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Updated: Apr 14, 2020

You’ve just spent 12 weeks in a fat loss phase on low calories, you’ve smashed your goals, lost the weight and you’re looking amazing... so what’s next? How do you maintain this figure and keep these results. The easy part is losing the weight, maintaining your new figure is a whole lot harder, so what do we do? We reverse diet!

A reverse diet is slowly bringing your calories up to your new calculated baseline while putting on minimal weight, if any at all! The goal is to combat the negative metabolic adaptations that arise from being in a calorie deficit. As we diet, the metabolism rate naturally decreases as a result of decreasing food intake. Reverse dieting is building the calories back up with the aim of the body expending more energy again.

There are survival mechanisms the body will use to make fat loss slower and harder. Metabolic adaptations is a natural response to being in a calorie deficit where the body lowers energy expenditure which slows and ultimately stops the rate of fat loss. Your metabolism adapts so even though you are eating the same amount you were once losing weight off you are now no longer in a calorie deficit so you won’t keep losing weight on the same amount of calories.

A person may also need to reverse diet even if they haven’t hit their goal weight but they have gotten themselves stuck and hit a plateau! If you have been under eating for years and are no longer able to lose weight on a very low amount of calories then a reverse diet might be for you. Your body has now adapted to running on such low calories and you’ve hit a plateau. You now must get your body out of that state as quick as possible without putting on too much body fat. It’s time to reset your metabolism by taking a step backwards (increasing your calories) to help launch yourself forward in the future instead of sitting at a stand still.

Reverse dieting isn’t a diet aimed at losing weight. It’s a diet strategically designed to mitigate the amount of weight gain post weight loss. To rebuild up the metabolism post period of under eating. When doing a reverse diet we want to increase your calories by 150-250 calories every 10-14 days, provided that the weight holds steady. We will keep bringing the calories up until we hit our estimated TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).

Here are some tips on how to Reverse Diet: - Calculate TDEE - Begin reverse diet calories 300 above finishing mark - Raise calories every 2 weeks with the increasing going toward carbs and fats - Keep protein consistent - Raise calories 5-10% every 2 weeks, provided that the body weight is kept within 1kg.

- Use a 70:30 ratio of calories towards carbs and fats - The longer you were in a dieting phase the slower you should take your reverse diet to avoid gaining body fat.

Lauren Sibbald

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