I discovered this cod, avocado, Quest chip combo during prep 😍👌🏼 For this meal I also have broccoli slaw, spinach, kimchi, nuts, nutritional yeast, salt... and how do you feel about that banana avo rice cake? 🍌🥑 Currently consuming way too much fiber because I got so used to choosing high-fiber foods when carbs were so low at the end of prep. My goal is to decrease fiber to ~35g by the end of this week because my digestive system is not happy with me right now 🙃 What’s your current nutrition goal? 📝
How to gain 20+ lbs: (In theory, this should be the opposite of my last post, but in practice, it is much more complicated.) • Prepare your mind - You will likely doubt your decision to gain weight countless times. Agree to allow yourself to get frustrated. Agree not to let yourself get stuck in the frustration. Find areas of your life to focus on that are completely unrelated to food or your body. • Assess the situation - Track everything you eat and see where you are. How much are you eating now? To gain weight, you’re going to have to eat a lot more. Are you ready for that? • Put yourself in a caloric surplus by eating more - Increase calories, primarily in the form of carbohydrates and fat. Note that too much protein and fiber might make you uncomfortably full. • Put yourself in a caloric surplus by moving less - Yep, stop moving so much! • Don’t get caught up in the details - Often it’s easier to aim for a daily calorie and protein goal instead of worrying about carbohydrates and fat. Strict tracking is only going to make it harder for you to focus on things that are unrelated to food and your body. • Adjust as necessary - Re-assess the situation every so often by comparing body weight measurements and progress pictures and doing mental check-ins with yourself. If progress plateaus, it may be time to increase calories further, but as long as you are not losing weight, you might be better off letting things be and just focusing on something else. • Be patient - This is slow process... generally much slower than the process of losing weight. Take it one day at a time.
How to lose 20+ lbs: (Note that you may need to actually maintain or gain weight before dieting in order to reach your diet goal. For this offseason, I focused on gaining weight for 2.5 years before starting a 6-month diet.) • Assess the situation - Track everything you eat and see where you are. How much are you eating now? To lose a lot of fat, you’re going to have to eat a lot less. Are you ready for that? • Put yourself in a caloric deficit by eating less - Decrease calories in the form of carbohydrates and fat. Protein and fiber will be key for satiety, so don’t let those drop too low. You can use online calculators to help find specific starting numbers (I have one on my site), but don’t get too caught up in your starting point because you will have to cut calories lower as time goes on anyway. • Put yourself in a caloric deficit by moving more - Increasing expenditure is the second way that we can tip energy balance in the right direction. Run, jog, swim, walk the dog, bike, take the stairs, dance to music... it doesn’t matter. It all adds up. (It’s math, not magic.) • Adjust weekly as necessary - Re-assess the situation weekly by comparing body weight measurements and progress pictures and doing mental check-ins with yourself. If progress plateaus, it’s time to decrease calories further. • Be patient - This is slow process. You WILL feel hungry, tired, unmotivated, and irritable in a caloric deficit. Before dieting, ask yourself: what do you hope to get out of this? What will be better about your life if you diet? Do you really need this?
How can I eat so much more without getting any weight back yet? Essentially what is happening is that my body is responding to gradual caloric increases by increasing my energy expenditure. Why is it doing this? • Long, severe caloric deficit - I lost nearly a pound a week for six months. My body had adapted to low calories for a long time, and my expenditure was very low when I ended my diet. Additionally, I spent much of my early life restricting calories, which likely is a contributing factor. • Gradual increases - This makes it possible for my body to adapt and increase expenditure to match or exceed the increased intake. If I eat enough, the process of gaining weight will begin. • Genetic predisposition - You will see that I can very easily consume large amounts of food during the offseason for someone my size, age, and gender. On the other hand, when I diet, I need to really dig deep and consume far fewer calories. Some people will respond very quickly when you add or subtract calories, but my body’s internal regulation system quickly adapts to any changes. I need to make really large changes in either direction to see the effects of those changes. • Misreporting and placebo effect - The first three factors assume that I adhere to my diet, and I do. In fact, I adhere to my diet so well that I likely misreport in favor of what I want to see. Unlike the general population, those who excel in following strict bodybuilding diets may underreport intake when adding calories and overreport when dieting. At the same time, I may be working harder to expend more energy without realizing it because I just “feel so great!” from the extra food (i.e. placebo effect).
