As I continue to prep, and competition season is well under way in the OPA, I see a lot of girls getting ready to step on stage who may not be ready. A close friend of mine and a client recently decided herself to re commit to a prep and wanted to pick a show in July. As both a friend and a coach I advised her to aim for August or even October. people act like all the gain happen during prep, but the truth is that the work should be done before prep starts. Prep is all about leaning out, shaping, tightening. Once the layers are shed you need to have a solid foundation under there. If you haven’t been delight in your off season then your weaknesses will really start to show as you lean out. Keep in mind ladies, this isn’t just a bikini contest, it’s still body building after all. It’s not enough to just eat salad and do a ton of cardio, cause sure you’ll be lean, but then what differentiates you from all the other skinny betches out there? This brings me to the real topic I wanted to discuss today. Metabolic damage. I’ve seen so many coaches who either prescribe cookie cutter plans, or just lack the knowledge to do better, put their clients on hours of cardio a day and the poor girls eat nothing but spinach, dry tilapia and asparagus, and 1200 cal a day! And sure, if it’s your first prep, this is going to rock your system, but not in a good way, you’ll lose weight, and then once your start to increase your calories again, if not done effectively you’ll ballon for no reason, getting fat on minimal calories. This also comes with acquired food intolerances, lethargy, and a lot of tears and frustration. This leads to lack of motivation, low libido, overtraining, and worst illness. Competing should be empowering, not detrimental to your physical and mental well being. These poor women often feel they’ve done all the right things but can no longer respond to diet and training the same way. So let me explain why crash dieting doesn’t work, and how to avoid this kind of debacle. As we start to diet we get feelings of hunger naturally, your energy falls, and you find yourself craving salty, fatty and sweet foods. This is the first sign the body is starting to move into a metabolic compensation. So at first weight loss comes easily, but then over time you start to notice that your fat loss slows down. You may even notice you even start gaining weight.nothing is more frustrating than committing yourself 110%, stepping your ass off, only to have the opposite of the desired effect. In turn, hunger, energy, and craving issue keeps getting worse. Your body is pleading for help. When nothing is working, coaches will assume maybe your cheating on your plan, not doing your HIIT, and then I’m response they start cutting calories further and ramping up your gym time. Again, this is another shock to the system and might work at first, but this strategy has no long term longevity. A few weeks later and you’re stuck again and your body becomes even more sluggish. Your body is literally fighting your efforts. This is the point of metabolic resistance. Accompanying symptoms often include, loss of periods, irritability, insomnia or fragmented and unpredictable sleep patterns. Loss of libido. Many people describe a feeling of being wired on this inside, but tired on the outside. For some people it might lead to or further exacerbate feelings of anxiousness or depression, or both. Worst of all, in addition to all this mental disarray, you start to look heavy, bloated, tired. The opposite of string, lean and happy, your original goal. The endeavour to challenge yourself, and be a better you has backfired despite good intentions and dogged perseverance. So ladies, is this is you, better to rethink your approach. Remember, above all – health first. Stay tuned, as this post has become lengthy enough, for my next instalment of how to repair metabolic damage and utilize reverse dieting to prevent post show rebound.