Reverse Dieting – Wait, what?!

I my previous article I wrote about how I believe that ‘Dieting’ or a restricted eating plan is not really the way to go – I truly believe that a temporary changes makes for temporary results. And that your healthy habits should consist of a lifestyle and not a short term plan.

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However we’re all brought up in a society where ‘Dieting’ is the order of the day. You’ve been on a diet all or most of your life, on and off. You’ve had good results and then reverted back to old habit after a while. You try again, little success. Whither or not you reached your goals you might find yourself at a point in your ‘Dieting’ lifespan where you don’t see any more results.

It’s frustrating, you exercise more, you eat less, you try everything, but you simply cannot get past that point anymore. You might feel as if your body is just unresponsive.

Feeling tired and depressed, frustrated and unhappy from  trying, and trying you enter a domain of hopelessness .You find yourself feeling tired and unmotivated, this could mainly be due to the lack of calorie intake that you body is undergoing. Your body has entered a confusing state of starvation. Because you’re not feeding it properly it is now holding on for dear life to those last few reserves it has left. Uncertain of its fate your body is only trying to survive.

This might seem confusing to you – especially if you’re not particularly skinny – I mean you have so many reserves – why won’t it let a little bit go?

Many women don’t realise that they are eating way too little in a day. Also most of the time the little that they eat does not have the sufficient nutrition for the body to function properly. When you eat less and your body has reached a point where it goes into this starvation mode it slows down your metabolism. Your body starts to burn less calories, not just when you exercise but also with normal daily activities like house work, walking and ever just fidgeting.

So the normal eat less-do more actually just goes out the window. So how do we fix this? Is your body and metabolism simply broken, what do you do?

The good news is that just as you can damage your metabolism, you can also fix it. My mother recently told me about her hard time with losing a little bit of weight. She eats healthy and runs far, like 12km every day, I mean the woman can out run me any day!  She’s cut out everything she thinks could be the issue but still no prevail.

Desperate to find out what is going on and why this might be happening I did some research. It’s a topic I think is mainly discussed in the professional Bodybuilding world and is mainly focussed on for professional athletes. But the principles still apply.

It’s called Reverse Dieting.

Now before you get too excited, most of the articles state that this is a very difficult and controlled process, that takes allot of time and planning – So all you hard core meal preppers, you will be a step ahead here.

It sounds simple enough, just reverse what you’ve been doing. Literally! Eat more and do less. But don’t go and stuff your face. There is a very fine line here of the increased amount of calories you can add on to your daily intake.

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All the articles I read I enjoyed and found interesting and I will be pointing them out throughout the article. Just click on all the necessary words and it should take you to the sites. Please don’t feel discouraged if you find yourself on a site with a bunch of bodybuilders on the cover image. Just read the whole article and take from it what you need. Educate yourself; within the healthy living spectrum all the principals apply, the execution is usually just a little different.

In her article Reverse Dieting: Here’s How It Works, Amanda explains the whole process for me very well. Her site is dedicated to simply put ‘Normal-People’ so head on over there and get some tips.

She explains that your metabolism is slowing down and your body is storing fat as reserve fuel. You have essentially told your body “I will not be feeding you enough to function.” Your body is smarter than you and it will not allow you to starve. When your push your body into starvation mode, your metabolism slows to a crawl, burning calories as slowly as possible to conserve its energy stores.

Your body reduces the production of healthy hormones that are supposed to help you lose weight and everything comes to a screeching halt. A change needs to be made. And considering a reverse diet might be in your best interest.

This process requires allot of planning, prepping and patients. You will go against everything that you’ve read in magazines, everything that you’ve been thought with regards to weight-loss. You will not be able to just quit exercising and start eating whatever you want left-right-and-center.

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According to an article on Bodybuilding.com on the ultimate guide to reverse Dieting – This was demonstrated when researchers at Laval University in Quebec overfed 24 men by 1000 calories for 84 days.  At first, almost all of the extra calories turned into fat or contributed to lean mass. By the end of the study, however, as each subject’s metabolism adapted, more and more calories were burned, rather than being used to create new tissue.

Reverting to a reverse diet and loosening up the reins with regards to how strict you are with you daily intake can actually change your life. I read another article by Sohee Lee on Bodybuilding.com, Sohee stated that after implementing the reverse diet she noticed that she had so much more energy than any other diet before, she had more strength with doing daily tasks. And she was surprised about the strength she discovered she had within her gym programs.

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You don’t have to starve yourself to get to the goals you want to reach – don’t punish yourself. Live a healthy life, let’s fix your Metabolism and start living again. You have to be able to reach your goals within the normal daily lifestyle you have, with in the normal dietary requirements –

Do some research and remember, like I said in my previous article.

  • IT IS HARD – It’s ok to fail, it build character.
  • IT TAKES TIME – Be Patient.
  • KEEP GOING – It is a slow enough process without you quitting.

Have a lovely day!

XOXOX – Jani

 

References:
  1. The ultimate guide to reverse dieting – Bodybuilding.com
  2. Reverse Dieting: Here’s How It Works
  3. Reverse Dieting: 4 Reasons Your Best Diet Might Be A Reverse Diet – com
  4. Reverse dieting: What it is and why you should try it
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