Sure, there was a dip while you were hitting the gym with a vengeance, but really how long is that supposed to last? And rather than sticking to the progress you made, a turn for the worse became apparent. So how exactly can you avoid this completely uncalled for rebound phase? Read on and you’ll soon find out…
The reverse diet
The reverse diet is a term used to describe a period after a low-calorie restricted eating period during which you slowly work to increase calories back into your system to achieve a maintenance level.
Using this tactic and by monitoring your progress on a week-by-week basis, your body can recover it’s metabolism with minimal increase in body fat.
The fuel your body needs
For the majority of the population—maintaining an abundantly low-calorie diet, is not sustainable as a long term health-plan. In addition, after prolonged periods of restricted caloric intake, your body’s metabolism adapts to operate more efficiently. What this means is that your body essentially operates at low-energy expenditure and burns fewer calories. So, if dietary adjustments aren’t made to account for this slow down, your body will store those extra calories in the form of fat.
The purpose, thus, of the reverse diet is to bring calories and strength back to a healthy and sustainable level after a prolonged weight-loss diet.
A reverse diet should be implemented in order to slowly increase food intake to a level that you can maintain it. By increasing calories incrementally, you allow your metabolism to reignite. On the other hand, if too many calories are introduced to your body too soon, your body will attempt to store these calories for the next time you severely deprive your body of regular intake—leading to rapid weight gain and long-term metabolic damage.
Post your period of extreme calorie deprivation—have a plan that will be implemented immediately. Plan your meals and make sure your food is prepped. During the first week, return to the calorie and nutrient countdown you followed the week before your restrain. Next, introduce small calorie peaks in the form of carbohydrates. Asses your weight and body fat weekly—remain consistent with the timing. Make weekly increases provided that your body fat remains constant. Then, slowly make more increases in fat grams—keeping your dietary fats at a healthy percentage.
While undoubtedly, this method of dieting is taxing, the physical and mental benefits are worth the commitment.