Reverse dieting is mainly used in the fitness industry. A common approach for fitness enthusiasts and athletes to gain muscle and size by gradually increasing their calories. In other words, it’s the act of going in to a calorie surplus. Many fitness folk also like to do a reverse diet after being in a calorie deficit. Perhaps they had to diet hard for a show and now want to slowly introduce more food back in to their diet without gaining a load of fat.
So, how do go about doing it?
The Benefits Of Reverse Dieting
Low-calorie, restrictive diets generally slow down your metabolism. Your body goes in to starvation mode to survive and focusses on your main organs instead. It ensures you stay alive longer by reducing how quickly it burns foods.
- You Get to Eat More – more calories means more food!
- Reduced Hunger and Fatigue – as you’re now getting to eat more, you’re fuelling your body better so you won’t feel as tired.
The Drawbacks Of Reverse Dieting
Of course, like anything, if you’re eating in a calorie surplus, you will gain some fat. Even if it’s not very much, it’s inevitable. If you do it in a controlled way, increasing your calories slowly, week by week, you shouldn’t gain too much fat.
However, if you aren’t eating nutritious foods, or you go all out eating everything, you will gain fat! You still need to be eating a well balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables.
How To Do A Successful Reverse Diet
If you do decide to give reverse dieting a go, follow these tips to ensure you have a successful experience.
How Many Calories You need a Day
Start off by working out the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. You can do this through tracking your food in an app such as My Fitness Pal. Weigh yourself every day, track your food every day and see whether your eight is going up, down, or staying roughly the same.
Increase Calories In Small Increments
Once you know your maintenance calories, you can start to increase your calories a little each week. For example, if you start off by eating 1500 calories a day at your maintenance, you can add 100 calories a day for the next week and see how you go.
If after the first week, the scale hasn’t shot up, add another 100 calories the following week. You want to be aiming to increase your calories by around 100 each week.
Track Your Daily Intake
While doing a reverse diet, you will need to be tracking ALL your food and drink on a daily basis. This will help you keep a handle on how well you’re sticking to your new calorie goals.
You need to be as accurate as possible in your tracking, so use a food scale where you can. Also, don’t forget to include things such as – oils, spreads, alcoholic drinks, tea/coffee. It all adds up!
We hope you found this article interesting and informative. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.
The Fitness Focus Team.