Why You Should Consider A Reverse Diet in the New Year


What is a reverse diet?

A reverse diet is the opposite of a normal diet. In normal dieting you are cutting calories, maybe doing a lot of cardio in hopes of losing weight.  With reverse diet, you are slowly adding calories back, maybe weight and resistance training, hoping to do one of many things; build muscle, increase your metabolism, better your body composition, maintain your weight loss, or come out of low carb or low fat diets.


Why would I want to reverse diet?

There is a lot of reasons why one would want to reverse diet and it’s not just for bodybuilders or body competitors.

You can use this principle while dieting or after dieting to better your results!

It’s for anybody who wants to maintain their weight loss, and not yo-yo up again.  If you are on a low-carb or low-fat diet, and want to better balance your macros, a reverse diet is for you.

If you are in the midst of a big weight loss, you can use the principles of reverse dieting yearly to protect your metabolism, reduce the chances of bingeing from being at a calorie deficit for long periods of time, give your body a break from constantly being at a caloric deficit, and get to your goal easier and more smoothly – eating whole foods!

What’s better than that?


How you reverse diet is really determined by your goals.  For me personally,  I had reached a point in my weight loss where it was impossible for me to lose additional weight.  I was eating 1,350 calories a day.  I was doing a lot of cardio, not 3-hours a day, but a lot.  Maybe an hour. 

I had plateaued.

I wanted to get a bit leaner.  I wanted more definition in my abs, and I wanted to lose a bit more weight – maybe 5-10 lbs.

It was impossible for me to accomplish these goals.  Why?  My metabolism had slowed to meet my caloric intake of 1,350 calories while doing the cardio.  So to lose additional weight, I would have to either: one, eat less food, or two, do more cardio.  I was unwilling to do either.

When I tried exercising more, I started to gain weight from the stress of the caloric deficit and the excessive exercise. 

Not good.

So I thought, if I gave my body a break, built muscle (which increases metabolism), I would be able to get to where I wanted to be eating more food and doing less cardio.  With my reverse diet, I wanted to gain muscle and increase my metabolism.

At the time I was living the ketogenic lifestyle, which is an ultra low-carb, high-fat lifestyle. I liked it.  But in order to build significant muscle, I would have to increase my carbs and calories significantly.

So, over the course of 3 months, I incrementally increased my carbs, decreased my fats, decreased my cardio, and increased my weight and resistance training.

Once I reached about 2,000 calories a day and 200-250g of carbs a day, I held that for 2.5-3 months time.

At this time my metabolism is churning with the new muscle, so when I cut, I will be able to get a bit leaner and get to my goals.

Going backwards

Going backwards is scary.  It’s hard losing 160 lbs. and thinking about going back.  There are a lot of unknowns.  You don’t know how your body will react.  You don’t want to regain weight that you worked so hard to lose.

I get it.

This reverse diet took me longer because I was scared in the beginning.

Yes, I have regained weight – about 16 lbs. of it.  I have regained weight because I added back carbs.  With carbs comes water, and a lot of it.  Also, I have probably regained some fat, but tried to minimize that fat gain with smart weight/ resistance training and episodic rest.

Am I stronger?  Most definitely.

I think I have accomplished what I set out to do.

How can I use the reverse diet in my dieting regimen?

In my opinion, this is the power of the reverse diet.  If you are patient and can see the bigger picture, this is where the power lies.

For someone like me who had a lot to lose, the reverse diet is an extremely powerful tool to getting down the scale effectively.

Just imagine dieting only 8 months out of the year.

The other 4 months, you are reverse dieting.  Those 4-months, you are incrementally increasing your calories to 2,000 calories a day, why? To repair your metabolism from the constant caloric deficit that you carry the rest of the year.  You rebuild your metabolism to get a more effective weight loss the other parts of the year.

With the proper training regimen, you have more muscle, you look better, you feel better, and you  will not be bingeing.

You will get there sooner, with less drama, eating whole foods.  No frozen sodium filled processed foods and no meal replacements. 

It’s a better way to live and you will have more success, not only in the short-term with your diet, but in the longer term with your maintenance.  Isn’t that what it’s about?  Maintaining your weight loss?  Who wants to lose 75-150 lbs. and rebound up? 

I wouldn’t.

I would rather have a little work and get in that bikini and look fantastic!

Are you so tired of the dieting run around with expensive shakes  and pills and lotions and potions that don’t work?

Are you interested in learning more about how you can use reverse dieting to get to your goal?



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

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