Whew. Glad that’s over! Time to drink a beer! I weighed in at 173 this morning. Ouch. I was 188 a month ago. (Granted, about 5 pounds of that was water weight, but I had been trying to gain enough mass to tip the scale at 190 all summer.) My strength has definitely suffered and I know I lost a some muscle mass. Now it’s time to get it back.
(If you want to see how I did this, read this post first.)
Don’t go crazy with your diet just because the cut is over. You must understand the process of metabolic adaptation that you have just put your body through. If you’ve shredded yourself, then your metabolism is at the lowest it can possibly go. Don’t blow it! You can keep those abs for a long time if you do it right with a reverse diet.
Ramp up your calories gradually
Discipline got you here. Discipline will allow you to enjoy the benefits of your new found rippedness for at least a few months if you don’t screw up. Your metabolism is in a fragile place right now, so be cautious as you gradually increase your calories again. By all means celebrate and indulge a little! Just remember that your body still thinks you’re starving and will hold on to calories with a death grip for the next few weeks. Your body is not afraid to give you the finger and pack on a few pounds of fat for protection. It will happen in a heartbeat if you don’t remain vigilant.
Avoid high glycemic load foods for a few weeks. Keep protein high. Over the course of 4 weeks, slowly back off protein as you add carbs and fats back into your meals until you reach the normal training macronutrient balance that you maintained before the cutting cycle. If you used the ketogenic diet for cutting, keep cycling carbs for a few weeks and only load up on carbs post workout.
You must get your metabolism ramped back up because right now, it’s running on fumes. To make matters worse, you lost some hard earned muscle during the cutting cycle. (This is unavoidable in caloric deficit.) Now is the best time to get it back by hitting the weights hard. It will feel amazing to train with more calories again, so take advantage of the higher energy level.
I’m driving to the store for chocolate…Jacob