Coming Home Bikini Prep Series: Post 9 “You will always have something to learn and relearn”

I’ve done this before. I’ve been macro counting since June 2014. I’ve been lifting since June 2014 too. However, until two weeks ago, for the past nine months I wasn’t in control of my when my macros of workouts were adjusted. I did have the opportunity to suggest exercises to be included, but aside from that I couldn’t tell you anything about the method that determined my nutrition or my lifting and cardio schedule. The second however, and it’s an important one, my body is different now then when I first starting tracking and lifting and it’s different than it was last October, so realistically, whatever method that was used doesn’t really matter now any way.

While this past check – in wasn’t completely accurate because of the amazing swelling that I have going on – that is slowly going away as the weather gets itself in check, I do feel a change needs to be made nutritionally.

My BMR or basal metabolic rate is between 1,297 to 1,380 depending on the calculator I use – this means at rest I am burning between 1,297 and 1,380 calories just sitting on my butt. My TDEE is 2,006 calories – this what I burn in a 24 hour period. There’s a lot that goes into weightloss – yes, it’s calories in and calories out, but there are a other things that can impact it. But for this argument just looking at the math, I would lose a pound every 9.6 days with the macros I have listed below.

I started at 127.2 and after the first week I was 127.0. For week 1, I had mentioned that I was increasing my protein and I did. I increased it by 10g, but another however, I’ve read more about protein consumption and utilization and minimally, I can consume 2.4g per kilogram I weigh. There’s a difference between recommendation and what an individual body actually needs – we are all different.

1 pound equals .45 kilograms… 127 pounds is 57.6 kilograms… 57.6 kilograms times 2.4 = 138.24g

For my sanity, I’m rounding to 140. So my protein consumption went from 125g in maintenance to 135g, and finally hanging out at 140g.

My carbohydrates hit 210g during maintenance, but when I tried to figure out how nutrition was being added in relation to my workouts and daily activity there was no answer to be found. While 210g is great for daily consumption and it’s possible I could’ve gone higher, this is problematic because there’s potential that even though my cut for competition will be higher than last time, I may need to decrease these pretty drastically at first. For the past week my carbohydrates were at 200g daily and I did my best to hit them while my appetite was hit or miss with the weather, but unless my interest is increasing my cardio – which it really isn’t, these will be decreasing into my 3rd week because I was essentially in a maintenance. Since protein has increased to 140, I’m essentially transferring some carbohydrate grams to bulk that number as well as eliminating some from daily consumption. My new carbohydrates will be 180g. When carbs start to get lower, I will add in two higher carbohydrate days for leg day – Sunday and Wednesday. These higher days include an increase in your carbohydrates while decreasing fat. This is considered carb-cycling.

Fat during maintenance was 50g daily, and I had the same issue determining how we arrived at this number. At this time, I am not interested in decreasing my fat because you need fat for progress, so daily fat consumption will be 50g with an adjustment for high carbohydrate days when those become implemented. Again, for higher carbohydrate days fat is a reallocation of macros, not an elimination of calories, the cycle is actually for an increase in calories for the day.

Macro breakdown going into Week 3 – 50F/180C/140P or 1,730 calories

When you look at the macro breakdown, it looks like a big drop. I eliminated 30C, but increased 15P. Calorically, this is only a 60 calories difference. If I was maintaining at almost 1,800 calories, there’s a chance that to start losing competitively, while still fueling for lifts small cuts are necessary and they may become larger later. I’m a smaller body now and it takes less to maintain this body, but it certainly will take more effort to cut.

This is also means that to prevent adding too much cardio or overworking, my lifts are becoming more strategic and so is my gym time overall. How can I train smarter and hard without spending hours in the gym?  Cardio is a last resort to cut fat and shouldn’t be over utilized until necessary i.e. the last few weeks of prep. This week is the last week of my strength block and then I’ll start a three week volume block where I’ll focus on lower weight and more reps, but larger lifts like back squat and deadlifts will stay in a structure that allows them to stay heavy.

My lifts are the same this week for my strength block as they have been the past two weeks  with 6 days of lifting. Cardio is also the same: 20 minutes of high resistance steady, 15 minutes of Tabata and 15 minutes of intervals. Daily movement: 10K steps with an increase step goal 15K on my rest day through normal Saturday activity like running errands or going for a walk around the neighborhood.

Do I know how I will respond to these macros? Not at all. Do I still think it’s a ton of food – yes. I eat in volume and I can still have fun with these macros. But ultimately competing isn’t about being healthy and necessarily enjoying everything around you in the short period of time that you are getting ready for the stage. I hope that those who follow me know that. It is a body competition and there’s a mentality you need to create to be able to handle it. My last season was great and I did enjoy it, but at a higher body weight that meant my macros were a bit different than they will need to be this season.My metabolism is different now too.

Many competitors rebound after a show with binging or the inability to not be on a strict diet, but some don’t have an issue either.Some reverse – like I did after the Cutler and some don’t. The whole process is about learning your body. What works and doesn’t, what you like and don’t like. If these macros work well, then they stick around until they don’t work. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. If they don’t work, I will adjust my workouts first to prevent cutting nutrition to low.

It’s ok to need to have trial and error. It’s ok to need to learn something you know all over again and maybe dig a little deeper.

Week 3! Let’s go!

<3 Cristina

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