The potential devastating ramifications of Figure Girls and bodybuilders working in an absolute calorie deficit state, trying to “starve off fat” with crazy diet schemes and rigid diet rules may lead to the winner’s podium of a contest, but with devastating long term consequences as well.

The fact is that what I see from many competitors and former competitors in pageants or Figure or Fitness and bodybuilding, is that many that now come to me from hearing about my work and they don’t have a sane relationship with food.

The problem is that after a contest prep that was ill-advised, the body responds in ways to prevent the situation from ever happening again. While it takes some time for the body to reprogram itself like this, there is also immediate, resultant metabolic dysfunction from undertaking poor diet and training strategies. The result is a previously cooperative metabolism starts to malfunction, or shuts off completely. This sets off numerous negative hormonal events, as well as various metabolic dysfunctions.

Anyone who has ever heard me talk knows the dangers of absolute caloric deprivation combined with more exercise, this leads to eventual metabolic stress and down regulation. The result is that within a few years, women are out of the sport and getting fatter and fatter each year, even though they stay on consistent diet and training protocols.

Recent discussions with colleagues and their own observations and feedback from other colleagues reveal I am not the only one noticing this pattern. The saddest part of it is that the girls who usually must endure the most to get contest ready are the girls who will suffer more from metabolic damage in the near future. No contest is worth sacrificing your health. Extremes are not needed to make progress, so take a step back a see if what you are doing or being told to do is in your best interest, not someone elses.