Balance, Metabolic Damage and Competing

When I see competitors posting diets with less than 1500 calories I seriously want to have a fit. I mean, for most sedentary people that is enough to just barely get by so for an extremely active person, this is putting the body at a severe deficit. I see girls post motivational quotes about health and strength when really they are starving themselves and going to unhealthy extremes for a plastic trophy.

Don’t get me wrong. I have complete respect for fellow competitors, but honestly I don’t see a need to go so low in calories that every day is a struggle to function. Especially in the bikini category. Bikini girls are supposed to look healthy and more attainable, not stringy and starved. Listen, I’ve been there and being hungry all day makes you irritable, uncomfortable and unable to focus. Basically, its hard to do anything. I definitely would not be able to train clients while eating such and extreme diet.

Not only that, but people who carb deplete or go way too low on calories tend to binge and gain weight like crazy after their competition. Layne Norton’s post on Metabolic Damage brought a lot of light to this issue. Basically, if you are starving yourself too long, you are lowering your metabolic rate and your body will adjust to burn fewer calories to make up for the huge deficit in your diet. That means, by eating the same amount of food as you did before you started dieting, you will gain weight at a quicker pace. YOU ARE PROGRAMING YOUR BODY TO STORE MORE FAT.

Part of the reason I am so passionate about this issue is because I have struggled through it. It sucks to feel so hungry each day is a struggle to function and it sucks even more to completely wreck your metabolism and screw up your hunger cues. It takes time to reset your body. Now I know better. My contest prep diet never goes below 1800 calories. I don’t do HOURS of cardio. I do 30 min. maximum a day.

Yes, it was scary to change the way I ate and trained, but honestly, I look way better now than when I was doing extreme dieting and cardio. I have also seen so many people mess up their bodies by going through contest prep with a keto diet or ultra low calorie diet and bounce back with depression and extreme weight gain.

I know bikini competitions are competitive and that everyone wants to get the edge to win, but to me, a traditional peak week, dehydration and extreme dieting is NOT the way to do it. I hope that I can prove my theory right by getting my pro card. I am two weeks out from the NPC Ft Lauderdale National Championships.



Thank you for writing this! I will take this into major consideration during my prep, I understand some people take it to the extreme, I want to treat my body properly throughout this whole process. I think body building competitions are an art, and it can sometimes be hard to find a good balance. I’m trying out new diet plans right now, and I’m including all my healthy fats, carbs, and proteins.

What have you found to be the most effective recovery from lifting and what has been a really good meal plan for you?


Thanks and good for you! šŸ™‚ What has worked for me is to stay between 1800-2200 calories (depending on my activity level) with about 40-30-30 protein-carbs-fat. For recovery I drink 1/2 scoop of Synta-6 which has carbs and protein. I track my macros and try to eat whole foods but other than that I eat pretty much what I want. I agree that it is sort of an art and each person has to find what works best for them, but I really feel that going to unhealthy extremes shouldn’t be necessary.

Reblogged this on stronghealthyandinspired and commented:
Sanity, very reasonable food intake and competition prep. Thank you for sharing this! More people need to know.

Do you stay 40-30-30 even through peak week or do you do a peak week at all with bikini comp prep? I’d like to know what your peak week was like, did you keep your carbs down and keep your water up with no sodium that week, etc? I know every person is different. I’ve heard some ladies keep their carbs down to 20g per day that week while keeping water high like 1-1/2 gallons per day until the day before and drop it to 64 oz, then only sip water as needed the day of contest.

    Hi there!
    Thanks for the comment.
    Everyone is different and if you have a coach you trust I would take their advice. My advice is not to do a peak week for bikini. The purpose of peak week for body builders is usually gylcogen supercompensation — in laymans terms that is tricking the body into pulling more glycogen into the muscles to make them appear fuller. Since the goal of bikini is not really to have the fullest muscles it doesn’t make since to me and it is really easy to screw up your hard work. Also dehydrating yourself can make you appear stringy and sometimes may make you bloat more. I would recommend sticking to your diet if it has been working for you. If you get lean enough you will not need peak week tricks.

    I did not drink a ton of water the day of the show simply because I didn’t want to pee all over my spray tan. Lol. But you don’t want to get dehydrated and pass out. I pretty much drank to my thirst. Hope that helps and good luck!

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