Reverse Dieting

Here is an unfamiliar topic– reverse dieting. What is that?! Reverse dieting is pretty well known with physique competitors.  It is what I am currently doing now that my show has past.  Everyone knows that one goes on a “diet” in order to lose body fat/weight, but what about when you have successfully lost the weight you wanted?  There is a point where you need to understand that enough is enough–one cannot diet forever.  It is fatiguing mentally and physically.  But what comes after the diet?  A rebound back to old ways? Gaining back every ounce you had lost over the past few months?  This doesn’t have to be the case.

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Once you are at that realistic goal weight you can then reverse diet to a higher calorie “diet” to maintain this weight or a weight close to it. Continue reading

Show Day Reflections and Advice for First Time Bikini Competitors

Hey Everyone! The day I had been waiting for finally arrived and went by in a flash! It’s bittersweet feeling! I finally can be less meticulous about diet and training, but I definitely will secretly miss feeling this lean!  I had an amazing time my first competition!  I thought I would be more nervous or awkward, but the day went by so smooth!  All of the alcoholic drinks I turned down while out to dinner, all of the meal preps, all of the cookies refused at work—all worth it!  Be prepared, this is going to be a LONG post. I’m going to reflect on the entire process but add in advice for first timers.

This final week flew by.  I worked 5 of 6 nights, so it was a lot of work, little play.   Luckily I did not need to work out much this final week.   I worked out Sunday through Wednesday and took off completely Thursday, Friday, and Show Day (Saturday)   Nutrition stayed the same, except I tried limiting dairy products.  I didn’t really notice a huge difference, so I am unsure if this was truly necessary.  So, I’ll run you through my competition timeline so any first timers may gain a better idea of what to expect. Continue reading

My Favorite Products Helping Me Lean Out While Staying Healthy and Sane! (NPC Competition Prep)

And “fat burner” pills are NOT on the list! Competition prep is tough! Any “diet” is tough if you have to restrict foods.  I am a huge advocate for cheat meals once per week so you do not go into the binge eating roller coaster of a restrictive diet, but I am unable to indulge until my competition is over because I must “lean out”.  Stage weight is very different than everyday weight–  Any bikini or physique competitor will tell you that. Stage weight is NOT sustainable throughout the entire year. That being said, in order to reach that fat loss, restrictions must be made for a couple weeks to a month.  I am still following IIFYM and not restricting carbs or fats–but with calories being lower than normal, in order for me to get enough meals in, they have to be pretty clean/low calorie items. As soon as my competition is over, I will reverse diet and go back to my maintenance of 2150 cals/day with a cheat meal every Saturday.

Until then, here is a list of the couple items that are helping me through this prep.  I want to mention, I am NOT (unfortunately!!) an ambassador or affiliate with any of these companies or products—I am not receiving compensation for speaking about these products.  I am simply and honestly telling you my personal favorite products that I think anyone whom is trying to stick to a diet, lose fat, or maintain a healthy lifestyle would benefit from!   I highly recommend them and think you will thank me if you purchased them yourself, so I have included the link to the product on (of course) AMAZON.COM –my favorite, as you may have noticed!!   Right click on the links and “Open in new screen”  to stay on my blog and finish the rest of the list!!

1. Gbutter–
Gbutter (The Healthiest and most Delicious spread) (2 Jar Count)


I can’t get enough of this nut butter.  The macros are great!!  Much less fat/carbs/and calories than any peanut or almond butter on the market.  There are two flavors, chocolate cashew butter  and cinnamon bun walnut butter. BOTH ARE AMAZING–right off the spoon, or in morning oats, mixed in with fat free greek yogurt or cottage cheese, in protein smoothies, topped on protein pancakes— you name it.


I have to say, my favorite of the two is the cinnamon bun–it tastes like a spoonful of cinnamon brown sugar poptarts! BUT, the chocolate cashew has less calories and fats—making it my go-to during my competition prep!

