Post show

  1. Yeah the reason it’s so hard is because your hunger hormones (lepin and ghrelin) aren’t working properly and it can take several weeks to level out. So you can eat a sleeve of cookies or a huge meal and still be so hungry and think, “wow my metabolism is on fire” but in reality it’s not, it’s just that your hormones aren’t telling your brain you’re full. Your body is so used to being deprived that it takes a while for it to learn that food isn’t scarce. Our bodies are really smart and do this for survival. It’s really hard and I think everyone goes through it at least once. But once you know what to expect, the time around you’re better prepared. Following a reverse plan is so important.

  2. I agree 100% I was tell my wife hey you think you’re starving but in reality you’re not. Some people also don’t realize dehydration plays a big factor as well, after one of her shows she drank 3 liters and then went on to eat steak and potatoes and was satisfied.

  3. One reason I feel it’s not talked is because people don’t want to give this sport a bad name. I noticed it a lot on gymsnark sub. As that sub has a lot of regular fitness consumers, so they hear about post show struggles and dub the sport as a glorified eating disorder. But I’ve noticed it’s being discussed a lot more among competitors. I’ve seen YouTube videos addressing it. Personally, I went through my first prep with some other first timers. And we continued to talk in a group text throughout our reverse to support each other. I struggled a lot too but it helped having people there going through it

  4. Hey - I think just about EVERY competitor can relate to this. Sure there are outliers…but that’s what they are. This is anything but standard. It is, as others have mentioned, related to ghrelin and leptin signalling being way off despite resuming calories. This is one of the many reasons I’m not a proponent of the standard “reverse diet” - as I’ve mentioned before the people who coined the term reverse diet (ig: team3dmj) have long since abandoned the approach in favor of a “recovery diet.” They noted a 95% failure in ability to slowly reverse calories, which also subsequently is prolonging time in a deficit, hunger signaling, and ability to build muscle before next prep. You’re absolutely right - it’s really fucking hard, but seems easy for the likes of “top coaches” Adam and James to tell girls to stay within 10lbs of stage weight - sound advice coming from two dudes whose breasts I can see through t-shirts.

  5. Ooooo interesting thought about ozempic etc. Some of the theory of "why it works" is not only appetite control and hunger signaling, but it may also lower the body weight "set point." This is because obesity research proves over and over again that caloric deficit doesn't work long term. Most will regain the weight or more. People on ozempic however lose the weight and then KEEP it off, which is huge.

  6. This sent me down the best rabbit hole. Thanks for the links! Really like the idea of getting back to maintenance asap.

  7. I appreciate this post. My boyfriend just watched me go through a grueling prep and witnessed me starving and moody and irritable every day. When prep was over I was relieved he no longer had to “deal with it”. However now he is watching me go through struggles with food and binge episodes. Our partners don’t get enough credit as well. Thank you for supporting your wife and she is lucky to have you as well! My boyfriend has been a saint throughout this and again our partners deserve more recognition for their support and patience.

  8. Yeah after my first show, I was so ready to eat my favorite foods again. Within the first few days post show, I ate it all and as much as I wanted. I felt so sick and bloated but I did it anyway. I had zero self control. Then I felt guilty and disgusting. I was too ashamed to talk to my coach or my husband about it. Unfortunately, I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I did, however, learn from it. The relationship with food at any point in bodybuilding is so important and can be really hard to navigate. I LOVE food and truly miss it during prep but I know it’s not going anywhere. I have a show and nationals in a few weeks and I think I’m in a way better place with food now. That first post show was pretty brutal though. I think it’s talked about A LOT more now. Not everyone goes about post show the same. I’m just sitting back observing everyone’s choices and how it affects their progress or next prep. I find it super interesting.

  9. It’s hard cause at one moment your thought process is I’m free for x amount of days and imma say all this and that but in reality you take a couple bites of something and you’re instantly bloated! Idk how many times we’ve gone out to eat afterwards and not finished a meal cause of how full and bloated we were and it got to the point where I nearly went to the hospital for how bad it was. But now we know why works and did want work! I’m glad you have a plan for afterwards and good luck at North Americans I assume ?!

  10. I think the post-show struggle isn’t often discussed in detail because it’s far less glamorous than the cutting phase and peak week/show day. Plus I tend to feel that society definitely glamorizes weight LOSS but isn’t so keen on publicizing weight GAIN, even if the goal is to get back to healthy bodyweight and eating pattern. Also, when you diet down there’s a clear goal in sight but once you’re reversing the “goal” is less defined and varies wildly from one athlete to the next.

  11. No one wants to say hey I went from a chiseled Greek good physique to a water Buffalo I’ll be honest no one does! I feel if people were more open about it it could really help people

  12. Yes because of hunger hormones being dysregulated, it’s extremely hard to control. No one wants to admit that they f up though, especially when they already view their body as worse than it really is once they start gaining weight. I really think most competitors aren’t as perfect on their reverse as they should be and rarely anyone admits to this. The reverse is definitely harder than the prep!

  13. Interesting! The thought of weeks and weeks of only incrementally increasing calories is a bit daunting to me. Glad you've found what works for you.

  14. First off, welcome to the sub!! I think it's great that it's not just women here, imo everyone is welcome..!

  15. I wonder what the best strategy to approach this is. Like, if I set up daily check ins with my coach the week after the show, would the rest of the reverse be easier? Is the first week the hardest or is the entire reverse really hard? And how long is a good reverse back to maintenance?

  16. I think a lot more people are talking about it than in years past (but not enough, especially the pros!) Luckily, this isn't something I struggled with. My coach didn't prolong my reverse.

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