Are you tired of the low calorie diet you’ve been on for MONTHS? Your weight loss has plateaued and you’re getting nowhere, it’s time to come up with a reverse dieting plan. The irony of eating less but not losing weight is confusing! In this post I am going to give you the low down on Reverse dieting. Reverse dieting is the solution to kick starting your metabolism and hormones to help you get past those last 5lbs. YES, you can eat more AND lose weight simultaneously, are you ready to find out how?
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Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
What is a reverse diet?
First things first, Reverse dieting is exactly how it sounds! When you go on a diet to lose fat, you slowly decrease calories until you stop seeing progress, then decrease again. Likewise, for reverse dieting, if you have plateaued and are already eating a low amount of calories. Or you have reached your goal weight and want to increase calorie to maintenance WITHOUT a lot of fat gain. Increasing calories slowly each week until you reach your desired calorie consumption is reverse dieting. Typically, one will increase 50-100 calories every week depending on the rate of progress.
How to know if reverse dieting is for you
reverse dieting is needed when you check off all or a few of the following boxes!
- You have finished a dieting phase are want to increase calories
- Your body has plateaued in weight loss and your calories are already low (<1500)
- Hormonal health issues such as light or missing periods
- Sleep issues, poor skin/hair, digestive issues
- Putting on weight despite not changing your diet
Reverse dieting is for those who want to improve their health after being in a long dieting phase and are reaping the repercussions of low calories. I personally have gone through one reverse diet last year and I am so happy I did! My metabolism increased and I am able to maintain healthy hormone levels without needing excess fat. You want your body to feel safe by taking it out of calorie restriction and eating enough to maintain bodily functions.
How does reverse dieting work?
Counting macros is the best way to go about reverse dieting as you can keep track of your progress. I do not track calories as that does not serve me anymore, however, I counted macros when I was reverse dieting. For those who are unaware, Macros are:
- Proteins – contains 4 calories per gram
- carbohydrates – contains 4 calories per gram
- fats -contains 9 calories per gram
Moving on to the “how to”! If you are aware of how many calories/macros you are consuming per day, your reverse dieting journey will look something like this (example):
You finish your diet at 1500 calories per day and are now ready to start increaseing food. Every week, increase your calories (using carbs and fats) by about 100 calories per day. You may see your weight go up slightly, or go down! Wait until your weight stabalizes until you increase calories by another 100 per day.
If you have no idea how many calories/ macros you are consuming per day, before you do the above steps I would like you to just track your calories and macros for 2 weeks prior to starting the process. That way you will build a starting foundation before starting your reverse.
Use a food tracking calculator to do this, when I tracked food I really liked my fitness pal because it was simple and straight forward! There are loads of others out there as well such as life sum, lose it, etc.
It’s not all or nothing with reverse dieting!
The all or nothing mindset is a horrible place to be in because that is the place where you yo yo diet! I went through phases of weight cycling before I found my happy medium with intuitive eating! However, I would not have made it to a healthy place without having tracked macros and reverse dieting.
All or nothing will sabotage your progress during your diet and after. Therefore, make this phase of your journey maintainable!
Make time to go out to eat with friends and family
fit in a few treats here or there
Have an intuitive day if tracking feels too stressful
Do what you need to do to make reverse dieting fit your life style so that you can adhere to the reverse dieting plan you have set for yourself with ease.
How reverse dieting can benefit your health
Diets or low calories meal plans sabotage your health is a couple of ways:
Metabolism: Being on a low amount of calories will decrease your metabolism. This is called metabolic adaptation and will make weight loss harder the longer you stay on a diet. Your body adapts to its surrounding, for good reason, survival. However, that makes those last 5 lbs a little harder to lose.
Hormone balance: Dieting is a stressor for the body. When stress (chronic stress) is high for a long period of time, cortisol will continually be released. Cortisol is your stress hormone and the one who will keep you in a “fight or flight mode”. Cortisol is known for storing fat in the midsection so if you notice your belly has not lose weight, it is likely your cortisol levels are too high.
Stress not only puts cortisol levels out of whack! Females in particular can experience menstrual issues or loss of period due to a stressful environment!
What to do after reverse dieting
What to do after your reverse dieting plan is over? Thats simple, NEVER GET YOUR CALORIES THAT LOW AGAIN! IF you are not a bikini competitor, there is zero reason for you to be going on a diet that shoots your metabolism and hormone levels. It’s not healthy and not a sustainable approach.
I believe fitness and health is a lifestyle, your body is a by-product of that lifestyle! Just live your life in balance, follow some of my helpful tips to lose weight and keep it off for life and live your happy life without worrying about calories and macros!
Did you find this helpful? let me know in the comments bellow <3