Learn How To Use Reverse Dieting by Kris Gethin
Have you been dieting for what feels like an eternity only to run into that dreaded plateau? Adaptations like this will always occur as the body tries to maintain homeostasis.
Initially, your metabolism will slow down which will cause fat loss to become harder to achieve. As well as that, you might start to notice other unwanted side effects of a slowing metabolism such as feeling cold, poor energy levels, the loss of your libido and of course weak performance levels.
This is all bad news for any athlete who’s intent on training hard and getting in awesome shape.
The scary bit is that once you hit this stage you might be too afraid to make changes because you’ve lost perspective on where you’re headed.
To avoid going into a frenzied period of weight gain after your long diet you need to have a smart plan, which is how reverse dieting can help you.
What Is Reverse Dieting?
As the name suggests reverse dieting means that you gradually increase your calories in small increments over time.
When you started your diet you didn’t just go from point A to the point you’re at now, you gradually tapered down your calories.
Maybe before you began your diet, you were taking in 3000 calories a day. After month 1 maybe this dropped down to 2500 calories. Another month on, you took it down to 2200 calories. From there, it went down to 1900 before pushing it to your lowest point of 1700 calories a day.
The goal is to now get back up to 3,000 calories in a format which allows your metabolism to play catch-up, so that you don’t gain loads of weight really quickly.
With reverse dieting, you have to do the process slowly. The first week, you might bump up to 1800 calories. A week after that provided you’re not getting fat you try 1900 calories.
It’s an on-going process where you always have to evaluate how things are going. Is your fat gain happening too quickly? Then you need to let your metabolism have longer to adapt to your increased calories, slow down!
Slowly but surely, your body will begin to adjust to the increased fuel coming in and your metabolism will start to speed up in time.
The Benefits Of Reverse Dieting
Here are the benefits of reverse dieting, plain and simple…
The first thing is that you get to avoid unwanted weight gain which is so common after a long period of dieting. Just look at competitors who are 25-30lbs up on their stage weight just 1 month later because they’ve gone overboard with their calories.
Secondly you won’t suffer with the usual gastric pains and issues, because your gut has time to adapt. When you go down to say under 100g of carbs per day your enzymes which breakdown carbs are down regulated. When you suddenly surge your carbs upwards your gut cannot cope and you get a lot of bloating.
Reverse dieting allows your body to slowly build back up those enzymes as you get used to the higher intake, over a time-phased plan.
Psychologically reverse dieting is also really good because its very hard to see yourself go from your leanest ever to carrying lots of excess weight inside a month. You avoid this mental challenge with reverse dieting.
Reverse dieting allows you to take things slowly, experiencing minimal changes to your physique in the process. This helps keep you mentally sane.
Making Reverse Dieting Work For You
So now that you know the benefits of reverse dieting, how do you go about applying it in your program?
Here are the steps to take.
1. To start with increase your carbohydrate intake slightly for the first week. Please note that the lower your calorie intake was, the more moderate this increase needs to be. A good starting point would be to increase your calorie intake by around 5%, with those calories coming strictly from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates increase the hormone Leptin more than proteins and fats and at this point, your suppressed metabolic rate will be heavily linked suppressed Leptin levels.
2. Start evaluating. After the first week, check out your results. The chances are you have not seen any body fat gain – although you may have experienced slight water weight gain within your muscles.
3. Go again and increase your calorie intake by another 5%. This time, focus on adding a mixture of fats and carbs rather than carbs alone. Your protein is likely to be high enough because it never went low during your diet so you don’t need not worry about this macronutrient as you increase your calories.
4. Evaluate some more. After the second week, check your weight and body fat again. Have any changes happened? If not, increase again by a similar margin.
5. Continue alternating these steps, week by week until you see your body fat increase. If it increases too quickly, stop adding more calories and keep your intake constant for another week.
6. Once you stabilize, you can increase again the following week. If you see another increase then you might need to pull back and consider this your “maintenance” level.
If you don’t have access to an accurate means of testing your body composition , you’ll have to simply go by the weighing scales, measurements, as well as how you look in the mirror. Always keep in mind that during this process it can lead to some water retention, so be sure it’s actual fat you’re gaining and not just water weight.
There you have the details you need to know about reverse dieting. If you’re at the end of a prolonged dieting phase and don’t want to get that unwanted rebound, this is the strategy for you.
To stabilize this process further it would be wise to focus on staying super hydrated with Hydra Charge and adding extra BCAAs to prop up your anabolic drive, so you’re not losing muscle tissue.