What is Reverse Dieting and why you might need it.
You've probably heard of dieting but have you heard of reverse dieting?
Reverse diet is an eating plan that involves gradually increasing your calories over a period of several weeks or months to boost your metabolism and ultimately burn more calories throughout the day.
That might sound scary to many of you who have been on a weight loss journey and have been in a calorie deficit for some time. "Increasing calories? Won't that just cause me to gain weight?" Not necessarily! When done properly, reverse dieting can actually result in losing weight and getting leaner all while enjoying more food. That doesn't sound too bad does it?
Picture this, you've been dieting for several months and have lost 20 pounds. You're feeling good with the weight loss but are hungry because you've had to reduce your calories so low in order to lose the weight. So you eat more food since you've met your goal. Suddenly the weight starts to creep back on and the scale begins to rise. This pattern happens SO often and one big reason why is,
When you reduce calories and your body size shrinks, your metabolism eventually slows. That means if you're eating a 1200 calorie diet for too long, you create a 1200 calorie metabolism. Eating anything over that number will cause your body to store the extra calories rather than burn them because you've created a metabolism that runs off 1200 calories.
Reverse dieting is on way to prevent this yo-yo dieting pattern from happening. Slowly, intentionally, and strategically adding the right number of calories over time, can help maintain fat loss while increasing metabolism.
You might be wondering why you can't just come out of a diet phase and back to eating normally without gaining weight. Some people actually can if they haven't been in a diet phase for too long. However, many people who have been dieting have been dieting for FAR too long. This can lead to metabolic adaption. As mentioned above, when you eat at a lower calorie intake for a longer duration of time, you create a lower burning metabolism. That means your body doesn't need as many calories to maintain weight as it once did.
So you need to fix this by reverse dieting which helps to raise BMR (basil metabolic rate or base number of calories you need to survive), increases your workout capacity, and helps to support digestion (metabolic adaption leads to slowed digestion).
So who needs to reverse diet?
Not everyone who's dieted needs to go through a reverse diet. Some can safely come out of a deficit and go back to their maintenance calorie number. Here's a few situations where reverse dieting might be beneficial, - You've been eating under your maintenance calories for more than 16 weeks
- You're eating at or below your BMR and want to lose more weight - you can't safely reduce calories
- You've hit a plateau
- You met your physique goals and want to eat more food
- Every time you try to increase your calories, you gain weight
The tricky part of reverse dieting is that it should be a very slow process and many people have been in a deficit for so long they are very fearful of adding in more calories. This is why it might be a good idea to find a coach to help you guide you through the process so that you have a healthy, positive experience.
If you're wondering if reverse dieting might benefit you, or needing any assistance in reaching your goals, let's chat! Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss what might be best for you!