dial them in, and the steps of switching gears was a slow juggling of not not macro #s, but volume of weight work, and cardio protocols as well.

Obviously you may have sodium and water issues, but judging by photos, you can really tell how things are going, but if you consider that a bowl of oatmeal is only about 25g of carbs, and 150 cals, that may seem like the perfect weekly bump in terms of both calories and carbs when you’re dealing with a competitor who has been through a rigorous prep.

S


#3

I’m now in my 4th weeks reverse diet (compete april 25)…I was at 2800 calories during my last week pre-contest, so the monday after the show, I increased calories to 3200 (mostly peri-workout, but also in the morning)! I was already high enough in protein, so I add more carbs, and some fat.

Then seeing that my weight didnt goes up as crazy, I went to 3500 cal after one week…then 3800…and now I’m at 4100 (most carbs pre-intra-post workout)! My weight is still pretty good stable, the shape always on touch…as long as I don’t get more than 1 pound every week, I’ll keep rising my calories (maybe until 4800)
Oh, and I eat 2 cheat meals a week (midweek and on the week-end, as a post workout)!

It’s the first time i try this (on my sixth compete) and I have never stay as lean as now!


#4

Two guidelines I’ve heard for males:

  1. 10% increase in carbs (by grams) each week and a 10% in fat every 2 weeks.

  2. 5% increase in total calories each week, split between carbs and fat (starting with carbs).

Both of these seem reasonable to me, and the numbers they produce – for me, anyway – aren’t too far off from one another. I think either would make a reasonable starting point, but like with any other form of dieting the devil is in the details and success hinges on being able to make the appropriate adjustments at the appropriate times.


#5

Appreciate the feedback fellas …

I’m heading into this weekend (first of two or three shows I’m doing over the next three weeks) with baseline macros of 220p / 160c / 50f … Although if I’m 100% honest, I do tend to come in a little under on the carbs on most days … refeed days have been once a week with carbs at 300, but on the flipside, I tend to go a fair distance above that carb ceiling on those days … But I’ve been ready / lean well ahead of time so it just felt right to hit those HCDs a little harder.

Anyway, so once it’s all over I guess I’ll kick things off at about 180g carbs a day and bump it up by maybe 10g every week or possibly even every fortnight - I’m prepared to do this slow and steady …

SO you guys who’ve been through this process a few times, have you noticed an improvement / increase in your metabolism? In other words, do you now maintain an offseason weight (whatever that may be) on more food than you previously did ?


#6

I went from 2000 to 3100 over the course of 10 weeks or so. Increased by 20g carbs Monday and 5g fat thurs for 4 weeks, then backed down and only increased carbs in smaller increments on the same days. IMO you can be more aggressive at first, then slow down as you go along. Your weight and pictures tell the story.


#7

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
I went from 2000 to 3100 over the course of 10 weeks or so. Increased by 20g carbs Monday and 5g fat thurs for 4 weeks, then backed down and only increased carbs in smaller increments on the same days. IMO you can be more aggressive at first, then slow down as you go along. Your weight and pictures tell the story.[/quote]

how long were you cutting for?


#8

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
I went from 2000 to 3100 over the course of 10 weeks or so. Increased by 20g carbs Monday and 5g fat thurs for 4 weeks, then backed down and only increased carbs in smaller increments on the same days. IMO you can be more aggressive at first, then slow down as you go along. Your weight and pictures tell the story.[/quote]

how long were you cutting for?[/quote]
9 months. Just finishing a 6 weeker and will reverse a little more aggressively because of the way my meet schedule sets up.


#9

I would make 300-500 calorie jumps WHILST upping volume and not training to absolute failure at least the first week. Volume will allow you to ingest more calories without spilling over to easily and also give you CNS a break. 10x10 would be a good fit…
GJ