So the big topic on reverse dieting and my how not to.........
I have used myself as my own guinea pig and gone against all reverse dieting protocols that I normally advise.
I do not advise what your about to read, but I am going to share this with you as my own experiment on what NOT to do in a reverse dieting phase.
I was in a cutting contest prep phase for around 12 weeks with starting calories around 4000 cals per day with a weight of 252 lbs and finishing calories around 2000 cals per day with a weight of 218 lbs at week 12.
Cut a long story short my prep wasn't finished. A lot had happened in these 3 months with losing a close friend, setting up a business, working full time, prepping for the PCA British finals muscle model show and also the worlds pure elite muscle model show. I had this in the bag.......or so I thought.
I had 3 and 6 weeks of prep left. At this point I was totally burnt out and was at breaking point. My life was waking up at 6 am, working my day job, training and cardio followed that then my business followed on from that into the early hours of the next morning sometimes past 1 am. One thing had to go, which unfortunately was my contest prep.
Reverse diet now started and I was sitting at 218 lbs and around 8% bodyfat. I thought to myself stuff it (literally) and stuffed my face for two days with nothing healthy in sight but biscuits, chocolate, sweets, spreads (by the jar full), cereals, cakes, pastries and anything unhealthy entered my mouth over these 2 days averaging around 7000 to 8000 cals per day.
What do you think happened next?
What happened next was my mind telling me to stuff the reverse diet as i had been through a lot. This was no excuse.
From the two days of eating nothing but sugary foods my brain was addicted and I also, felt addicted to sugar.
I thought I would see what happens over these next two weeks by not reverse dieting but eat what I want when I want. I'm a little shocked (currently writing this blog exactly 2 weeks since dropping out and starting the reverse) at the results of this insane diet.
Over the course of the two weeks the foods listed in bold above and in the list below were consumed:
I don't mean 1 pack of belvita biscuits, I'm talking a full box (32 biscuits in total and 1200 cals).
I don't mean a little white chocolate spread on my biscuits I'm talking a full jar (2000 cals per jar).
I don't mean 1 kitkat chunky, I'm talking 4 kitkat chunkies.
I don't mean 1 bowl of cereal, I'm talking 4 or 5 bowls.
I don't mean 40g of granola, I'm talking 500g over a few hour period.
I don't mean a few sweets, Im talking a full bag of sweets.
Basically anything I would normally eat one off, id now be eating four, five or 6 times the usual.
Some of you will already be reading the above and thinking bullshit you have been eating that!
Well this ain't no bullshit and i wouldn't be wasting my time writing this blog!
I was consuming on average 8000 cals per day for the whole two weeks, this wasn't even a struggle. My stomach was bulging and painful but my brain was saying eat more! it was crazy. Its like the off switch was broken and you just can't stop, even though your body is looking like an "S" Bend.
Twelve days in and was beginning to feel the effects. Ive probably trained 3 times in total since.
WOW! Back pumps are now unreal (Im not talking back pump from training I'm talking lower back pump around the spine) aching like crazy and painful but not surprised because I'm now sitting at 250 lbs from 218 lbs. Thats 32 lbs of weight gain in just less than 2 weeks!!!
This is not all fat. Its replenished glycogen, a lot of water retention (Dangerous as this sits around vital organs ect) and fat.
The strange thing about all this is I haven't put on much fat at all, probably 10lbs or so maximum. The glycogen super compensation (This is when your muscles are able to hold a greater amount of glycogen than they normally would be able to) seems to have lasted for nearly two weeks! I could feel the extra weight and thickness in all the muscle throughout my body and training pumps are insane!
I haven't eaten any good/healthy meals throughout other than the odd protein shake. protein was less than 50g a day. Diet was a mess.
I Completed some health checks, see image:
1. Blood pressure was checked and was at 135/78 (Borderline) but I really felt like it was higher.
2. Fasted blood glucose levels were checked at 2.7mmol/L (Too Low) I expected this due to the amount of sugar I had been consuming. My bodies pancreas is now releasing to much insulin when I consume these sugars causing whats called "Reactive Hypoglycemia" which is low blood sugar, this happens not long after a sugary food meal due to the production of too much insulin.
For some, (Not me as I know what the signs are and know whats happening to my body through experience and knowledge) this is where the vicious cycle can start. Due to the low blood sugars encountered you crave more sugar and the cycle starts over and over leading to insulin resistance, fat gain and worst of all diabetes.
The majority of people if they had reversed diet like I had, will most probably end up with high blood pressure temporarily or permanent depending on damage done in the process. Gained alot more fat than I have gained and end up on the vicious addictive cycle of sugary foods which will make way for a poor start to an off season plan.
The Conclusion for me is not the rapid fat gain but how quickly things can get out of hand in diet habits as right now I am literally craving all things unhealthy (I need a biscuit!!!) but tomorrow is the day I turn it around.