How do I maintain body fat after 3/4 Month Calorie Deficit?

SJBermingham Posts: 8 Member
edited January 2020 in Goal: Maintaining Weight
Current Status
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Weight: 125lbs (back to my “normal” weight)
Height: 5’5

Last year I took a break from healthy eating and regular exercise and put on about 12-14lbs over 7 months (of pure fat I would assume).
In October I decided to lose the extra fat I put on and started tracking my calories-in On MyFitnessPal & calories-out on my Apple Watch. Every day, I was expending 2500 calories. I did this through 4-5 spin/HiiT sessions a week (began replacing spin with more assault bike/rower strength-cardio sessions more recently), 3 upper body workouts with progressive load, 3 lower body workouts with progressive load and lots of non-exercise movement, walking everywhere etc. I was consuming 1500 calories of food a day (sometimes 1700) but every day making sure I still burned 2500 even if that meant going for more walks. So technically I was in a 800-1000 calorie deficit every day. Had a good quality diet with real, whole foods although I did supplement with protein powder. Daily targets were 130g-150g protein, 100g or less of carbs (timed to eat after workout) & the rest fat.
I have now reached my ideal body fat % and would like to start maintaining weight/body fat but I’m not sure how to do that.

I have been trying to learn about reverse dieting and from what I understand I should slowly increase my food intake each week until my metabolism re-adjusts? But once I do that say over a 6 week period- if I continue to burn 2500 calories every day, in theory I should be able to eat 2500 calories to maintain? Goal now is maintain weight & body recomposition.

Thanks in advance. I appreciate the time anyone takes out to read my post 🙏


  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,772 Member
    Yeah, if your expenditure is 2500 that is your your TDEE.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    I would definitely reverse diet into maintenance especially since you were losing quite fast. You will likely have some water weight gain, I would recommend using a trend weight app and monitoring your weight over time. And don't make any sudden adjustments... keep adding calories slowly until you weight levels off. Then if it starts to drop or increase, you can adjust.
  • Talan79
    Talan79 Posts: 782 Member
    Look up Holly Baxter on YouTube. After each competition she does a long reverse & takes her calories from 1100-1200 to over 2000.
  • SJBermingham
    SJBermingham Posts: 8 Member
    Thanks for the responses guys. @Talan79 Just started watching her ‘Return of the Reverse’ series today- very helpful, thank you. I didn’t realise how tiny the calorie increase should be and found really helpful how she calculates her weekly averages of her calorie intake on a spreadsheet 👌🙌 thanks again
  • Talan79
    Talan79 Posts: 782 Member
    @SJBermingham You can download that spreadsheet from her website for free. Her commitment & adherence is amazing. Her body also responds well. I’ve had years of chronic dieting. I gotta take it slow and easy when I get ready to reverse. Good luck with yours.
  • staticsplit
    staticsplit Posts: 538 Member
    I would reverse diet and maybe briefly slightly reduce energy expenditure if you feel tired or run down after the prolonged deficit. Definitely optional, and of course still exercise if it makes you feel good, but maybe be not be as stringent with the 2500 cut off every day. Not saying you are disordered, but I used to be really stringent with 'I HAVE to burn this many calories per day no matter what.' It resulted in some bad behaviours and getting really run down and ignoring my body signals to rest.
  • SJBermingham
    SJBermingham Posts: 8 Member
    Thanks for the response @staticsplit

    Good advice, thank you. I’ve always enjoyed cardio so I would like to keep it in my regime but yes I agree and I can be less stringent on it once I get in to maintenance mode.