Reverse dieting for finding your maintainence calories...question

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I decided that I want to gradually add in calories to find my maintenance (reverse diet) versus just jumping to what I think my maintenance calories are. That being said, I have a question...

When I add in calories, say, 100 calories to start off with, how long is a reasonable time to assess whether or not that I need to add or subtract from that amount to find my maintenance intake? For instance, if I add in 100 calories, should I stay at that calorie intake for a week? 2 weeks? 1 month? When can I safety assume that the weight has stabilized.

I'm asking because as I understand it, an increase in weight can happen once I incorporate more calories, but that its not true weight gain, but rather, something to do with glycogen storage or something similar (I'm not an expert in this, but I keep seething things of this general sense pop up on the threads). So, what is a reasonable time to give my body time to stabilize so I can truly assess if I need to add or subtract calories and find my maintenance?

While I know how to lose weight, finding my maintenance cals is a mystery I'm trying to understand now as I'm quickly approaching goal.

Thanks!

Replies

  • Luna3386
    Luna3386 Posts: 888 Member
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    You could probably add in 100 every week at the beginning, and then every 2-4 weeks. A lot of people wait until the scale has stabilized before adding more. If you aren't already, I would use a weight trend app.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
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    If you are "quickly approaching goal" then you can start adding calories now.
  • Rusty740
    Rusty740 Posts: 749 Member
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    I did what you are doing. Adding back 100 every week. I kept losing for two weeks, then I added a little more than that until I maintained. It took about 4 weeks total. I think that's a pretty quick turnaround. You'll have to watch it and adjust.
  • kaygold
    kaygold Posts: 92 Member
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    Luna3386 wrote: »
    You could probably add in 100 every week at the beginning, and then every 2-4 weeks. A lot of people wait until the scale has stabilized before adding more. If you aren't already, I would use a weight trend app.

    Thanks so much for the advice. Do you have a specific app in mind you could recommend?
  • kaygold
    kaygold Posts: 92 Member
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    adipace815 wrote: »
    I think this is an excellent strategy and I used this strategy myself as well. I added back 100 calories per day for one full week at a time. I was actually in a calorie deficit of somewhere between 700-800 calories per day. I continued to lose weight for the entire 7-8 weeks it took me to gradually increase. I actually started this right after I hit my initial target, which was still a little high according to the BMI chart. I am actually still at the high end of my BMI range for normal weight.

    Before I started this process, I was losing roughly 2 lbs per week, which suggests that I was at a 1,000 calorie deficit. It was a good process for me to go through. I wasn't ready to let go of the dieting phase yet anyway. After you spend all that time trying to reach your goal and losing weight was the success factor, its hard to get used to the goal being maintaining.

    I think we have all learned that this is different for each of us. By adding 100 calories per week you will be able to see what it does to your results and judge when you are finally approaching maintenance. I think you are absolutely making a good choice. Congratulations and good luck!


    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and giving me support and feedback! Your journey is inspiring :)
  • kaygold
    kaygold Posts: 92 Member
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    sijomial wrote: »
    If you are "quickly approaching goal" then you can start adding calories now.

    I probably shouldn't have used the word rapidly lol. I'm at a fairly low deficit, so it will take a another month or so to reach goal.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,816 Member
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    For me, I was adding more frequently at first, but less frequently later - the closer I got to the right calorie level, the harder it got to tell routine fluctuation from actual gain/loss, and the larger the unavoidable total estimating error was with respect to the adjustment I was playing with. (For example, though a bit of a cartoon example, one apple is sweeter than another, but stuff like that doesn't make much difference in noticing I'm still losing if I'm still 500 calories under maintenance, but it muddies the waters more if I'm just 100 under.)

    IMO, while a trending app is helpful, it wasn't a panacea in this situation, for me. A maintenance range was a more helpful thing to me, at the very end (and in maintenance).
  • b3achy
    b3achy Posts: 2,136 Member
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    I was in about a 500 calorie per day deficit, so I added 100 back in for a month at a time. I wanted things to stabilize before I added 100 more. And frankly, I think I stopped at only adding in ~400 calories / day total, so I wasn't in a true 500 calorie per day deficit. All the TDEE calculators say I can probably add that last 100, but for me it gives me a bit of a buffer for when I'm not as active as other weeks (which has been more in maintenance). I am losing very very very slowly, but deep down I'd like to drop to my next 'maintenance' range before really trying to stop losing.
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,658 Member
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    If you have been dieting for a reasonable length of time, you should know or be able to calculate your approximate TDEE (from calories in and weight lost).

    Reverse dieting was a big thing a few years back however people like Lyle McDonald and Layne Norton now agree that it is not necessary.

    Remember that by adding in calories slowly, you are still likely to be in a deficit which means you are dieting for longer and not at maintenance (resetting hormones and restoring metabolic rate).