The Cycle of Weight loss and Weight Gain without proper Reverse Dieting.. constant Yo-Yo results!
The Importance of Reverse Dieting Post Weight Loss
The phrase “Reverse Dieting” has created a buzz in the body building world. People are talking about this because many competitors lean down for a show and look great, but within a week post show they have gained 10-20lbs. Then many struggle with losing the excess weight gain. This is due to improper nutrition after a show and not rebuilding their food intake slowly. Reverse dieting does not only apply to competitors; it can be used to help anyone who has done extreme dieting to lose weight. Have you ever began a diet and lost 10-20 lbs, only to regain it when you resume normal eating habits? Popular crash diets are known to have this affect, only to leave people back at square one. Let me tell you a little bit about Reverse Dieting and its benefits to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle post weight loss.
What is Reverse Dieting and Why Should you do it?
During most weight loss programs, diet and exercise can place increased amounts of stress on the body. Decreased calories and increased cardio can take a toll on our hormones and metabolism. After weeks of strenuous exercise and a calorie deficit (Calories out are greater than calories in) our metabolism begins to adjust and slow down because of these changes. Our body is very smart and adaptable. With the lowered calories our metabolism “wises-up” and realizes it should slow down to help the body preserve energy. Once this happens any sudden influx in calories for an extended period of time may cause the body to retain fat. Even though our bodies are adaptable, the actual process of slowing and speeding up the metabolism takes time. For this reason, a sudden decrease in calories and increase in exercise will lead to weight loss, but overtime the body will adjust. So when a individual is done dieting, the metabolism has typically reached a slower state and for this reason Reverse Dieting is essential.
After prolonged calorie deficit one can not return to a “normal” diet without slowly rebuilding calories. This can take 4-5 weeks before you are able to eat a more substantial meal plan. If you suddenly increase all of your macros (protein, fats and carbs) the body may not be able to adapt appropriately. The increase can cause weight gain and possible disruption of the hormones. (We call this “Post-Diet Rebound”). If this occurs, it can take weeks or even months before the body has a chance to recover and find balance. This does not mean that a few meals will cause rebound, but continued intake of foods above your previous calories/macros could cause sudden weight gain that may have been preventable.
So What Does Reverse Dieting Entail?
Reverse Dieting involves slowly increasing calories/macros every week, which allows the body to adjust. You can increase fats and carbohydrates in small increments on alternating weeks while monitoring your body’s response. This process may help prevent excess weight gain. Reverse dieting can take a few weeks depending on your body’s reaction. This can be a difficult process, especially if you do not feel like your body needs to ease back into post diet eating. Rest assure that keeping your body healthy will make the post- weight loss transition much easier.
Don’t let post- diet binging get the best of you!