It Works if You Work It – Post Show Reverse Diet

Reverse Diet Client Highlight - Erin Pierorazio

Like they say in AA, it works IF you work it! The same applies for every aspect of your coaching program, but when it comes to your reverse diet it's CRITICAL! You've heard us discuss WHY adhering to your reverse closely is important: avoiding rapid fat gain, recovering your hormones, regaining strength, improving sleep, and ensuring that mentally you don't spiral into undesirable places. If you missed any of this, go back and listen to Coaching & Cocktails Podcast Episode 38.

Today I want to highlight what it looks like to adhere strictly to your reverse diet. Erin competed in her first shows in Oct and Dec 2020. We're approximately 11 weeks post show. Gaining .5-1 lb per week in the initial weeks post show is the average, healthy amount to gain w/o restricting or overdoing it. When your show is over, your reverse diet should look NO different from your prep diet as far as the majority of your food choices go; you just have more calories to fill with those foods and room for a very occasional treat food.

However, I strongly recommend against having many, if any, highly palatable treat foods in the early stages of your reverse as these foods can/will trigger cravings for more highly palatable foods and things can spiral out of control quickly. Adhering to your reverse takes an insane amount of self discipline. When the show is no longer looming over you, dangling that carrot to keep you on track, sticking to your macros when all you want to do is dive head first into a bucket of ice cream can be extremely difficult; yet very much the most critical aspect of your prep cycle. What you do in the weeks post show and in your reverse will set the stage for how successful your building/off season and next show-prep will be.

Erin has been diligent with her reverse. She has adhered to her macros, although in the beginning actually struggled to eat enough (not uncommon). She has focused her attention OFF of of the scale and instead, onto her strength gains and eating to fuel her performance as an athlete. There are still days of mentally struggling to see the scale number increase, but she stays focused on the goal and knowing that as a natural athlete, she has to regain some level of healthy body fat in order to gain more much needed muscle to improve her physique the next time she steps on stage. What we've been able to show (pics below) is that even at the SAME weight she was 3 months pre-stage, her physique looks quite different. If your reverse is followed, your body composition will be different even at the same weight you may have been prior to competing. You can also see, in the photos, that even with 5-6 lbs gained, her physique still looks very lean, just with a fuller appearance (thank you for all the carbs to fill out the muscle).

Pre/Post show stats for reference:

🔹 Only up 5-6 lbs, that's only .5 lb per week average and pretty much all of that was gained in the last couple weeks and likely just due to the increase in carbs/food and not fat. A pound or so a week is about average until we level off, so right now, you are in a really good place with room to "grow"

🔹 Eating 400-500 cals per day more than 10 weeks ago pre show (approx 1900-2000 cals per day now vs 1500-1600 pre-show)

🔹 Post-show No [real] cardio currently (10k steps per day and 15 min daily fasted very LISS walk). Pre Show - 5 days of 15-20 min HIIT

🔹 Feeling strong and energetic, not hungry, sleeping well, pooping regularly, and hormones have regulated - Moral of the story? Follow your damn reverse diet! Seriously though, it is likely to be the HARDEST thing you will do (yes, harder than prep) but will also be the most rewarding and critical to your further success in the sport. 


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