Updated: May 31, 2018
Rebounding post show is a BIG issue that will literally make you BIG. Rebounding is eating too much food after your show and not just that night but for the next several days. I know a fella who gained 36 lbs 6 days after his show. Thats a hard rebound. Not only did he gain weight but his blood pressure sky rocketed and it caused other health issues.
First off, you must understand that when we reduce bodyfat, we don’t reduce the number of fat cells. They just shrink in size. Refer to the image below.
The down side to this is that these shrunken fat cells will always be ready and waiting to fill right back up when go into a caloric excess. But it doesn’t stop there. Depending on the rate of fat gain these original fat cells begin to fill back up, and you start creating more! Yup, once you refeed and regain bodyfat quickly after a long and extreme diet your body actually creates new fat cells due to the conditions you just put it through. This is what makes dieting a second time even harder because now you have more smaller fat cells ready to fill up with fat. This means that you’re still constantly hungry – even though you’re eating more. This is currently happening to me as I am 4 days post show and I am back to eating a normal amount of food however, I am still constantly hungry.
This is because the new fat cells are more sensitive to insulin so they are more prone to storing fat. The outcome is that often competitors – if not careful – will end up higher in body-fat than when they first started dieting and find it twice as hard to diet back down. So if you want to keep your next prep easy, do not rebound and eat all the food you want to the week after your show. It is only going to make it harder for you in the long run.
It is also worth noting that rebounding has a huge psychological effect – especially on females. We go from being in the best shape of our lives to gaining 10 lbs in 5 days and it becomes and anti climax situation which leads to eating disorders and depression.
How to avoid rebounding – Snowy's way.
If you don't have a coach to reverse diet you out of your show then you most likely are rebounding or trying very hard not to. For my most recent show I do not have a reverse diet plan in affect but I am following 2 simple rules I created for myself that seem to really help.
Snowy Rule 1:
Since my stomach is always hungry due to the new fat cells it created, I stick to my pre show eating times. Early breakfast, small snack before lunch, lunch, dinner, and post workout meal.
Snowy Rule 2:
Stop eating when others have stopped eating around me. This is a big one for me that really helps. Whether I am at a cookout or having dinner with my boyfriend, when they are done eating I am done. Its very tempting to keep going back for more whether it's for veggies or cake. This approach allows you to realize you are the only person left still eating is a red flag indicating I grabbed too much food or I've had too many helpings.
Following these two rules have helped me keep from gaining too much weight. With my show 4 days ago I have only gained 4 lbs back. I allowed my myself to have 2 days of eating whatever I wanted without working out. Now that I am lifting and not eating whatever I want I doubt my weight will go up much more. I am looking to only gain about 5 lbs back total over the next 3 weeks before I start prepping for my next show.