Reverse Dieting?

I have been dieting for a little bit and am happy where I am at. I’m hoping to slowly add in more calories to keep my physique. I have heard of reverse dieting and I want to try it out. Is anyone familiar with it? Or has it helped/worked?

Replies

  • Deviette
    Deviette Posts: 979 Member
    I'm not familiar... what is it?
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,391 Member
    Are you wanting to reverse diet out of a deficit into maintenance, or are you wanting to try bumping up your maintenance calories without gaining weight?

    If the former find what your MFP cals for maintenance are then add 50-100 cals a week to your deficit number until you reach your maintenance number.
    You will put on a little weight but this is water and food in transit.

    The MFP maintenance estimate is just that, an estimate. Monitor your weight and adjust as needed.

    Another way of doing it is to slowly add on the cals equal to the rate you were losing at. If losing at 0.5 a week you would expect to slowly op your cals by 250 a day.

    If it is the latter and you have been in maintenance a while and are wanting to see if you can eat more but still maintain your weight. Add a small amount of cals 25-100 every couple of weeks, monitor your weight and pull back if you start gaining.
    This reverse dieting can work for some as a slightly higher calorie goal can increase ones energy level which in turn can increase ones NEAT.

    Cheers, h.
  • EmbeeKay
    EmbeeKay Posts: 249 Member
    I've been interested in this too. As far as I know, all it entails is adding a small amount of calories gradually and keeping careful track. I personally have too much going on lately to screw with my TDEE (stopped breast-feeding, still cutting, etc.) to try to do it myself but it's definitely worth a try, especially for you since you train so frequently.
  • mrslynda
    mrslynda Posts: 50 Member
    I have only being cutting for about 5 or 6 weeks this time and I'm already thinking of after the cut. I am supposed to be losing 200g (roughly 1/2 a pound) but am averaging anywhere from 200 to 800 g. I know from experience that under 68 kg is where I feel awful. So around 4 kg to go. The last time I lost too much, had trouble finding maintenance, got sick and gave up. I think reverse dieting will help this time. Plus starting at a higher calorie count. I am active , healthy weight ( at 72), but need to reduce my waist. So classic skinny fat mummy body. I aim to keep going with my current three days of lifting as I am really enjoying it, and hopefully recomp. Plus at 37 I need to keep up with my kids as they get older, and set good examples.

    Let us know how you find reverse dieting :)
  • HayleeRenaeFit
    HayleeRenaeFit Posts: 43 Member
    @middlehaitch thank you so much, this helps a ton! I am coming out of a deficit and would like to build my maintenance, very insightful
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,755 Member
    I reverse dieted after a comp - I was very lean, finished on very low calories and my RMR was very low. I went straight to my "new" maintenance (approximated from my RMR) then added calories in small amounts as I was able (determined by weight and measurements/skinfolds). I was able to get my calories up quite a lot without accumulating too much fat
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    edited July 2018
    Good morning, @HayleeRenaeFit !

    A reverse diet is essentially the anti-diet! You have been dieting and reducing "calories in" and increasing "calories out" (via Cardio and whatnot). The balance is lost. Depending on the time spent in the diet, you very well may have adjusted down (metabolically speaking).

    The reverse diet is the way to bring your caloric intake back up and - in a planned and controlled way - to restore hormones (if you lowered fat intake - which many do in an attempt to reduce caloric intake) and to bring back things back up (metabolically speaking).

    And, this *often* does not result in an increase in body weight (and very slight if it does). I have helped a few women who have even lost weight from doing a well controlled reverse diet.

    There has been a lot of talk about this for a long time. Layne Norton and Paul Revelia and Lyle McDonald and Eric Helms have great youtube videos on this.

    Back in the day there was the school of thought that you would increase calories by about 100 (well, that number was more of a range, which depended on lots of factors....generally the range was somewhere between 50 and 125....that depended on the person and the situation) each week. Eventually, you would reach maintenance. You might stick at maintenance for a couple of weeks. Then you would start increasing again. I helped a few ladies with this process two years ago.

    More recent work shows that jumping from the diet caloric intake level right to maintenance caloric intake level might be the smarter move. I do not remember where I heard this, but someone used the example of a bikini competitor who got really lean and really low (caloric intake) and reversed slowly....took a few months just to get back to maintenance levels. Anyway, that lady - when all was said and done - did have have a menstrual cycle for more than one year!

    Does this make sense? I never know if my 10,000 words paint the picture in my head!
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    Oh wow great links @LiftHeavyThings27105 thanks for sharing those.

    What I've typically seen is adding 50-150cals per week or every few days until you hit maintenance. If you know your maintenance you can aim for that but also pay attention to the scale as you go since it might be lower or higher depending on your new weight, activity level, amount of muscle etc. It can take a bit of trial and error. For me because I don't track it is a bit more tricky and takes a bit longer, I will add an extra snack or portion per week.. and monitor my weight as I go.
  • Zoejohnse91
    Zoejohnse91 Posts: 227 Member
    emmylootwo wrote: »
    Reverse dieting? As in gaining weight instead of losing it? Yeah. I have a lot of experience with it.

    My thoughts exactly hahaha 😂
  • GOT_Obsessed
    GOT_Obsessed Posts: 817 Member
    emmylootwo wrote: »
    Reverse dieting? As in gaining weight instead of losing it? Yeah. I have a lot of experience with it.

    My thoughts exactly hahaha 😂

    Lol. I thought it was super funny too. Why all the woo's???
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,104 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    Oh wow great links @LiftHeavyThings27105 thanks for sharing those.

    What I've typically seen is adding 50-150cals per week or every few days until you hit maintenance. If you know your maintenance you can aim for that but also pay attention to the scale as you go since it might be lower or higher depending on your new weight, activity level, amount of muscle etc. It can take a bit of trial and error. For me because I don't track it is a bit more tricky and takes a bit longer, I will add an extra snack or portion per week.. and monitor my weight as I go.

    Glad to help. There are likely several more, but all of those that I included I have actually watched (two or three times). There is such a wide array of information out there....it is difficult - at times - to know what is hogwash and what is valid. Anyway, as mentioned, always glad to contribute and to help.
  • cathipa
    cathipa Posts: 2,992 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    Oh wow great links @LiftHeavyThings27105 thanks for sharing those.

    What I've typically seen is adding 50-150cals per week or every few days until you hit maintenance. If you know your maintenance you can aim for that but also pay attention to the scale as you go since it might be lower or higher depending on your new weight, activity level, amount of muscle etc. It can take a bit of trial and error. For me because I don't track it is a bit more tricky and takes a bit longer, I will add an extra snack or portion per week.. and monitor my weight as I go.

    Glad to help. There are likely several more, but all of those that I included I have actually watched (two or three times). There is such a wide array of information out there....it is difficult - at times - to know what is hogwash and what is valid. Anyway, as mentioned, always glad to contribute and to help.

    Not sure why this is getting woo'd, but I appreciate the videos as well. Thank you!