So, as some of you may know I am on my journey to competing again at another major competition. In 15 day’s I will be off to North Carolina to compete at World’s Strongest Woman in the light weight division! Super exciting/nerve racking!
After winning Britain’s Strongest Woman at the beginning of October, it was time to really ramp my nutrition up. Going to world’s, I am up against 30 of the TOP Women in the sport and know, just how much what I’d be eating coming up to competition, would affect my performance not only on the day, but most importantly, in training and preparation.
Normally, I’m not one to lead by my own example and would ask for advice from others to plan my nutrition (you never take your own advice ey!), but this time it’s been different.
So, I started off at 2200kcal per day. Due to being in a sport, which I need to keep within a weight class for, the aim was to eat as much food as possible, without putting weight on. (I can hear you saying ‘huh! tell me how to do that!!’)
When I started this my body weight naturally sat anywhere between 62-64kg day to day.
Due to factors such as:
- Where I am in my menstrual cycle (hormonally driven)
- Bowel movements
- How much food I’ve eaten that day
- Water intake
- How much sleep i’ve had
- If I’ve exercised… it can go on and on the reasons why weight fluctuates so much!
So at the beginning it was really easy. Every week I was putting my calories up by 100 increments, noticing any differences. The first one being was that I actually LOST weight.
Most people may be shocked, but when you actually feed your body enough calories to not only feed your basal metabolic rate your body can feel more comfortable in reducing fat stores and becoming more efficient.
So annoyingly, this isn’t actually my goal! My goal is to put weight on! My weight category is u64kg, so I need to get my weight up to around 65/66kg to easily start to drop calories, close to competition to make weight.
So, I kept going! Now, for the past 3-4 weeks I have been consistently at 3000kcal per day with my carbohydrate intake being the highest it’s ever been (almost 400g’s of carbohydrates per day!).
Not only has my weight not gone up substantially (now sitting between 64-65kg), I still feel as though my body fat may have even gotten lower, I am the strongest I have been and feeling the fullest on a day to day basis (without having carb coma’s!).
Going to show, that actually if you’re exercising regularly, and you’re plateauing with your weight loss goals, tracking calories for a while may not be the ‘be all and end all’. I’ve never been one to promote calorie counting for an every day Jo, as it can form unhealthy habits with food – however may be worthwhile in order to see what your average calorie count is on a daily basis so you have a base and either trying to increase ever so slightly to see how it affects you.
I’m pretty sure the world would be a happier place if we were all eating the maximum amount of food everyday our bodies could tolerate, WITHOUT putting weight on.
The main thing I have noticed however whilst increasing was with my digestion. So, I’ve been taking a digestive enzyme to help my stomach to digest the foods I’m eating and to make sure I am absorbing the nutrients I’m putting in!
If you need help yourself with this, then perhaps give me a message and I can see how you can tailor your nutrition to you on your own journey!