The purpose of reverse dieting is to gradually increase caloric intake in a controlled manner (following a fat loss phase), with the goal of restoring the body’s metabolism, hormones, and overall energy levels to a more sustainable and healthy state.
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If I was going to drop weight / body fat from where I currently stand (around 235 / 12-14% bodyfat), I’d likely start around 2750 calories per day. I’d also incorporate more cardio into my weekly routine, maybe adding an extra day per week.
If I reached a plateau, I would then reduce my carbohydrate intake by about 50 grams per day, which equates to around 200 fewer calories, and increase my cardio even further. This process would continue until I hit another plateau, at which point I would repeat the cycle of cutting calories and adding cardio until I reach my ultimate goal.
Let’s say after 10-12 weeks of hard work, I have successfully achieved a weight of 220 pounds with a body fat percentage of 7-8%. It’s definitely something worth celebrating!
However, it’s important not to go overboard with indulging in unhealthy foods or completely abandoning tracking my food intake. After all the effort put into achieving these results, it wouldn’t be wise to let myself slide back into old habits and risk regaining the weight in just a few short weeks.
Let’s say I’m down to 2250 or even 2000 calories by the end of my cut, and maybe down to 150 grams of carbs per day.
(Remember, keep your protein and fat intake the same and make your calorie cuts from carbs!)
So here’s the plan if I want to “reverse diet”: I’ll reduce my cardio sessions by 15 minutes each week, and at the same time, increase my carb intake. First, I’ll bump up my carbs to 200 grams for a couple of weeks. Then, a few weeks later, I’ll increase it to 250 grams while cutting down on cardio even more.
Finally, for my last “jump,” I’ll go back up to 300 grams of carbs per day while keeping my cardio routine the same.
By following this process, I can maintain my current weight or perhaps even gain a little bit more muscle while keeping body fat levels constant.
Next time you’re coming out of a fat loss phase, give this strategy a try!
And reply back to this post with the word “SIZZLER” to learn about our new 14-day Summer Sizzler program if you need personalized help.
– Forest and the FVT Team