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When Will I Return to My Normal Body?

Ever since I started lifting in 2010, I was able to maintain a pretty lean body all year round with visible abs. I ate pretty healthy for the most part, but still allowed myself some cheats once or twice a week.

This October, I entered my first figure competition and did a hardcore diet for the first time. I got leaner than I ever was before. I knew to expect weight gain post competition, but instead of returning to my normally lean body, I ended up heavier than ever before!

I know some people go overboard after restricting so long and eat everything in site after dieting for so long, but I went back to a pretty strict diet routine. High protein, low carbs, lots of veggies, a few cheats here and there. Nothing crazy and A LOT cleaner than before my competition, but somehow, I’m fatter than ever. I just want to look the way I did before competing and the weight isn’t budging. It’s been three months since the competition now.

Since I’m naturally pear shaped, the problem isn’t really my upper body. It’s mostly my hips. I feel like everything I eat sticks directly to my hips and I have lots of visible cellulite in that area which I never had in my life. I’m feeling really upset since I am eating right and consistently training like I was before competing but I feel my body will just never be the same.

Did anyone else have this problem after competing and if so, how can I get back to normal and how long did it take you?? :frowning:

How many calories and carbs are you eating currently? And especially how did you diet (carb/calorie wise) leading into your competition and how long was the diet, and how much cardio did you do then and now. There could be a lot of reasons for some of the things, but we need to know your details :slight_smile:

After my first competition (2010) I ended up in the same situation that you are in, that is I ended up gaining more weight than I anticipated although I was still following a diet, weighing out all my foods and working out. I found that dieting for shows is extreme and will change your basal metabolic rate.

Two and a half years later my weight has pretty much stabilzed and I have been able to determine why I had such a rebound. When I dieted down I lost such an extreme amount of weight which included not only fat, but muscle as well and my body was attempting to return to its homeostasis, which compensated by gaining fat. I’ve been able to now maintain, although I’m at a much heavier weight (40 lbs) and I’ve kept my bodyfat down (I still fit into size 6 shorts I wore when I competed) because I’ve spent the past two and a half year focused on adding strength and muscle through clean eating (I follow the Fighter Diet program by Pauline Nordin) and heavy lifting.

So, to sum it up, your body is trying to return to a weight that it feels is normal (although you may feel its not normal gaining back the weight). It may take some time, but continue to eat clean and lift heavy to add muscle so that you may stabilze your BMR.

[quote]gymgirl3575 wrote:
After my first competition (2010) I ended up in the same situation that you are in, that is I ended up gaining more weight than I anticipated although I was still following a diet, weighing out all my foods and working out. I found that dieting for shows is extreme and will change your basal metabolic rate.

Two and a half years later my weight has pretty much stabilzed and I have been able to determine why I had such a rebound. When I dieted down I lost such an extreme amount of weight which included not only fat, but muscle as well and my body was attempting to return to its homeostasis, which compensated by gaining fat. I’ve been able to now maintain, although I’m at a much heavier weight (40 lbs) and I’ve kept my bodyfat down (I still fit into size 6 shorts I wore when I competed) because I’ve spent the past two and a half year focused on adding strength and muscle through clean eating (I follow the Fighter Diet program by Pauline Nordin) and heavy lifting.

So, to sum it up, your body is trying to return to a weight that it feels is normal (although you may feel its not normal gaining back the weight). It may take some time, but continue to eat clean and lift heavy to add muscle so that you may stabilze your BMR.

[/quote]

Hey, hey! Where have you been hiding? Please come out of hiding and share more. I am very interested in how you train.

A lot of top competitors employ a technique called Reverse Dieting. Basically, once you realize what it took to get your body to the point of being stage ready, and what you typical day a couple of weeks out looks like in terms of eating, training, and cardio, it sinks in that you can’t just slam on the brakes and expect everything to return to ‘normal’. Your body is basically primed to store fat at a very accelerated pace right after a show. You’ve taken it to a point that goes against every grain of self preservation that the human physiology has.

Most people just stop cardio outright after a contest, forgetting that their body had grown accustomed to burning through the extra calories as well as the added metabolic boost. Additionally, you’ll see people take a break from the gym right after a show. This will also take away from daily caloric expenditure as well as some possible loss of muscle (“use it or lose it”). Lastly, the drastic shift from the traditional eating small feedings every few hours, usually with very controlled carb intakes, to eating whatever, and whenever you want,… well, it’s all just a recipe for disaster.

You’ve basically set yourself up in the same situation as many of the yo-yo dieters you’ll hear about on tv or in magazines. You suppressed the hell outta yourself, and then didn’t allow for smaller steps to work things back to normal. Eventually, your body will return to normal levels of carb sensitivity, weight, hormone levels etc, but not until well after a nice post contest chubby period.