2. Quest Bars
Quest Bar Cookies & Cream
Questbar S’mores –12 Bars


I’ve said it a million times, I do not EVER let my questbar supply run dry.  I am constantly ordering these bars from amazon.com.  They are the cleanest protein bar out there with little to NO sugars.  Low in fats and high in proteins.  I’ve linked my two absolute favorites  SMORES is amazing when warmed in the microwave for 10 seconds (or left in the car while your inside the gym—mmmmmmm)


Look at those big chunks of chocolatey goodness!  I also highly recommend chocolate brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate peanut butter.  I always have at least 2 of those 5 flavors stocked at my house!

3. Artic Zero
ARCTIC ZERO Fit Frozen Desserts


This is something I have never ordered on amazon myself, but it ships in a freezer box just like omaha steaks do, and I know many people order online to get the flavors they can’t find in stores)  I find this in my local grocery store next to the sorbet or soy/coconut milk ice cream.  This is an incredibly macro-friendly healthy ice cream option.  An ENTIRE PINT of this ice cream is only 150 calories, and it actually tastes good!  My favorite and go-to flavor is the cookie dough chip.  It’s a must if you crave desserts but can’t fit the fats/carbs/calories into your macros/diet.  It is great alone or covered in the Gbutter I mentioned earlier.  I also love to make a protein mug cake and top with this  — see Chocolate Protein Mug Cake Recipe

4. My kitchen scale
Ozeri Kitchen and Food Scale

This is lame, I know, but I am telling you– I never really understood portion sizes until using my kitchen food scale. A chicken breast is NOT a single serving of 4 oz. chicken!  It wasn’t until I started to measure out my meals did I lean out and  lose that extra body fat  that I was not losing with 5-6 days of intense exercise.  You really do not need to be a prisoner to the scale, because after a month or two of using it consistently you will be able to pretty accurately “eyeball” portion sizes.  It is the only true way to follow an “If It Fits Your Macros” diet, and allows me to stray away from the bland bodybuilder “chicken rice and broccoli for every single meal” diet  and continue to have options while on a serious cut before my bikini competition.

5.  “Meal Management” Lunch Box
Jaxx FitPak(pictured below)
Isobag 3 Meal Management System

 

I added two examples each different and depends on your personal needs.  The first is a bit smaller with only 1 shaker bottle compartment– cheaper option.  The second is a larger bag with 2 compartments for shaker bottles.  I personally bought the top option, (PICTURED ABOVE) because for my shifts I do not need it to be any larger–It actually fits 3 larger tupperware containers—like pictured above— if you don’t want to use 6 small ones. It comes with 6 smaller containers that are dishwasher safe and great sizes for meal prep as well! I know multiple people that have the second option, the Isobag, and swear by it!  Plus it comes in cute color options, but it’s a little more pricey. Both are great choices!

6. My Nutribullet
NutriBullet Pro Blender/Mixer


I will have to say, if you do not have a Nutribullet it is something I recommend investing in.  It may seem a little costly at first, but I’m telling you it is totally worth it.  There is no blender that compares to this system except for a Vitamix (Which costs 300 dollars MORE)   I use this on a daily basis, multiple times per day.  For everything and anything.  Mainly for protein smoothies, it grinds ice and frozen fruit to a pulp–no chunks left behind.  It is also magical when it comes to juicing—yeah, juicing.  I add fresh strawberries, fresh spinach, and a splash of water or fresh Orange juice and it yields a perfectly smooth–no chunks or pulp (TRUST ME I HAVE TEXTURE ISSUES) juice that contains ALL of the nutrition from the veggies and fruits (regular juicing strips a lot of the fiber and nutrition to the pulp).  This blender is AMAZING.  If I put a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk it will turn it into the consistency of ICE CREAM– smooth, and thick enough to eat with a spoon, not a straw!

7. Flavored sparkling water-   no link necessary, find this at any grocery store.   I take a bottle with me to restaurants and bars when I’m meeting friends or having dinner with my boyfriend.  I do not let a “diet” keep me from enjoying myself and socializing with friends!! I just ask the bartender for a tall glass of ice with a lime and add my own sparkling water– looks like I’m enjoying a gin and tonic, but calorie and carbohydrate free!!

