May 28, 2014

Reverse Dieting

reverse dieting guide

Scenario 1: So you competed with your rockin’ body and looked your absolute best…Now what? Well many girls tend to just flip a switch and go back to their pre-prep lifestyle. Eating whatever they want, skipping workouts, going out drinking, etc. What does this lead to? Rapid weight gain, rapid body fat accumulation, clothes fitting tight again, and a diminishing self esteem. You just spent 12 weeks prepping and putting in hours and hours of hard work, only to lose it within a few weeks. There is a better way: reverse dieting. If you take the time to slowly increase calories, decrease cardio, and re-introduce foods you may have cut out, you will put less body fat back on.

Scenario 2: You are wanting to compete. However you currently only eat 1400 calories per day, do a lot of cardio, and are not lifting very heavy. You are not ready to compete now. However you could be if you make the changes to lift heavier, workout more effectively, slowly decrease your cardio, and… reverse diet! If you take the time to increase your calories to 2000, your contest prep will be much easier, healthier, and more successful.

What is Reverse Dieting? It is the process of slowly increasing your caloric intake above levels you usually maintain weight at while decreasing cardio. It improves your metabolic rate.



#1 Calculate your Maintenance Calories & Macros You need to find out where you are starting. So track your macros for 3-5 days using an app on your phone. We like MyMacros+ a lot. You need to know your average calories, proteins, carbs, and fats per day (training versus non-training days).

#2 Calculate your starting Cardio frequency/duration You need to know how many days per week and how long each cardio session is that you have been doing recently to maintain your weight.

Now that your baseline is determined, it is time to start the reverse…

#3 Make three changes:

-Increase your carbs by 5g

-Increase your fat by 1g

-Decrease your cardio slightly

Stick to this plan for a week

#4 Re-assess every week: Look at your inch measurements, progress pictures, & weight.

  • If you maintained, then repeat step #3 above.
  • If you gained < 0.49lb, then repeat step #3 above.
  • If you gained >0.50lb, then stick with the same macros for another week.

#5 Repeat the process above until you reach your goals. For most people this means no cardio and high calories.

Whole Wheat Protein waffle recipe

So in order to keep track of things, I recommend you make a chart for yourself.  Chart out the date, your weight, protein, carbs, fats, and calories. Make a note of those numbers every week and decide whether you should make changes or stay put, based on your weight.

Remember that it is important to build your calories back up. It is not safe to maintain at dangerously low levels.

The entire process to get to where you want to be can vary. For some people it takes just a few months. For others it may take closer to a year.

Reverse dieting will help you in the long run, especially if you want to compete again.  Someone who maintains weight at 2000 calories per day will be able to cut easier than someone who maintains weight at 1400 calories per day.

So I hope this helped some of you. If you would like more 1-on-1 nutrition consulting or help with your reverse diet checkout our COACHING program  🙂

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