The standard approach to losing fat includes creating a caloric deficit and maintaining it for a longer period of time. This makes enough sense, right? Well, it does, but there is one major problem – if your cutting phase lasts longer than 16 weeks, the body will start fighting back. Remember, your body is oblivious to your attempts to become leaner and would very much like to keep things as they are. So in an effort to preserve the remaining amount of body fat, it will reduce the production of important weight loss hormones and slow down the metabolic rate, which almost means that you’re wasting your time with that rigorous diet.
The worse part of the story, however, is that many people give into junk food right after finishing up their cut and reintroducing high-calorie meals to a starved body and a slowed down metabolism is the recipe for gaining all lost body fat back on. Results: the 4 months of your life spent on finding ways to curb your hunger without really eating go down the drain and you feel more dissatisfied than ever. So, as you can see, losing the weight is only half of the equation – what happens next is even more important to your weight loss goals. And since the body always wants to maintain homeostasis, fast increases or decreases in calories are bound to cause problems.
To prevent this boomerang effect that’s typical for popular diets, we advise you to try reverse dieting. Regardless of what false notions people have about it, reverse dieting done correctly is an extremely effective way to get lean and stay that way. And here’s why.
#1. Brings your metabolism back to speed
After a strict diet, you may feel ready to eat a ton of food, but your body definitely isn’t. Your metabolic rate and leptin levels have dropped significantly, which means that your organism isn’t yet ready to process an abundance of calories properly, so consuming it will only bring back the same old layers of fat and harm your metabolism in the long term. In other words, the increasing of your calorie consumption should be done a bit slower and wiser. Reverse dieting gives your body a chance to recover from the stress caused by months of dieting and bring your metabolism to full steam again while also keeping you lean.
#2. Keeps you lean all through the year
If your consumption of calories exceed the rate at which your metabolism can process them, you’ll end up gaining fat. So instead of overwhelming your body with too many calories all at once, you need to consistently and strategically eat a bit more and more, while training regularly. When your metabolism recovers fully you’ll be able to burn calories more efficiently than before and you’ll keep on making lean gains instead of battling with unwanted fat. This is probably the greatest thing about reverse dieting – its effects are sustainable and long-lasting.
#3. Lets you up your caloric intake without adding fat
With reverse dieting, you will slowly increase your calorie consumption back to what it was before you started dieting, but you will stay lean and become even leaner without any extra effort, because your metabolism will be at its most efficient. Then, you can slowly add more calories in, which is necessary if you want to build more muscle. But with the help of reverse dieting, where others normally fail – by gaining more fat than lean muscle mass – you will succeed. Basically, reverse dieting helps you significantly increase your caloric limit while maintaining your metabolism in a super healthy state, thus enabling you to make lean gains.
#4. Improves your relationship with food
Strict diets can leave you drained and unhappy, making you feel like food is your worst enemy when in fact it’s your most important ally and you just need to make it work for your goals. In this context, being able to safely up your caloric intake will take a bit of the pressure off and help you eliminate cravings and prevent binges. This will transform your relationship with food into a healthier one in the long term, and an enhanced health and well-being are the most valuable rewards of being fit and strong.
If done correctly, reverse dieting will reignite your metabolism and allow an easier transition from contest shape to offseason maintenance eating, without any rapid weight gains that often accompany a bulk. However, it’s worth mentioning that if you want best results, you need to have a solid eating strategy and regularly achieve muscle hypertrophy through training. And you must have a great deal of self-control. But trust us, this dieting method is absolutely worth it. Best of luck!