Reverse dieting is a method of recovering your metabolism and bringing it back to its ‘maintenance level’ or where it was before you started a fat loss program. It involves gradually increasing your calorie intake to increase your weight to a healthy level.
Who needs reverse dieting?
Not all people who are into sports or fitness will need to go for reverse dieting. It is typically recommended to weightlifters, specifically those who join bodybuilding contests. Why? Because they are more prone to a phase that nutritionists call ‘metabolic damage’. This is a state wherein the body is no longer able to lose body fat despite low calorie intake and increased cardio exercises.
Metabolic damage happens when you make a dramatic switch from one diet to another. For example, if you are preparing for a bodybuilding contest and want to look super lean, you might start eating much less. After the competition, you may be tempted to eat much more than usual, gaining more weight than when you started training for the competition.
This yo-yo kind of dieting causes the body’s metabolism to be confused and eventually leads to metabolic damage, that makes it harder and harder to lose weight and get back into shape. The solution is to give your metabolism the time to reach normal metabolic levels again that is exactly what happens when you do reverse dieting.
When should you start reverse dieting?
If you are ending your low-calorie diet because you’ve already reached your desired weight, you can slowly transition to reverse dieting. That way, you re-establish a healthy metabolism, keep that lean physique, and make gains while eating normally again.
If you have hit a plateau and are no longer losing weight, your metabolism may be damaged. Reverse dieting is a great way to reset or restore metabolic function.
Keep in mind that there are many ways to do reverse dieting. Before you follow any program, it’s always a good idea to consult an expert.
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