Why a Second Reverse Diet? Sometimes you Have to Go Backwards to Move Forward

I’m trying to get to a point where I am at most 20% body fat.  That’s the goal. I want to have a lower than normal percentage of body fat, and I want to maintain it eating real food – and a normal amount of it. 

I don’t want to starve and I don’t want to be doing high amounts of cardio, period.  Between you and me, I hate cardio, so running for 2-3 hours a day, it’s just not in the cards.

I completed my first reverse diet at the end of January.  At that time, I was reversing out of Keto.  So I went from 20-30g of total carbs a day (The USDA recommends 300g a day) to 225g over a period of 5 months.  In the process, I had gained 27 lbs.

 

Reverse-dieting reverse-dieting
 
Why did I gain so much weight?  In hindsight, because I was coming from such a low carbohydrate consumption, I should have stopped earlier than I did.  When I saw I was gaining massive amounts of weight (when I transitioned about 150g carbs), I should have stopped, held, dieted and then reversed again.

Secondly, I have seen reports of people gaining massive amounts of weight when they begin adding carbs into their diet.  But I thought since I was adding slowly, that I wouldn’t have that massive weight gain problem.

Wrong.

You live and you learn.

Third, I don’t think I was eating the carbs at the right time.  I should have been timing them better.  Instead I was fasting.  I think if I was timing them better, I would have gotten better results (less weight gain and more muscle).

It’s a learning process.

I did build my butt, which was one of the major goals of this reverse…so, it’s not all bad.  I did get some very good things from it (see below).

After my reverse, I began dieting again.  I stayed carb adapted, lowered my carbs and fat.

At the end of this, I was 28.1% body fat.
 
flexible-dieting
 
There were a lot of major changes.  I got more definition in my abs.  My hips got smaller.  I got more muscle tone – but I didn’t see a lot of actual weight loss.  What I saw was a lot of muscle growth and a lot of body fat loss.

Those three months were spent recomping (losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time). 

At the end of this 3 months, I was 22.9% body fat.

So, yeah, you can’t knock my efforts.  Even though I didn’t actually achieve weight loss, I achieved something better – fat loss.  My level of visceral fat decreased from 8-6 (fat around my organs).  My total body fat decreased, and I got stronger.

Now, I want to go one step more – take it my body fat down to at least 20%, if not, maybe a bit lower – and increase muscle.

 

Reverse Diet 2

Since I had been dieting a while, I felt that my body needed a break.  Training hard and being on a severe caloric deficit – it’s taxing mentally and physically.  You have to track meticulously, and adhere to a calorie deficient diet.  So, that’s where the second  reverse diet.  It gives me a head break by giving me more carbs and calories to work with.  It gives me the ability to grow some real muscle, if I use the carbs and calories to my benefit.  It also helps to improve my metabolism.

This way, when I cut, I’m hoping to lose weight, lose fat, and maintain my muscle mass.

I added carbs at about 25g per week from 130g to 300g of carbs a day.
 
reverse-diet reverse-dieting This is after a month of reverse dieting.  I got to about 270g of carbs, and have gained about 3 lbs (pictures on the right).  It looks like I have a bit more definition in my abs, and my legs have been reshaped!

 

It Takes Time

It’s taking some time.  Probably by the time I’m done, a bit more than a year.  But I am slowly inching to the place I want to be.

But I don’t think we should run from things that take a lot of time.  For me, the time spent and effort made, is more than worth it, if I am able to maintain my 150-160 lbs. weight loss.  I wouldn’t have traded-in any of my experiences.  With each and every thing I have gone through, I have gained experience and knowledge – that will help someone else.

I feel like I can easily maintain this muscle mass and fat loss doing a reasonable amount of exercise (which I really like doing) and enjoying a reasonable amount of food.
 

Lisa
<muscle-up-meals
About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

Comments

  1. Lisa, sometimes women can take their body fat percentage *too* low and mess up their hormones, but I don’t know at what point that happens. I’m sure you know all about it. Wishing you all the best! #MMBH
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