Reverse Dieting

In a follow up to last week’s Downfalls of Dieting blog post, we wanted to provide you with the information to help you come out of a diet or challenge.

As explained last week, if you have been eating at a continued energy deficient your body has been trying to reduce your energy output through adaptive thermogenesis. This has now placed your body in the perfect position to put weight back on when you change the energy balance.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, we recommend that you give reverse dieting a try- a controlled, gradual increase of your total daily energy (calorie) intake. By gradually increasing your energy intake, and doing so with healthy foods, you will start reversing the adaptive thermogenesis process’ to bring your metabolic rate back up.

It is recommended that you do this as a week to week increase. Around 150 calories every 7 days. So if your calories are currently at 1500 per day, next week you would be 1650 per day. If maintenance is your goal, keep increasing at this slow rate until you reach your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.

If you are hitting the gym this is also the perfect time to start lifting heavier and frequently- at least 3 resistance sessions a week. This is going to promote muscle gain in an environment that your body is going to be really receptive to due to the simultaneous increase in your calorie intake.

Whilst your diet or challenge may now be over, it is still really important that you are aware of what you are putting on your plate and make a conscious effort to continue to eat lean proteins, low GI carbohydrates and healthy fats.  

Portion wise as a general rule, half of your plate should be leafy greens/vegetables, ¼ low GI carbs and the other ¼ your lean protein. You also need to ensure that you have the vitamins and minerals you need to aid in muscle repair, bone strength as well as acting as anti inflammatory and antioxidants to stop you getting run down and decreasing your immunity. Especially important as we enter the cooler months. How do you get these vitamins and minerals? By eating copious amounts of vegetables and two pieces of fruit per day. And don’t forget to make sure you’re staying hydrated, at least 1 – 2L per day. Make sure that your meals are at regular intervals to ensure you have stable blood sugar levels which is going to prevent massive peaks in energy and then equally massive drops back down.

Following this will help ensure that you don't pile your weight loss back on and that you can maintain a more consistent healthy diet, one that is less diet and more just part of a healthy lifestyle.