The reverse diet is a nutritional strategy based on progressively increasing calorie consumption, which accelerates the metabolism and makes it possible maintain a healthy body weight after having finished some type of calorie restrictive diet to lose weight, thus avoiding the feared rebound effect.
Why do the Reverse Diet?
Through the Reverse Diet we avoid the feared rebound effect, as it’s about increasing calorie consumption as well as energy expenditure gradually, which limits body fat gain and weight gain, counteracting the metabolic increase.
What’s involved in the reverse diet?
The reverse diet is a nutritional strategy based on progressively increasing calorie consumption, which accelerates the metabolism and makes it possible maintain a healthy body weight after having finished some type of calorie restrictive diet to lose weight.
When a caloric deficit occurs, the basal metabolic rate is usually reduced.
This occurs because the body receives fewer calories and, consequently, its energy expenditure also decreases.
Such a situation leads to the body adapting to metabolic variants related to:
- the “hunger hormone” (increases);
- satiety (decreases); and
- insulin sensitivity in adipocytes.
How do you do the Reverse Diet?
In order to obtain effective results, the reverse diet should be done with a strict calorie control.
Here are some general steps to follow:
1. Calculate the calories you currently consume and set the new goal
You need to know exactly how many calories you’re taking in to maintain your body weight.
From this reference, you’ll set a new value.
2. Increase your calorie intake
The recommendation is to gradually increase from 50 calories to 100 calories per week, following strict daily calorie control until you reach the required amount, for about 4 or 10 weeks.
3. Adjust according to progress
Depending on the progress made on the diet, you’ll be able to assess the changes in the medium term to make the necessary adjustments.
Not every reacts the same, so adapt your weekly calorie increase over time to your requirements. It’s a very subjective approach and the important thing is that you feel good.
During the first weeks you may still be in a deficit, but by the end you’ll have progressively adjusted your calorie intake to meet your energy needs.
It’s also very important to keep up your exercise: If you’ve been training to gain muscle mass, lose weight or seek definition, you can continue to do so.
Who is this diet aimed at?
The reverse diet is excellent for people who want to resume normocaloric eating following a low-calorie diet.
It’s also recommended when we’re on a diet to lose fat tissue but stagnate and stop losing weight, even with a calorie deficit.
In this case, the reverse diet can restore metabolic activity and lead to the loss of body fat.
Likewise, at the end of a muscle definition phase, the reverse diet is ideal for return to eating habits without gaining fat.
What to eat and what not to eat
During the first few days of calorie increase, it’s a good idea to increase your protein intake.
Among the most protein-rich foods are: eggs, some dairy products, serrano ham, red meat, turkey, chicken, tuna, salmon, trout, cod, and hake, among others.
Afterwards, we should move on to increasing carbohydrates.
For this, some of the most carbohydrate-rich foods are: potatoes, rice or pasta.
Foods with a low glycaemic index are also recommended, which include natural yoghurt, green lentils, carrots, rye bread, apples and cashews.
Then you’ll need to increase your fat intake, incorporating foods such as: oily fish, nuts, vegetable seeds, avocados and olive oil.
Is it a healthy diet?
There’s still no scientific evidence to support the health benefits of the reverse diet.
However, it’s undeniable that after following a slimming diet it would be counterproductive to go back to eating as before all at once, as you’d be more likely to regain the weight lost. The slimming process should have been a learning process and a real re-education.
- We tell you how to avoid the Rebound Effect.
- How do you follow a Balanced Diet? We tell you in this Post.