I started working with a macro coach in January 2016 and answered a gazillion questions about my current lifestyle, eating habits, workouts, sleep patterns, water intake, etc. She quickly concluded that she would take me on a reverse diet. Hmmm. Sounds like a few trip to IHOP and a whole lot of Taco Tuesdays. Count me in. But first, what is Reverse Dieting?
Reverse dieting is a great way to restore your metabolism. It is SLOWLY and gradually introducing more and more calories to your body over weeks of time. The slow process allows your body to ADAPT to the increase and REV your metabolism, without putting on excess body fat. If you have hit a plateau in your weight loss or recently had success with weight loss due to cutting carbs, are you afraid to re-introduce carbs with the fear of gaining the weight back? So many plans for weight loss work initially, but when your progress slows, there is no way to KEEP reducing your calories or working out MORE. Your body eventually stops burning and starts STORING fat for energy because essentially, it’s starving! Your metabolism slows and so does your progress.
Here’s why I was a great candidate for reverse dieting. I was very active, but had stifled my metabolism over the years from bad habits like eating very little and then overeating for periods of time. I was either ON or OFF the fitness train (and no fun when I was on). I was only eating about 1200-1500 calories (SO hungry, mind you) but not losing weight. My body had adapted to eating that few of calories and stopped the need to burn. It began to make sense why I wasn’t able to lose. My metabolism was STUCK! I know girls who are eating 800-1000 calories a day, complaining of being hungry and not losing weight. A reverse diet is their answer. Here is an example of how this works. If you are eating 1,000 calories day, you slowly increase your calories by about 50-100 calories a week. You don’t need to fear fat gain because the process is slow and you’re teaching your body to adapt to more calories and become a more efficient machine. Over the course of 8 weeks, you are now eating 1,400 calories. 8 more weeks and you’ll be at 1,800 calories. Now that you’re body is banging on all cylinders, you actually have he ability to CUT weight by removing some calories from your dieting for a short period of time. For the sake of the example, if you were eating 1,800 cals/day, you could now cut to 1,600. Does that make sense? You actually have somewhere to go! When you’re at 800-1,000 calories a day, you have no where to go.. Except to your bedroom to cry yourself to sleep and dream of pizza.
I would highly recommend hiring a coach for this process for a few reasons. You DO NOT want to be guessing when it comes to your macros and the progress you want to make. The adjustments are usually based on mathematical equations according to your specified goals and not as easy as just upping your calories every week. But in my case, over the course of a 6 month reverse diet, I will tell you that my coach moved my CARBS most dramatically (from 200g-275g slowly) and kept my fat grams around 38-42g and protein according to my lean mass (about 120-140g). So the carb intake is really what drives the ship, coordinating with the proper fat and protein.
Did it scare me to hear my coach say I needed to eat WAY more carbs than what I was eating? YEP! Did I doubt that it would really work for me? YEP! Was a afraid that eating carbs AND lifting weights would make me “bulk up?” ABSOLUTELY. Now, does EVERY person that asks me for help STILL questions me when I say I would recommend a reverse diet? YES AGAIN! Even when you SEE someone else’s progress or 100% trust a coach, you still wonder.. it worked for them, but could it work for me? Just as we all have a unique makeup, our dietary needs are all different. A custom macro plan is ideal to get started!
Another reason a coach is so necessary is to have an OBJECTIVE look at your progress. A coach knows what to look for and WHEN to make changes to your macros. If I was in control of my own macros, I would have tried to take shortcuts for a faster process. Trusting a coach helped me get past the emotional hurdles I had with food and my body, and also forced me to be PATIENT with the process.
What kept me going was the ability to track macros with no restrictions of WHAT food was permissible. Nothing is off limits, I just needed to stay within the boundaries. Over the past 7 months, I’ve eaten more than I ever have in my life and enjoyed more of the things I’ve always banned myself from. I eat pancakes, sandwiches, pizza, froyo.. Anything! As long as it fits into my macros. It’s literally a joy!!
The highlight of a metabolic reset is that I am now eating MORE than when I was 9 months pregnant and my metabolism is more efficient!
For more information on reverse dieting, or if you think a metabolic reset would be right for you, contact us!! We’d love to hear from you!