Zucchini in Oatmeal (and 3 Weeks Out From Stepping On Stage!)


I can’t believe that another week has gone by! Only three weeks shy of my first bikini competition.  Progress pictures above. Reflections of this past week are:

1. I have been slacking in the posing practice part– I haven’t been wearing my heels around the house to “get comfortable” walking in them either.  That may bite me in the booty later.  Goal for the next three weeks is to step up my game and practice, practice, practice!

2. Picking up from last week, I tried to stay around the 1,850 calorie/day diet.   I just felt tired.  I took a nap EVERY day.  By Thursday, it was time to work night shift, and I was a SNAIL.  I was moving so sluggishly and falling asleep charting at the computer at 10 pm — only 3 hours into my 12 hour shift.   I ended up eating a sticky cinnamon bun topped with candied pecans that was part of a baked good gift basket a patients’ family had brought in.  It was the calories and carbohydrates my body needed— I felt rejuvenated and the rest of the shift was a breeze.  YES, if I had a healthier, competition prep friendly carbohydrate (like oatmeal) I would have eaten that, but I was stuck at work with just the protein high food I brought.

I’m telling this story because I am not trying to hide the fact that I am human. Continue reading

Entering a Bikini Competition and my New Goals

As some of my close friends already know, I have made the decision to enter into a National Physique Committee, or NPC, bikini competition.  I will be trading in the small heel on Reebok Lifters for clear 4.5 inch heels.  Being tall at 5’9″ I RARELY wear heels, so this will be interesting!  I want to share my reasons for entering and new goals I have set for myself for this decision. 
I am a competitive person at nature, so this is a new and exciting competition for me.  I have been very experimental with my diet lately with great results–and I want to put this to the test.   That being said, I am going against all other former and current bikini models’ advice and doing this SANS coach.
I want to be my own coach– I will admit, I have a couple great friends who have competed that are giving me good advice– but I am following my own nutrition and workout programming.  I want to keep this process and journey as stress free as possible.


I will not be making many changes to my workouts– I will continue to attend crossfit workouts regularly. In fact, one of my goals is to continue to compete in crossfit during prep, at least up until the last week or so.  I will just have to make a conscious effort to avoid scrapping my shins with the barbell or adding ugly bruises to my clavicles!

I will not let it take over my life or social life. I can still go out to dinner with my boyfriend or out for lunch with my friends — I will just be smart about my IMG_2532choices.  I will only drink water or soda water and make macro-friendly requests with leans meats with vegetables. It will not always be easy, but I will not be one to sit at home alone miserable munching on celery!

The only thing I am going to be totally restricting is alcohol. I will not restrict much from my diet– it is how I am dieting now, and I would say it’s working!  Closer to the show I will cut down on certain things such as sugars and dairy, but never restrict.

With my work schedule already out, I will not be able to compete until late August or early September– I have a couple shows in mind, but I have not officially signed up for any–weighing out the costs of each, but as of right now, beginning of September is my tentative “Peak week.”

I’m very nervous, but excited all at once. Yeah sure, I may have better luck if I followed a structured plan with a qualified coach with years of experience, but I wouldn’t enjoy the process as much– and what is the point if you’re not enjoying life?!

I hope that you will follow my progress through this new journey!  If you have any experience in competition, what are your thoughts or advice ?

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What is IIFYM?

IIFYM

  
IIFYM, or “If It Fits Your Macros” is a diet that takes macronutrients into consideration for your weight goal. There are three major macronutrients that the human body needs in order to function properly: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Essentially, this diet is providing the body with exactly the macronutrients it needs for your goals–whether that be weight loss, maintaining current weight, or bulking/weight gain.  IIFYM is sought after for its ability to be flexible and nonrestrictive when it comes to the foods you can consume.  Nothing is off limits if it fits into your macros.   Continue reading