What is Reverse Dieting and How Does it Work

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The reverse diet should be known as the post-diet diet. It’s a method that bodybuilders and fitness gurus use to slowly come out of a diet and maintain their lean, fit bodies. If you have successfully lost weight on your diet, the reverse diet may be a good thing to try as you ease back into a more sustainable lifestyle.

How Diets Work

Diets work by decreasing the number of calories you’re eating. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you’re on, the goal of the diet is to decrease input and increase output. Some diets cut out carbohydrates, a source of energy. While others cut out fat, a source of long-term energy. Both these nutrients are high in calories and contribute to weight gain, so it makes sense that suddenly cutting them out will lead to weight loss.

The Magic of the Human Body

Your body is used to sudden decreases in food intake. After 200,000 years of evolution, we’re built to deal with famine and periods of little or no food. When you go on a diet, your body thinks that hard times have hit. Metabolism rates drop and you become accustomed to the lower-calorie diet. This is why diets aren’t meant to work in the long run. Over the course of a few weeks, the diet simply becomes the norm.

Getting Off the Diet

When you return to your normal eating habits, your body is still in a low-metabolism, save-every-calorie state. The sudden increase in food and nutrients means sudden weight gain. If you’re someone who yo-yo diets, you’ll notice that after dieting you actually gain more weight than you’ve lost. This is an evolutionary trick that helped our ancestors survive in the wild. It’s always a good idea to stock up on fat reserves after a famine, right? After all, who knows when the next famine will come around. Even though we live in a modern world with plenty of food, our bodies are still stingy and frugal when it comes to calories and energy.

The Reverse Diet

The reverse diet increases caloric intake slowly. This gives your body time to acclimatize, slowly revving up your metabolism. You won’t experience sudden weight gain because your body is able to burn the extra calories. Make sure to continue to exercise and maintain muscle mass. Muscles burn more calories at rest than fat, so they are the key to keeping you trim and slim. Another thing that needs time to normalize is your hormone levels. A reverse diet gives your body time to increase the secretion of certain hormones that control your metabolism. You can slowly eat more and more over time, and eventually find a new, sustainable, healthy way of eating.


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