You may have heard of reverse dieting before and there are several reasons that someone would make the decision to reverse diet.
If anyone has been calorie and macro counting for awhile to lose weight and body fat, it can be a good idea to dedicate some time to reverse dieting to help hormones, metabolism, and overall energy.
It can be effective because it allows you to eat more rather than being restrictive with your nutrition which can in turn lead to other positive effects.
Recommended Reading: HIIT vs. LISS Cardio
The Complete Guide to Reverse Dieting
What Is Reverse Dieting?
Reverse Dieting is focusing on slowing increasing your caloric intake.
Due to most diets being restrictive and in a caloric deficit in order for you to lose weight, over time your metabolism will slow down and eventually adapt to the fewer calories that you are consuming.
When we slowly start to increase your calories again through reverse dieting, your metabolism can start to increase again and has more fuel to do so.
The Benefits of Reverse Dieting
As mentioned before, there are several benefits to reverse dieting.
The most common one is increasing your metabolism so that ultimately you can eat more, you have more energy, and hormones can also play in harmony.
Other reverse diet benefits include:
- Preventing Cravings
- More Flexibility
- Mental Break from Dieting
- Better Performance
Many bodybuilding competitors will use this after a show, to help come back to their maintenance calories and increase their metabolism in a safe way.
Returning from a show and choosing to jump right into what used to be your maintenance calories can cause other side effects that some refer to as 'rebounding'.
Indigestion, bloating, rapid weight gain, and more of what we don't want.
What you need before you start your reverse diet journey
Before you start a reverse diet journey, you need to see if it would be beneficial for you in the first place.
Some questions to ask yourself before jumping in are:
- How long have you been in a caloric deficit?
- Are you still seeing results in current deficit or have you plateaued?
- How are your energy levels on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being really high.
- Do you typically have a lot of cravings during the day or never feeling fully satisfied?
If you can answer these questions, and feel that your current caloric intake is not helping you with these areas, it might be time to plan a reverse diet.
For a reverse diet you may want to consider having someone there who understands this goal and to help keep you on track. It's incredibly easy to get off track when you have more to work with and freedom with your food intake.
Having a clear goal and plan in place will help to ensure you do this successfully.
How long will it take me to reach my goal with Reverse Dieting?
With reverse dieting, the timing will vary from person to person.
Factors to consider are how much you will need to increase your caloric intake, how your body responds, and what your end goal is or results you are looking for.
Typically you want to increase your caloric intake by 50-100 calories every 1-2 weeks.
Your training will also play a factor into this.
You will want to try and keep your training to the same intensity that you did before in order to burn around the same amount of calories while you increase your intake.
The good news is that with the extra intake of calories, you should have more energy for your workouts too if done the right way.
While I can't give an exact time frame, most will typically do this for 1-2 months and reevaluate where they are at. Then make the best decision from there.
Think it's time for you to Reverse Diet? We can help!
Reverse dieting doesn't have to be complicated, overwhelming, or scary.
We know that you ultimately don't want to loose the progress you have made, but also want to keep your health a top priority too.
Reverse dieting can be a great option for those who have been dieting for awhile and those who have just competed and need some normalcy back in their life again for their next goal.
If this is you, please schedule a free 15 minute consultation to chat more about your goals and what you will need.