We’ve all experienced it…
You’ve dropped some of the weight you wanted to lose and boom, all of the sudden it stops falling off.
You cut your macros and calories down, and still nothing on the scale changes.
Before you know it, you’re consuming 1,200 calories a day and you’re absolutely miserable trying to shed those few extra pounds and get to your goal weight. You’ve hit a weight loss plateau that you just can’t overcome.
There’s a way to flip a weight loss plateau on its head—it’s called Reverse Dieting, and it’s good news all around.
This method helps you overcome weight loss plateaus, reach your goal weight, and dodge the deprivation diet. If you’re in the process of losing weight or maintaining your weight loss, reverse dieting is a must-have method to learn and keep in your health toolbelt.
Here’s how it works…
Reverse Dieting might sound like some strange reverse psychology for your body, but it’s actually quite straightforward.
During a weight loss journey, we limit the number of calories consumed based on our goals and established macro needs. Over time, our metabolism adapts to this practice and stops shedding the weight you saw in the beginning because your metabolism is optimized at this caloric intake number.
After 4 weeks of no weight loss, no inches lost, and no body composition change, you find yourself in a weight loss plateau. Luckily, reverse dieting can get you out of this slump!
Reverse Dieting is simply doing the opposite of what I just talked about!
Instead of cutting calories and adjusting macros, we’re increasing our calories and macros in order to re-optimize our metabolism. Just like your body adjusted to dropping your calories and macros, your body will adjust to adding calories. As a result, you will balance out at your optimal weight so that you can eventually dive back into cutting down the road, without damaging your metabolism.
For example, if your weight loss comes to a halt while you’re consuming 1700 daily calories, you could use reverse dieting to slowly add 100-150 calories of whole food nutrition back into your daily diet. Once your metabolism has adjusted, and your weight stays consistent, you can drop back down to 1700 daily calories or lower, and your body will be in a caloric deficit, thus spawning weight loss again.
NOTE: There are two critical factors that allow our bodies to consume more and not gain excess weight:
In other words, reverse dieting doesn’t mean throwing a donut down your throat at the end of the day!
Reverse dieting isn’t a multi-use tool. Its purpose is specific and should be used strategically to solve one of these three problems:
Here are the five steps of reverse dieting so that you can whip it out whenever your body needs a break:
By slowly and strategically increasing your daily calorie intake, you can build your metabolism back up so when it’s time to cut, your body is ready. This also means you get to enjoy more delicious, healthy foods every day without worrying about weight gain, as it’s part of the process.
Reverse dieting is much more manageable and enjoyable than doubling down on the restrictive diet, so give it a try and watch what happens to your body!
If you want to learn more about whole food nutrition, intermittent fasting, reverse dieting, and more join a LEAN program where we cover all of that in 7 weeks! For more health and fitness info, strategies, and tricks on topics like this, hop on our weekly newsletter and receive our top health and wellness tips every week.