If you did not have a chance to read my post from last week about Sally’s 1200-calorie diet, make sure you check it out to give you a background on this topic.
We saw last week how Sally was experiencing symptoms of a damaged metabolism after a few months on her 1200-calorie diet, a weight loss plan that could be considered a “crash diet” for her height, weight, age and activity level. Sally is probably a great candidate for reverse dieting which I will discuss today. We all know what a diet is, well reverse dieting is essentially the opposite. When you reverse diet, you SLOWLY add food back into your daily plan in order to SLOWLY restore your metabolism to a healthy level.
The key is SLOWLY. If Sally, jumped to a 1700-calorie diet from a 1200-calorie diet, she would probably gain weight very quickly, get very frustrated with the process, and retreat back to her 1200-calorie ways. This is a very common occurrence for people who do not reverse diet correctly. The best way to handle this is to add about 150-calories at a time to allow your body to get used to the idea of more food. Essentially, this allows your body to start to trust you again. If you think about it, Sally’s body thought that she was starving because of the crash diet she put it on. If she immediately adds 500 calories to her day, her body may think that this is a fluke occurrence and CONTINUE to hold onto this food too, resulting in quick weight gain. As I mentioned last week, this is NOT SALLY’S FAULT. Sally thought that she was eating enough food for her body type. She is a part of the thousands, tens-of-thousands, hundreds-of-thousands of people who are misinformed about what is considered a healthy calorie defect for their body.
If you calculated your BMR last week, you may have been surprised a what you found what your calorie target (if you laid in bed all day). If you exercise 3-5 times a week, you should take that number an multiply it by 1.5 to give you a rough idea of how many calories you would need to maintain your weight.
My BMR is about 1380. Currently I teach 3 spin classes a week AND weight train for 1 hour 3 times a week, so I multiply my BMR by 1.6 to give me 2208 calories a day. When I was training for my bikini competition, I was eating about 1900 calories a day (and working out even more), so I am still reverse dieting to get back to my 2200 calories to maintain my weight. Is reverse dieting easy, NO. Is reverse dieting worth it, so you can eat SO MUCH MORE FOOD. YES. The key is SLOWLY increasing your calories. In a world where we all want everything, now and fast, this is the reason most people quit and just deal with their current diet.
People that are successful at it find that their workouts are so much better because they have ENERGY. They sleep better and think more clearly because they are FULL and nourished from the inside out. They are HAPPIER because they are not starving. They feel in control of their life.
To read more about reverse dieting, check out this article.
This is one of the services that I will be offering during my macro group which will start in January. More info to come on that later in the weeks.
Take care of your body. It does so much for you.