What’s that? Your a competitor but you don’t look like a competitor in your offseason? While this is sadly COMMON in the competitive side of the fitness industry it should not be accepted as NORMAL or what SHOULD happen to your body. You can be certain that if you rebound so much that you no longer look like you compete or ever were in shape, that HOW you got in shape or to the stage is likely the culprit for your current predicament.
Perhaps you rebound every time and so do the people in your circle, but that still does not make it NORMAL. Perhaps because of this you have concluded that this is just one of the things you have to deal with in order to compete. However, I can assure you, it’s not.
Once you get in shape, assuming you do so properly, it should be relatively easy to stay in good shape.
Respect the one body you have and work WITH it, coaxing it along the way instead of trying to force it to do what it clearly does not want to be doing; and do so along a realistic timeline (I’d always err on the side of caution and take more time than you think you need) and you can likely avoid these post-diet metabolic rebounds. Yes, taking your body fat to very low or unnatural levels will always come with some degree of risk as not everyone has the metabolic constitution to handle low body fat, but you can either raise or lessen this risk by HOW you go about your journey.
Here’s a comparison of new IFFB Pro Holly Mitchell. She turned pro back in August at the North Americans and since then has been enjoying the fullness of a healthy and balanced offseason – hard training, no cardio, lots of carbs, lots of calories (around 18x BW), cheat meals, etc. And look, months later, she still looks like a competitor.
There’s nothing special about Holly that allows her to do this. It’s a combination of a balanced plan and her strong compliance to it. This could basically be anyone if they do things right and avoid the extremes people have been brainwashed into thinking is required.