Have you just completed your fat loss goal and achieved your dream body? Great! You think that was the hard part? No! The hard part starts now, when you have to maintain your hard earned physique.
If you’re still working on fat loss, check out our how to lose fat series.
Normally, you stay in a very comfortable zone within a set body-fat percentage. Now, when you start dieting and working out to try to get it out of its comfort zone, your body retaliates and starts making adaptations in the form of various physiological and hormonal changes to fight fat loss and get back to being comfortable. So, now as you have initiated that process and dared to get your body out of its comfort zone, be sure that it is sneakily trying to return to its old weight. But you can’t let it win. You can’t let it ruin all your hard work that you’ve put in achieving this body. And I’m going to make sure you don’t. So here is a secret that many people don’t know, but is extremely useful to avoid unwanted rapid fat gain after diet; and the secret is – Reverse Diet.
If you want to know how to lose fat and keep it off, keep reading about this diet!
What is Reverse Dieting?
Reverse dieting is exactly how it sounds like, doing reverse of what you do in dieting. In reverse diet, you gradually increase calories instead of decreasing them, but in a very well planned manner. Now, you must be thinking how’s eating more calories going to keep you lean? Like i said before, your body goes through extreme changes during diet, so reverse diet is a way it get your back on track and into its comfort zone, but, slowly and gradually. Reverse dieting not only restores normalcy in your body by reversing the hormonal and metabolic adaptations that occurred during dieting, but also gives you a psychological break from harsh effects of dieting.
How to Start Reverse Diet?
When you feel that you have achieved your goal, like made a certain weight or rocked a competition, it’s time for a big cheat meal. Go out there and enjoy, eat whatever you want and don’t worry about macros or calories. But, from the very next day, it’s time to get back on track. Start with increasing your daily calorie total by 15-20 percent. For example, you were consuming 1500 calories when you ended your diet, bump it up to 1700-1800 calories. Stay on this much calorie total for about two weeks, and then bump another 5-10 percent, depending upon your weight gain.
Yes! Weight gain, but don’t worry, let me explain. When you increase calories, your body will get happy and start gaining weight, but weight gained by reverse dieting is very slow and controlled as compared to when you start eating anything and everything. Your goal should be to gain anywhere from 1.0 to 1.5 pounds or 400-600 grams per week. After first two weeks, measure how much you have gained, if it’s more than the mentioned weight, then go with a 5 percent calorie increase. If it’s less or equal to the mentioned increase, then go for a 10 percent bump in calories. Continue this reverse diet at least for 8 weeks, by keeping weight gain in check. After 8 weeks, you’d have significantly increased the calories intake while keeping your your body weight in check. That’s how to lose fat and keep it off, my friend!
Now, if you’re happy with your energy and are not feeling hungry all the time, hold steady. If you’re not satisfied, continue to add another 2-5 percent calories for 4 more weeks. And by the end of 12th week, you’d be back at your maintenance calorie intake but at a much lower body weight.
Now as you know how much calories to add and when to add them, it’s time to know what to add in them. So, basically there are two ways: Low fat diet and low carb diet. Mostly, people tend to choose one of these two methods to lose fat while dieting. So, when reverse dieting, it’s important to choose the right way to add calories. For example, if your weight loss goal was achieved by following a low-fat diet, then start reverse dieting by adding more calories from fat. Similarly, if low-carb diet was your method to lose weight during dieting, start reverse diet by adding more carb calories in your diet.
Whatever way you choose, initially you’re supposed to gain sudden weight, especially by adding more carbs as they tend to hold more water in the body, and more water = more weight. But, that should not worry you because that’s temporary and will come off in a couple of days.
Finally, I’d like to say that reverse diet is the best and tried method to get your body back to normality, without gaining sudden weight, to how to lose fat and keep it off. You wouldn’t want all your months of hard work go in vain, right? So, start small, start with basics. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask in comments.