We have literally talked about this for 10 years but “normalizing” calories is starting to become known as reverse dieting.
Reverse dieting has been around for a while but it’s most commonly used in body building. Basically after a period of severe restriction you bring calories back to “normal” and that’s where things get a little sticky.
With so many people stalled and wondering what to do many people are turning to reverse dieting. Specifically to automated platforms that NIBBLE at bring calories back adding 50-100 calories each time but giving clients the option along the way.
This was also OUR FIRST VERSION until we learned a better way.
Trust me, I get it, if you have lost a lot of weight CLIENTS want to be cautious adding calories slowly. The problem is, this way doesn’t work and in the end leaves clients with few options moving forward and not enough calories to support keeping the muscle they have now.
Not to mention workouts.
Here is what we found to be a MUCH better approach.
YOU NEED BIGGER JUMPS and ideally AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.
We do about 250 calories up and if a client is weight stable we will keep adding until about 2000 calories for females and 2500 for males before we slow things down.
All while keeping clients' weight stable. Or at least that is the goal.
One big problem physiologically is that as you start to add food your body craves more and more food. So as an example if the day your diet ends (and all diets need to have a date and not necessarily a weight goal) you have a blowout fest after coming off of low calories not only will that not end well but your body isn’t ready for that caloric load AND keep you weight stable.
What we suggest to clients is that they wait to have a bigger meal closer to 2000 calories which, like I said, can happen as soon as two weeks from their lowest.
Otherwise, what we see is that people get stuck around 1400 or 1900 for men and as their weight slowly increases with any deviation from those numbers things get real frustrating without the math to do anything about it.
I would say the big problem, for almost everyone trying to bring calories back to normal is that if they don’t stay at their low they panic and just revert back to eating low given their own devices.
This is why talking to a real person matters a lot.
If as an example your weight adjusts 2-3 pounds in the first week and someone has last say 20-30 pounds, shouldn’t it? I mean, after all, you have been eating less for some time. What I think happens on your own is that people panic and want to keep the progress they made, which is logical. A lot of the time it’s just a bit of fluctuation but people feel like they are going to gain it all back quickly and that’s not what actually happens if you are following a solid plan.
The problem is that if they don’t move calories back to normal, like I said, pretty fast. They can actually gain weight back over time without the tools to lose it like they had in the first place when they may have been over consuming for a while.
This is why places that sell lower calories but don’t have a plan to normalize calories when the diet is over aren’t helpful. Eating less is the easy part and oh by the way, it’s kind of a trick you only get once if your calories are low and you never move them back to normal.
Remember normal ISN’T over consumption, so your calories likely won’t get as high as they were before which makes sense. But if you don’t land above 2000 for women and 2500 for men pretty fast you will likely never get there and that ALSO has a lot of negative health consequences.
So you need to do it right.
Lastly, if you are using a tiered down system like we use to get you the most bang for your buck in a diet cycle simply use those same numbers in reverse. Unless of course you have simply pulled things down 50 calories for months and that got really frustrating. Don’t do that, that doesn’t work.
I know I said lastly but there is another way, just go back to normal kind of ASAP. THAT IS WHAT I DO! Like I said, the faster you get back to normal the better so I go straight to 2500 and build from there. Do I gain weight? Yes and no, it certainly fluctuates but if I lose say 15-20 pounds I find my effort and energy is a lot better (not to mention the energy from more food).
As an intro offer we are bundling our new One on One training (called ETP Strong) with our regular membership for just $5 so that more people can try it (this offer is exclusive to our current pricing).
To talk to an Eat To Perform coach and see what One on One nutrition coaching AND NOW training can do for you.
Click the link below and a coach can walk you through what your EXACT plan will look like. (ask about our weekly challenges)
You can also talk to a coach in REAL TIME using the button on the bottom right of that page.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.