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Why Do So Many Ex-Athletes Balloon Up?

So my weight has still been in the mid-80’s, I’m still running a calorie deficit diet, with a day or two here as cheat days. What’s interesting is every extra Kg appears to be a new plateau. I struggle, I work extra hard, but breaking into that lower number is difficult until I do it. I just started lifting weights again so muscle gain is now a factor and blood volume growth is a factor again.

The title of today’s post is “Why Do So Many Ex-Athletes Balloon Up?” The simple answer is habits. If you are used to consuming anywhere from 3000 to 6000 calories a day, because that is how many you need for training. When you stop training with that intensity but maintain your eating habits, you will very quickly gain a huge amount of weight.


A secondary answer is due to denial. Many people, while training, deny themselves certain foods. These foods are often high calorie foods and provide minimal nutritional value. Now that an athlete has retired, they can allow themselves the opportunity to eat those foods they were previously denying.


I will use myself as an example. Back in the late 90’s when I retired from competitive wrestling and got married, I went from 68Kg to 90Kg in about 1 year. Why? Two reasons. One, I ate like I was still burning 4000 calories a day. Two, we ate a lot of really good lasagna, something I ate very little of while training. It doesn’t take long for 1000 extra calories a day to turn into 22Kg of body fat.


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