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Reverse Dieting

Reverse Dieting

Reverse Dieting: Maintaining Metabolic Health With Nutrition Technique

Reverse dieting is a strategic approach to re-establish normal metabolic rates and facilitate the maintenance of weight loss. It involves gradually increasing caloric intake to recover from the metabolic slowdown caused by prolonged periods of low-calorie dieting or extensive cardio workouts.1

Who may benefit from reverse dieting?

Understanding reverse dieting is important for individuals who have severely restricted their caloric intake for an extended period or completed a bodybuilding contest prep, which often involves pushing the caloric deficit to extreme levels.

Those who have achieved their weight loss goals, but find themselves consuming too few calories to sustain long-term health, are typical candidates for reverse dieting. The process aims to prevent excessive rebounds in body weight, often seen after rapid weight loss regimens.1

How to do reverse dieting properly?

Reverse dieting typically involves weekly increments in calories (around 5-10% or 100-150 calories), while strategically reducing cardio and increasing weight training.1

When considering reverse dieting, ensuring proper nutrition is paramount. An adequate balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients is crucial to support recovery and metabolic health. While increasing calorie intake, focus on nutrient-dense foods rather than high-calorie options with poor nutritional value.

However, it is necessary to exercise caution during reverse dieting. Individual variance in metabolic responses means that caloric increases should be tailored to each person's activity level, body composition changes, and overall health.

Monitoring progress and adjusting caloric increments to avoid fat gain is recommended. A slow and methodical approach is essential to allow the body to adapt without reversing the benefits of weight loss.1

Let’s sum it up

In summary, reverse dieting is a valuable technique for those emerging from a significant caloric deficit or sustaining an extremely low-energy diet. It is designed to mitigate the consequences of metabolic adaptation from extended dieting, such as a slowed metabolism and increased fat retention when returning to normal caloric levels. Implementing reverse dieting requires patience and attentiveness to one’s individual reaction, with the goal of achieving a lasting, healthy balance of caloric intake and expenditure.1


  • 1) The Ultimate Nutrition Bible  
    Easily Create the Perfect Diet that Fits Your Lifestyle, Goals, and Genetics
    Book | 2023 | Matt Gallant, Wade T. Lightheart

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