If you are "blessed" with my average to slow job like me and the majority of the earth's population, you probably thought of tearing at least once in your life. Fortunately, you can easily find abundant amounts of information about fat loss there. Many mouse clicks and simple Google search separates you from countless books and articles that will teach you how to eat properly, how to count calories, macros, etc. A whole series of YouTube gurus will eagerly explain in detail the principles of fat loss essentially good repeat old rules:
- If you eat more calories than you spend, you will gain weight
- If you eat less than maintenance, you'll lose it
- Your body composition is highly dependent on macronutrient levels
However, what if you have already reached the goal of fat loss? Or what if the metabolism slowed because of a strong diet? The trick that can solve these issues is called a reverse diet. I did not find a simple and comprehensive article on this topic, so this is my attempt to create it.
Well, he follows a diet in the opposite direction: instead of slowly lowering daily / weekly calories, you will gradually add them. When should this food strategy be implemented? First of all, it is helpful to return yourself to calories for maintenance while reducing fat increase after the fat loss phase ends. You have to understand that our body always strives for balance. The more calories you lose, the more weight you gain. As with anything in life, your impatience will be punished. If you add too many calories too early, or if you change the daily meal plan of calories and macronutrients dramatically, you will recover large amounts of fat. So, instead of following a foolish path, you can train your patience a bit more and implement a reverse diet approach.
Secondly, a reverse diet is a great remedy to slow down metabolism. You may be in a situation when you cut your calories too early and as a result, you feel still all the time. Your energy levels are low, and you feel like an old man trying to stand from his seat while squatting with an empty bar. In the worst case, your blood pressure is low, you have constant headaches, and you can fall unconscious. So, instead of blaming your diet for your mistakes and returning to the old dietary approach to eating food (gaining more fat than you had), you can implement an inverse diet and feel comfortable again with the possibility of burning some fat.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised that gradually adding calories is effective not only to reduce fat gain, but to burn some fat as well. This may seem counter-intuitive and similar to some kind of voodoo charm, but it's a fact. To prove my words, let me give you a screenshot of your body chart in MyFitnessPal:
With a red arrow, I marked a point when I started to gradually increase calories on a weekly basis. If you're attentive enough, you'll notice that despite the fact that I was eating more and more, I was still slowly losing body weight while I was smaller and lighter. In case you were wondering, I was consuming 3,000 calories a day in the last week of this chart. Interestingly, I started this fat loss phase with 2600 calories per day. I'll leave all the conclusion to you here.
I have come across several ways to reverse a diet on Interwebs. The person you have successfully implemented is this:
- Say, you have finished the fat loss phase at 2400 calories a day;
- Add 100 calories to your daily number and be there for a week (2500 calories per day in this case);
- Then add another 100 calories and stay there for another week (2600 calories a day in this case);
- Then you can use increments of 150 calories until you reach maintenance (again, stay with your number for at least a week; in this case, 2750 calories a day for a week, then 2900 calories a day for a week, etc.).
- If your goal is to increase muscle mass, you can continue with an increase of 150 calories until you quickly stabilize weight gain from 0.5 to 1 kg per month.
Any method of calculating calories will only work if you are accurate with your numbers. Yes, that means taking everything into account. That will require discipline, but the results are worth it. Moreover, once calorie counting is usually made, it takes less than 5 minutes a day and can give you some kind of sinister pleasure (if you know what I mean).
I would suggest you stick to one meal a week. This will give you perfect results. However, during the fat loss phase in the picture above, I did some crazy things like several days of straight cheating. In fact, allow me to view another screenshot and you will see how my body responded:
Through the red arrows, I highlighted what happened to my body weight after these cheating days. As you can see, if you want to have a smooth fat loss experience, having several days to cheat in a row may not be the best idea. However, it seems that my activity system was so harsh, that these cheating days made no difference in the long run.
Finally, if you can't stick to a set number of daily calories for some reason, or make your complex life bring you some kind of perverted pleasure, focus on calories and weekly macros instead of daily. This way you will receive the illusion of freedom while still making these gains.
Reverse diet is a small useful tool in your nutrition arsenal. Use it to squeeze everything you can out of the fat loss phase. Thanks for reading.
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