6:15am vs. 11:00pm 🍪 still maintaining stage weight at 3 weeks post-comp (at 500 daily cals above where I ended prep) so it’s time to increase cals further. No time for abs over the holidays people 😂
#TeamAquaman @justiceleague 🧜🏼♀️ 📸 @luisx_com 💇🏼♀️💋@michelle2_
My mom likes this pic 😇🌻☀️ I always feel like time is just FLYING. I only have 3 weeks left of my first semester in my PhD program! I cannot wait for winter break, but I also wish time would slow down! Stop going so fasttt 😰🤚🏼 Does life ever get old, or does it always feel like it just started? ✨
Still seeing daily changes in my physique from the increased food intake. Have to document with photos for myself because this phase will be over before I know it! 🎅🏼 Feeling amazing from the extra food, but also feeling like I could eat about twice as many cals per day and still not feel satisfied. Enjoying every step of the way though. 🤓
Thinking about the rest of our lives together overwhelms me because there are so many things that I just can’t wait to experience with you. Each day I am reminded that I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you two, and I try my best to hold on to each moment before it fades away. I will cherish all the remaining days that we have together - 1 or 20,000 - because each one only comes and goes once. This is our time.🤴🏻🐺👰🏼💍 📸 @sabratoothedtiger 💇🏼 @bohobridalbeauty 💋 @mua_fancyface
There is no triumph in spectating. ✖️ What are you doing today to get closer to your goals? If it’s taking a rest day, that counts. If it’s taking a mental health day, that counts. If it’s simply going easy on yourself, that COUNTS. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you go. All that matters is that you go. ♥
Update: 500-600 cals above my end-of-prep diet and maintaining stage weight. Anxious to start gaining some healthy body fat but also enjoying the process and chest shreds. In other news, our freezer will not stay shut, and I keep having to throw away ice cream. This is a very serious issue. #reversedieting #chestsplit
I was never an athlete. I always thought I was more of a scientist, and then one day I realized I was an artist too.📈⚒ 📸 @luisx_com 💇🏼♀️💋@michelle2_
Gotta get your selfies in mad fast here before you get caught 👀 #flexual #reversedieting #upperbodsquad #flexfriday
One of my all-time favorite combos: kabocha squash, nut butter, peanut flour, cool whip, and sugar-free syrup 🖤
🧜🏼♀️ Yesterday’s shoot marks the end of my conservative reverse dieting phase. I’ve been hovering around 103.6-104.0 lbs (below stage weight) at 300-400 daily cals above what I was consuming at the end of prep. Time to really focus on increasing calories, strength, and mood 💆🏼♀️ 📸 @luisx_com 💇🏼♀️💋@michelle2_
🐺🤴🏻👰🏼💍 the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack - Rudyard Kipling 📸 @sabratoothedtiger 💇🏼 @bohobridalbeauty 💋 @mua_fancyface
Each day is another chance to take a step in the right direction. A balanced lifestyle for me is going to be different from a balanced lifestyle for you. If you can sustain a caloric deficit all year long without it negatively affecting your mental health, then by all means, go for it. For some of us, there’s a time for tracking macros to the gram and a time to relax and eat a balanced diet without tracking every morsel. For others of us, only one or none of these options may ever be appropriate. Know your limits. Know when it’s time to push and when it’s time to ease back. Know YOUR balance. 🖤 #transformationtuesday
Anotha set of stage pics 🧜🏼♀️ I prepped in 2013, 2014, and 2017. My next prep won't be until at least 2020. It might seem like I'm less interested in bodybuilding than people who compete season after season, but natural bodybuilding is truly a huge part of my life. I will always be a natural competitor, though. It also takes a lot of work (and patience) for me to gain muscle. I'm thrilled with my progress since the last time I competed, but it took me a long time to make those gains. For now I've got a wedding to plan and maybe some other things I want to check off my bucket list before I reach lean bean status again. 💕😊
I tried to do my own makeup! Forever pretending I’m a witch 🖤 #makeupnoob
Getting to a low level of body fat helps you to see exactly what improvements have been made and what improvements are needed. My legs are so damn long, so building them up will always be my primary aesthetic goal with bodybuilding. In the past few years I've made progress balancing out my dominant quads with my glutes, but my hamstrings are still a weak point. I've had an injury for years on the right side that gets aggravated often, but as I continue to increase my calories, hamstrings will be a main area of focus. 👌🏼 Everything is still getting crispier from increasing cals. Soon the softness will come back, and I won't feel comfortable sharing these kinds of photos anymore 😂 #GlutesVersusButtPics #NaturalBodybuilding 🧜🏼♀️