What do I do once I have achieved the body composition goal I started with?
You have made vast changes on your personal weight lost journey. You have placed trust in your coach who has guided you through the correct methods, to achieve your body composition goal and you have made it happen! You have dieted down to the point where its time to remove yourself from the calorie defect you have been in.
You maybe asking yourself what are my next steps?
The process of reverse dieting involves slowly increasing caloric intake in a step wise method over a set time period. Reverse dieting provides a small caloric surplus to restore circulating hormone levels and energy expenditure towards pre-diet values, while slowly matching energy intake to the recovering metabolic rate to reduce post competition fat accretion (Trexler et al., 2014).
‘To avoid rapid fat gain when an individual finishes an extended period of dieting, the nutritional strategy of reverse dieting should be implemented in order to restore the bodies normal metabolic functioning’.
The reverse dieting period is relative to the length of time spent dieting. Lee (2014) recommends at the very least a 1:1 ratio post competition. Why is this important? Your metabolism has slowed down after a prolonged period of dieting therefore turning from a caloric deprivation into a extended period of overindulging can lead you to an increased chance of fat gain in a short period of time. By using reverse dieting you allow yourself to eat more calories (which will be extremely exciting for an individual who has reduced calorie’s through out the weeks). This is achieved through a monitored period of time where your coach will track your body composition progress, performance, health and wellbeing and making adjustments when required.
So are you someone who should be considering reverse dieting for optimal health?
A reverse diet is not only competitors and other extremely lean people who benefit from a reverse-dieting approach. A reverse diet will work for people who may be in the following situations.
- Dieting (or crash dieting) on very low calories for a very long time, and fat loss results have stalled.
- Metabolism is wrecked to the point where no amount of calorie cutting and exercising will elicit a response from your body.
- Train hard, but still feel low energy and fatigue during the day.
- You hate your diet, your motivation is at an all-time low, and your workouts feel like a torture session.
Reference: (Lee, 2015)
Currently the research into reverse dieting is limited; therefore further research is needed into reverse dieting after prolonged weight reduction or in the maintenance of a reduced bodyweight to allow practical guidelines to restore metabolic functioning. If you think that you could benefit from having a nutritionist look into your macronutrients and give up personalised advice on the direction you should move in for optimal performance speak to a member of the Life Changing Fitness Team.
Lee, S. (2015). Reverse Dieting: 4 Reasons Your Best Diet Might Be A Reverse Diet. Retrieved 9/11/2015, from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reverse-dieting-4-reasons-your-best-diet-might-be-reverse-diet.html
Trexler, E., Smith-Ryan, A., & Norton, L. (2014). Metabolic adaptation to weight loss: implications for the athlete. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 7.
Lee, & Sohee. (2014) Reverse dieting, rapid fat loss and messing up./Interviewer: S. N. Radio. Sigma Nutrition Radio.