When most people decide they want to change their body and lose some fat what do people do? They go on a diet, which usually involves severe calorie restriction and elimination of certain things. But, not everyone should take that step.
For those with a history of crash dieting, severe calorie restriction, or multiple failed diet attempts, jumping once more on the diet bandwagon is unlikely to yield results, and will probably do more harm than good.
Over repeated bouts of calorie restriction gives your metabolism a beating. When you drop calories too low for too long, your body intervenes on several fronts. Most notably, it reduces the number of calories you burn throughout the day, slowing your metabolism and often priming your body for surprisingly rapid weight gain.
Not only this but as your metabolism is reduced several other metabolic factors start to occur:
● Your organs consume less energy and don’t function adequately.
● Hormones that influence metabolism and appetite, such as thyroid hormone, testosterone, leptin, and ghrelin, are negatively impacted.
● You become extremely lethargic and tired as your body begins to run on empty.
● You burn less energy during day to day activities, such as simply moving, walking around the house or at work.
● You use fewer calories to absorb and digest food because you're eating less.
● You lose muscle and strength. This is bad because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Ultimately what this is all comes down to is you burning fewer calories and less fat both at rest and while working out making it very difficult to achieve your weight loss goals.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?!
Reverse Dieting is something you can implement to systematically boost your metabolism (through increasing calories and weight training) and get it back up to a level where you can give your body a chance to burn body fat and ultimately achieve your goals. The key to success when it comes to reverse dieting is to be patient and strategic so that you don’t end up storing extra body fat through increased calorie consumption, leading to only an increase in your metabolism.
You will need to work out how many calories you're currently consuming per day on average. Once you have that figure you then need to aim to increase your calorie intake by around 50 calories per week until you have your daily intake at a much healthier level, which should be around 1800kcal for a woman and 2000kcal for a man, depending on your activity level.
You don't have to increase your calories by 50 calories per week, you will need to regular check your weight and measurements to see if your weight is increasing from the calorie bump, in which case you’ll hold steady until the increase stops. At that point you’ll go to the next phase and bump up your calories a bit. If you raise calories and your weight doesn’t change or it actually goes down, you can go right ahead and move to the next phase and increase calories.
● Choose 2-3 days per week, and weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Assessing your average weight change over the course of the week will help you evaluate your macro manipulations and decide on your next increase (if necessary). If you see a large jump in weight gain over a one-week period, you may want to scale back the rate at which you're increasing your intake. On the other hand, if you maintain your current weight, or even lose slightly, bump up both carbohydrates, fat and protein.
● Focus your training around weightlifting. Weightlifting is a great way to build muscle, which increases metabolism not only in the short term, but also over the long run.
● Avoid cardio or too much cardio - Steady state cardio tends to reduce metabolism and can reduce muscle and strength.
● Once you've got your calories back up to a healthy level you can stop adding calories and go from there. You’ll feel good, more energetic and you’ll start to see some great weight loss results.
For more information feel free to contact me and I can help you out! I can also put a reverse dieting plan together for you to follow to give you the best chance of succeeding! Jamie