Reverse Diet-Post Bikini Competition

Reverse Diet-Post Bikini Competition

What is a “REVERSE DIET?”

How can a bikini competitor benefit from utilizing this strategy?

So you’ve been prepping for a bikini competition and up to this point you have had to stay extremely organized. Everything from your food, workouts, cardio, and supplements have all been timed just right. You check in with your coach, practice your posing, and have all your appointments set. Excitement is high and your anticipation has been centered around that competition date. All this leading up to that moment when you step on stage.

Most likely throughout this process you were “dieting” and restricting your food intake. Possibly even fantasizing about junk food and all of the foods you have “missed” during contest prep.

Sound familiar? You are not alone! Take it from me as someone that has lived through these experiences, post competition life is TOUGH! Once the “chains are off”, the cravings become REAL! It is very common to put on a significant amount of body fat due to overeating post competition! Most females will then experience rebound weight gain, low energy, and low self esteem after a show.

Can there be lean life after a show?

Fortunately the answer is YES! There is a great strategy that can be used to help prevent packing on the pounds post show.

What is this you say? The dirty little secret is “Reverse Dieting”

What is Reverse Dieting?

“Eating more?” Kind of. Reverse dieting does involve eating more food but it’s a bit more scientific than that.

Reverse dieting involves a controlled, gradual increase in total daily calorie intake with the purpose of increasing metabolic rate and health.

Reverse dieting is mainly known as a way to bring your metabolism back to normal after a period of calorie restriction, but let’s learn a bit more about how and why it works.

How Losing Weight Affects Your Metabolism The science of fat loss simply put is: caloric intake vs expenditure and how this “balance” dictates your body composition. The energy balance must be in a negative state if fat loss is your goal.

In order to maintain a state of “negative energy balance” over time you need to either eat less calories than your basal metabolic rate and or burn additional calories through activity to put you in a caloric deficit. This means watching your food intake to ensure that you’re eating less energy than you burn. Most people get that to lose weight you must eat less and move more, right? What they don’t know, however, is that restricting calorie intake does more than just reduce your total fat mass. It also impacts your metabolism in many different ways.

How your metabolism is effected during weight loss:

Your basal metabolic rate slows down. Which is the amount of energy your body burns while at rest.

Hormonal adaptions occur. Hormones influenced in these adaptations include leptin, ghrelin, thyroid hormones & sex hormones.

The “thermic effect of food” decreases. The thermic effect of food, or TEF, is the amount of energy required to eat, digest, absorb, and store food. When you’ve been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time, you’re psychologically inclined to overeat and your body is metabolically primed for weight regain. Thus, the worst thing you can do following a period of weight loss is exactly what you want to do: dramatically increase your calorie intake.

That said, you also don’t want to just keep your food intake at it’s current low level, as this will simply perpetuate further metabolic damage.

What you need then? A strategy for raising your food intake back to normal levels without gaining fat, and that strategy is reverse dieting.

Here are the major benefits of reverse dieting:

  • You get to eat more-Not as much as you might want to eat as quickly as you want; but instead small, gradual increases monitored by your coach.
  • You will have more flexibility at social events-You get to fit possibly tastier things into your meal plan too.
  • You have more energy-To fuel your workouts along with improving mental function and mood.
  • You get to come out of the “dieting” mindset-After you’ve been dieting for a while, you inevitably become a little fearful of changing anything and gaining fat. This is why many people don’t change much in terms of food intake and exercise after reaching their weight loss goals. They don’t want to lose their hard won weight loss. Reverse dieting not only gives you a break from this mental straitjacket, but additionally it shows you that you can have the best of both worlds: you can relax and eat more without gaining fat.
  • You see gains in the gym-Increasing calories can lead to new lean tissue growth along with the correct type of training directed by your coach. If you have hired the right type of coach they will set your programming to see growth in areas in which the judges have given you feedback to hit it hard during the improvement season.
  • Lift Heavy & Less Cardio-Again depending on your goals it could likely lead to lifting heavier and switching your body out of the energy preservation mode. Less cardio could also be part of the design from your coach so you are not breaking down precious muscle tissue for energy.


As bikini competitions become more and more popular, the reality is there are thousands of females going through post-show blues and/or rebound.

As a coach and as an athlete, I feel that the post-show “blues” can be much more difficult to work through than the actual competition prep! Unfortunately there are not a lot of coaches out there that look at supporting athletes AFTER the show and year round.

Furthermore, I feel that contest prep should be done in a healthy way so that before, during, and after a show the individual feels AMAZING! With these priorities in mind, my goal as a coach is to help bikini competitors maintain new and improved body compositions that that they can be comfortable in for the rest of their life.

Keep in mind, reverse dieting is a tool that I utilize to support my athletes in the improvement season and for competitors doing multiple shows a year.

I wrote this blog because I care about bikini competitors and their long term health! Take it from me, experiencing rebound is NOT fun! Don’t just stop after that competition date has arrived. Trophies are just pieces of plastic that sit on your shelf, the real award after a show is living in a lean body.

If this blog sounds like something you may be experiencing, please hire a coach in order to get the proper support you deserve!!

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