If you have tried losing weight, you certainly know how hard a task that can be. For most people, losing weight is synonymous with long hours at the gym and following strict diets. The general notion is that losing weight calls for far more will power and determination than most people have.
The worst that could happen to someone who is trying to lose weight is for their weight to stagnate. It is not as uncommon as you would think. It is quite possible for you to live on the strictest diet known to man and to work out every day and still not lose a single pound.
What could possibly go wrong, you wonder? Well, this unfortunate occurrence is likely to happen due to slow metabolism. One antidote to slowed metabolism that promotes weight loss is reverse dieting.
Reverse dieting is a term that many people are not familiar with, but one which more people need to know about. As the name implies, it is quite the opposite of dieting. It is when someone gradually increases their calorie intake after a period of dieting. Although it might not appear to be so, it actually is a practical way to lose weight. Of course, for reverse dieting to work you must first follow a diet for a certain period of time.
About Reverse Diet
The logic behind reverse dieting is that after dieting for a while, the body’s rate of metabolism is slowed down. The body learns to survive on the few calories you provide for it. Certain adaptations take place, some of which include the following:
A Slower Heart Rate
When you consume substantially few calories over a long period of time, the activity of the sympathetic nerve is interfered with, and this leads to a much slower heart rate. As your heart beats slower, you burn fewer calories, and this reflects in your weight.
Interferes With Hormonal Activity
Dieting also interferes with various essential hormones in the body, some of which include testosterone and thyroid hormone. These hormones play an important role in determining the body’s rate of metabolism. If their activity is compromised, metabolic activity will be affected as well.
More Efficient Muscles
Additionally, if you expose your body to little food over a long period of time, muscles become more efficient. They only use the necessary energy to carry out their functions. This means that you end up burning very few calories, and this will certainly stall your weight loss efforts.
Fewer Calories Burnt During Non-Exercise Activities
When you walk, do some cleaning, or even cook, the body burns calories. If you follow a diet for a long time, the body tries to conserve the few calories it gets by spending less energy on non-exercise activities. Thus, activities through which you would normally have lost a number of calories cease being a possible avenue for weight loss.
How Do You Reverse Diet?
Now that you know why you should consider reverse dieting, what follows is to learn how to do it. The basic principle of reverse dieting is to eat more and work out less. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it might sound easy in theory, but it is a tad more demanding in practice.
Reverse dieting by no means implies that you should stuff your mouth with every edible thing you lay your hands on. It means that you should increase your calorie intake steadily and gradually. It calls for you to strike a perfect balance between increasing your food consumption and watching your weight so that you do not gain too much of it.
It might be difficult, but it is far from impossible. Here is how to go about reverse dieting:
1. Do The Math
Because reverse dieting needs to be done in a gradual and planned manner, you will need to get comfortable with calculating calories. The first thing you need to establish is your daily calorie intake during your diet. You will need to watch how much food you consume every day and keep a record of this.
After determining your daily calorie intake, then you have to establish how many of those calories belong to each class of macronutrients. Say for instance you found that your daily calorie intake is 2400 calories.
You should consume a gram of proteins for each pound that you weigh. Assuming that you weigh 200 pounds, this means that you should consume 200 grams of proteins every day. This means that you should consume 800 calories of protein each day, i.e. (200*4).
The remaining 1600 calories should be divided between fats and carbohydrates at a ratio of 4:6. Assuming you choose to give fats the 4 and the carbs 6, this means that you should obtain 640 of your calories from fat and the remaining 960 from carbs. This translates to 71 grams of fat and 240 grams of carbohydrates a day.
2. Determine The Rate At Which You Want To Increase Your Calorie Intake
After knowing your daily calorie consumption, then you should decide how fast you want to increase your calorie intake. Basically, you have two options. You can decide to reverse diet aggressively, or to be a bit more conservative.
Aggressive reverse dieting works perfectly if you are not worried about gaining weight rapidly, or if you intend to build muscle from the excess weight you gain as you reverse diet.
If you want to reverse diet aggressively, you should consider increasing your daily calorie intake by 6-10%, or even 15-25% on the first week.
Conservative reverse dieting is ideal for those who dread gaining weight rapidly, or if you want to maintain your current weight but increase your metabolism. If you opt for this mode of reverse dieting, you should aim at increasing your daily calorie consumption by 2-5%.
3. Check Your Weight Regularly
You should also set apart 3 days in a week to check your weight. Monitoring your weight will help you determine whether reverse dieting is working or not. If you find that you have gained more pounds than you want, try to reduce your food consumption. If on the other hand you continue losing weight despite increasing your daily calorie intake, you might consider increasing it by a larger margin.
4. Do Less Cardio And More Weight Lifting
Consistency is one pillar of reverse dieting. If you wish to carry on with working out as you reverse diet, it would be better if you focused more on weight lifting than on cardio workouts. Lifting heavy weights leads to growth of muscles and is also a steady way to lose extra pounds.
Reverse Diet Review Summary
Reverse dieting is the ultimate form of efficiency where weight loss is concerned if your current diet has stagnated. It allows you to lead a more balanced lifestyle as you manage your weight. It might require constant monitoring, but it is well worth every effort you put into it.