It’s not really an attempt to return to homeostasis, it’s an attempt to store everything it can because you almost starved it to death and it’s truly panicked that it might happen again! -lol

My usual approach after a show, is to enjoy a day or two, and then go back on my contest diet for a few weeks, slowly stepping back from how tightly dialed in everything was.

S

I was just talking about this to my friends. You should watch Layne Nortons video on Metabolic crashing. He gives good insight on the whys and how to repair. I know that after my next show I’m going to “diet down” slowly and in a controlled manner. Glad to hear your back on track

thanks for the responses everyone.

When I was dieting for the show, I started by eating the same things every day for about a month. Carbs in the morning and lunch like sweet potatoes or brown rice and just protein like fish or chicken with veggies later on in the evening.

Once it got closer to the show, I did carb cycling. One day high carb (2 carb meals), one mod carb (1 carb meal) one low carb (no carbs but veggies and higher fat)

After the competition, I tried to stay on a similar track which didn’t work well. I tried intermittent fasting (one or two 24 hour fasts per week)

I am now trying the anabolic diet again eating things like eggs, steak, peanut butter, etc. and higher clean carbs on the weekend but nothing is really making a change.

In the past, intermittent fasting and the anabolic diet made me drop weight SO quickly! So I thought these methods would help out now, but it’s not going anywhere.

I also am training in a similar manner as how I did to prepare for the show. I just added in some more compound stuff instead of just isolation and am still doing walking uphill on the treadmill for cardio a few times a week for 25-30 mins.

I also am training in a similar manner as how I did to prepare for the show. I just added in some more compound stuff instead of just isolation and am still doing walking uphill on the treadmill for cardio a few times a week for 25-30 mins.

I have been having the same problem, and I have to say I’m glad I’m not alone. I started competing in 2010 for female BB. I won my first show and was insanely lean 103#, second show (a year later) weight increased to 107 but still lean. By the time of my third show in spring of 2012 I dieted down to 114 and my weight would not budge any further no matter what me and my trainer did.

I always eat clean in the off season and allow myself one weekly cheat meal. My weight is no hovering @ 150 #, which is not a comfortable weight for me (I’m only 5’2"). I’m starting to realize over the past 3 years of extreme dieting has left my metabolism shot and in adrenal failure. I believe it’s just a matter of continuing to eat healthy and let your body heal. I think you will need to do the same.

Thanks for your post.

look this problem up in any medical book. gain weight, cut to look good, gain weight to lift heavier weights, cut weight again for contest. this is so bad in the long run for the body. just cause they been doing this for years dosent mean its ok for you…everybody reacts in a different way to this. if you weigh 120, train your ass off at 120 and compete at 120. nobodys on this board is makeing a living at this so take care of your health…

You are not alone and what is going on in your body is completely normal. I know this was written a while ago, but chances are you are still struggling with this, as it takes a long time for the body to recover given how it has reacted so far. First off - STOP DIETING! Don’t go overboard, but right now losing the unwanted weight is not going to happen until your body (and mind) have recovered and gained balance.

Do not fast, do not go no-carb – it really is simple but hard to wrap your mind around after severe dieting and training. Eat a reasonable amount of carbs (starchy and veggie/fruit,) proteins and fats – eat somewhat on a consistent schedule as your body gets adapted and likes consistency. The more you try to diet harder to off-set the unwanted fat gain, the more you continue in the yo-yo dieting cycle and the worse off you will be.

Also be aware that you may be overtraining at the gym as well (I sure was when I was competing!) And overtraining can cause some serous havoc in your body too.

Take care of yourself!

I seemed to be merely referring to this specific to help the good friends. You need to watch Layne Nortons online video media upon Metabolic piling. They presents excellent insight around the whys in addition to tips on how to repair. I understand of which following the next display I’m going to “diet down” slowly in addition to inside a managed method. Delighted to listen to your rear on course.

Could you post what your workout/cardio routine is? Fasted AM cardio gets the body pretty primed for fat burning all day; it’s helped me with tricky fat. All else in terms of diet and training staying equal, it could help out quite a bit. The trick is doing it really low intensity, medium incline, so you don’t burn muscle but take advantage of the hormone balance and fasted state in the morning. Take 10-20g of leucine/glutamine mixed together before you do it to keep your muscles safe.

Have you read this?

Also John Kiefer, the author of Carb Back Loading seems to have pretty indepth knowledge of women’s weightloss and hormone balances. I’m not sure how hard it is, but if you can get in contact with him I feel like he’d be able to give you a good answer.

Also…the 5/2 diet might be good to keep your body fed but let you wittle away without it thinking it’s going to die again.