Reverse dieting is about bringing your calories, particularly carbs and fat up as high as you can for as long as you can with minimal (but still some) weight gain. It’s a time to stop dieting and to eat to fuel your body. It’s a time to build your metabolic capacity. Repair the damage dieting has done to your metabolism.
I’ve been reverse dieting with Layne Norton for 1 year now (50 weeks this week)! Through this reverse I’ve been able to increase my caloric intake by over 1000cals and decrease my cardio and workout time with minimal fat gain. My carb intake is now at 245g and my fat intake is 67g a day and continuing to increase. The photo on the left is the week we started reversing. It’s not my leanest but where I typically sit weight wise. The photo on the right is just before I got pregnant in May. Between those two photos I gained 8lbs. 116lbs-124lbs.
Only 8lbs difference (some body fat some muscle) and am eating a hell of a lot more food and in particular carbs and fat than I was maintaining this weight before. Plus I’m expending fewer calories.
With this reverse we took things slow and steady with the goal of keep fat gain down and being in a caloric surplus (or at least not a deficit) as long as possible because that’s an important component that is often overlooked. I also didn’t want to diet while trying to conceive.
My current pregnant self is up another 6lbs at 17 weeks pregnant which is inline with typical pregnancy weight gain. My plan now is to continue to reverse diet throughout my pregnancy and likely during breastfeeding in order to maximize my metabolism as best as possible during this time. When I’m ready to lose some weight I’ll be in a much better position to do so – but that’s for a whole other post for a whole time. Right now mama is growing a human!
So important to take time away from “dieting”. There must be time when you fuel your body with the full amount it needs to maintain or to grow and improve. Ideally that time is used wisely.
I’ll tell you something else that happens with reverse dieting. You stop worrying about eating carbs and fat, or sugar or treats etc etc. You really learn to understand what food is and what it’s for. You have room to eat what you want within your goals. You stop feeling guilty about eating something “extra” because once you get your macros high enough you don’t need extra. You also don’t think of anything as “cheats”. There really are no cheats with flexible dieting. It’s about sustainable eating habits that make you feel good body mind and soul.
If you’ve been dieting a long time or you consistently under eat this will be hard. It will especially be hard if you are not as lean as you want to be to start with but you have to move past that. You have to be willing to consider your health and long term goals. If you are ready to finally be able to eat more and get stronger I can help you but you have to be committed to the time it takes to get there.