Reverse Dieting: The Post-Diet Plan To Avoid Regaining Lost Weight


There are many existing diet plans that people could choose to lose weight. But losing weight is not the biggest challenge as it is avoiding weight regain after a restricted diet. Recently, reverse dieting has gained popularity as the post-diet plan that helps avoid regaining weight by eating more.

Although not in the sense of binge eating, instead of gradually increasing calorie intake from a low-calorie diet plan back to your original pre-diet way of eating. 

The gradual increase in calorie intake will allow the body and metabolism to adjust to avoid regaining the weight you have lost throughout your diet. However, there is no scientific evidence showing that reverse dieting really works as its advocates claim.

Reverse dieting: Do I want to reverse my diet?

Reverse diet is usually heard in the bodybuilding and competitive weightlifting communities that describe a period after a restricted-calorie diet in which you slowly increase calories back to pre-diet levels. Athletes in this community can recover their metabolisms and increase calorie intake by doing weekly assessments and body fat tracking when doing reverse dieting.

Reverse dieting is based on the theory that the metabolism of an athlete adapts to function well during prolonged periods of restricted calorie diet. Their body can operate at lower energy expenditure and burn few calories, but if the proper post diet plan is not implemented, the body will store those extra calories and become fat.

Maintaining an extremely low-calorie intake for so long could be not sustainable and could have adverse health effects. This could not be good for long-term health, happiness, and function.

Reverse dieting may also be implemented to increase the body’s metabolic capacity and stretch its ability to take in calories while also maintaining body weight. 

It could also give some people the confidence to return to their pre-diet way of eating or help them slowly move out of restricted dieting. According to this method’s advocates, reverse dieting could help solve appetite and cravings as additional food can be included as the number of calories and food eaten is increased.

However, Science Alert reported that although fewer cravings could help maintain weight, no scientific evidence has shown that slowly reintroducing more foods is effective. 

Read Also: Losing Weight? Experts Say Timing Your Meals is the Best Way

Steps to reverse dieting

Although every individual’s needs and metabolism are different, the general formula for reverse dieting is just the same and simple, according to Building Muscle. 

Step one in reverse dieting is to have a plan ready to be implemented immediately after the restricted diet. Set a peak week wherein you return to the calories and macronutrient breakdown you followed before the peak week. Then, introduce a small calorie increase by eating foods rich in carbohydrates.

Assess body weight and fat every week and remain consistent with the timing, like doing it first thing in the morning just before food or liquid intake.

If body fat increases, remain it constant for a week before deciding to increase it further. After two weeks, if it continues to increase, pull back for a while, and find your maintenance.

Lastly, make small body fat increases to keep dietary fats at a healthy level.

Read More: Fight Climate Change While Eating This Eco-Friendly Diet

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