Do you want to know how you can use reverse dieting to help you with your weight loss and weight maintenance goals? This post will help you understand all about reverse dieting.
By now you know that to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit.
So you have spent a lot of time in a calorie deficit and lose some body fat. You will be drained both physically and psychologically after this.
Your mind will tell you to start eating with a calorie surplus to start eating as you used to before your dieting.
The problem is that your body is now in a physical situation where it will easily gain weight if you overeat.
This is why many people seem to gain all their weight back, maybe even more weight, after they have stopped their dieting.
This is where reverse dieting can help people who have just been on a diet and need to stop it.
As the name suggests, reverse dieting means that you start eating more calories that when you were on a diet.
This does not mean that you need to start overeating calories.
Instead, it means that you need to start eating more calories in a slow and gradual manner.
The main purpose of reverse dieting is to bring your metabolism back to normal after an intense period of dieting and putting your body in a calorie deficit.
You know that the basis of fat loss or gain is energy balance.
This means that if you consume more energy than you burn then you put your body in a state of positive energy balance and gain fat.
And if you consume less energy than you burn then you put your body in a state of negative energy balance and lose fat.
This seems great to lose fat and many people will be happy to be able to achieve this.
However, there is a side-effect that comes along with losing fat. The side-effect is that the body tries to adapt the metabolism so that it can reduce the calorie deficit.
This is because losing weight is something that the body does not like to do. This is because the body has adapted to use fat stores so that we can survive situations like famines.
That is the reason we don’t want to just focus on losing fat but focus on preserving our metabolic health as well so that we can avoid complications later.
This means that once you are in a calorie deficit, the number of calories that your body burns while at rest also reduced.
Thermic effect of food means the number of calories that your body burns to eat, digest, and absorb food.
Since you will be consuming lesser calories as part of a calorie deficit, the thermic effect of food is also lowered.
Spontaneous activity is the non-exercise activity that your body performs.
This includes activities like walking, going to the bathroom, reading, moving your legs, etc.
When you lower your calories, the body also lowers the spontaneous activity levels so you burn lesser calories.
As a result of a calorie deficit, the size of your body will decrease.
This will lower the number of calories that are burned when you exercise since it costs less energy to move a lighter body.
When you are just coming out from a calorie deficit phase, your mind will want you to eat more food and so will your body.
And the bad thing is that it’s easy to gain more fat during this phase because the body naturally wants to do that.
So the worst thing you can do is to start eating lots of calories as this will make you gain lots of fat.
Instead, you should increase your calories gradually so that you can reach to your normal levels of eating without gaining too much fat.
As part of reverse dieting, you will be able to gradually increase your calories.
This means you will be able to eat more food though you need to avoid eating too much food.
You can eat more at social events or add more tasty foods to your meal plan.
And you won’t suffer from hunger pangs or cravings.
When you are in a calorie deficit and are training hard, you tend to lose energy and focus.
Once you are back to eating more food, your energy levels will increase and you will feel good about it.
When you are in a calorie deficit, you have to stress on the types of foods that you eat.
This is because you will get worried about gaining the fat back again and so want to be very careful of the food that you eat.
Once you begin reverse dieting, you don’t need to worry much about the food that you are eating and whether they will make you fat.
Being in a calorie deficit may cause you to lose strength even if you have done everything correctly.
This also means that you will strain yourself mentally and physically when at the gym.
With reverse dieting, you will start gaining your strength back again and start enjoying your workouts once more.
Now that you know about reverse dieting and the benefits that it can provide you, let’s have a look at how you can begin reverse dieting.
Strength training with heavy weights will help increase the number of calories you burn after your workout.
Strength training will also increase your muscle mass and that will help increase your body’s basal metabolic rate.
Note that strength training should ideally include a lot of heavy compound movements to get the maximum benefit.
A high protein diet is a very crucial factor when it comes to gaining and preserving muscle.
Check out how protein can help you build muscle.
It is recommended that you consume at least around 1 gram protein per pound of body weight when you are on a reverse diet.
Start the first week by increasing your calories by 150. Then for the next week add another 150 calories to your total food intake.
For example, if you end up at 2000 calories after a cut then increase your calories to 2150 the first week. The next week you can increase your calories to 2300.
Continue this way till you reach your expected TDEE.
While you need to eat lots of nutritious foods, you don’t need to limit yourself to just those.
You can also include foods that you like into your meal plans when you are reverse dieting as long as you can hit all your macros and calorie needs.
Of course, a major portion of your foods should still be foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, nuts, whole grains, etc. but also remember to add some things that you enjoy.
Reverse dieting can also be used for what is called as clean bulking.
Once you reach your TDEE and continue increasing the calories by 150 every week, your body will not begin to go into a calorie surplus.
This will create the ideal condition for your body to build strength and muscle when you workout with heavy weights at the gym.
Note that you will also gain a little bit of fat as you gain muscle on a clean bulk. However, this fat gain will be minimal as you are increasing your calories by a very small amount.
I hope you now know what reverse dieting is and the benefits it can provide.
Basically, it will help you maintain your body composition once you have achieved your weight loss goals by improving your metabolic health.
If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.
If you found this post useful, please share and subscribe below: