Reverse Dieting – How To Repair Your Metabolism
Most people spend a lot of time in calorie resitrcited diets, this puts a huge strain on the metabolism. Reverse dieting is a great technique to help undo any damage done to your metabolism whilst you’ve been dieting in the run up to summer.
Reverse dieting will allow you to enjoy foods which you would have previously considered “dirty” or “cheat” foods, it will help you have a more varied and balanced diet. Doing this in the off-season or during a bulk will also make cutting down and dieting easier due to the increased amount of calories normally available.
1.Calculate Your Macros
All food is made up of macro and micro nutrients which determine their calorie content. The big three macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats. Carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories/g whereas fats have 9 calories/g.
Calculating your macros helps to give you a starting point whilst at the same time ensuring that you are eating the correct quantities of macronutrients.
To calculate your macros find a macro calculator on the web, I use IIFYM. This is also the first step to flexible dieting!
2. Track Your Intake
Once you have your macros the next step is to start taking note of what you are eating and in what quantities. Using a food tracker is a great start but otherwise, food journals are also good. A great app to start tracking is Myfitnesspal.
Another great investment will be a food scale to help weigh out food portions. It is very difficult to estimate portion size without a scale. Having one of these handy will ensure you are being accurate and consuming the calories you think you are.
3. Start Increasing Calories
Now, this is a slow process and isn’t an excuse to start binging on everything in sight using “reverse dieting” as an excuse. Adding calories in slowly will help to speed up your metabolism and give the body time to adjust. Increasing calories in this way will help to prevent unnecessary fat gain.
Whilst doing this ensure to regularly weigh yourself, if you are gaining weight allow it to stabilise before you continue to add in calories. If weight gain is too fast, reduce the increased calories.
This method will allow you to build muscle and stay healthy whilst minimising fat gain and without going to any extremes. It will also be easier when you come to dieting/cutting due to no excessive fat gain.
4. Increase Fats and Carbs
With the increased calorie intake it is time to readjust your macronutrient goals. The increased calories should mainly come from predominately carbs and some from fats. A good macro ratio is 30% of calories from protein, 30% from Fats and the rest (40%) from carbs.
Although this is a good starting point, this will not be perfect for everyone so there is some trial and error involved. Some people respond to higher carb diets and low fats whereas some people are the opposite. One thing is for certain however, you don’t really need to be consuming more than 1g/lb or 2.5g/kg of bodyweight of protein per day.
5. Get Adventurous
With these newly found macros start trying new things. There are loads of recipes out there which are macro friendly and enjoyable. Try to find ones you enjoy and can maybe use when dieting down.
If you need some inspiration check out some of my favourite recipes!
6. Reduce Cardio
Now a lot of us are guilty of doing excessive cardio in an attempt to get shredded, but by manipulating your diet you can avoid it in the offseason. Start by cutting your cardio time down by 1/4 per week whilst keeping your calories the same but start introducing strength training.
Strength training is a great way to build muscle, improve body composition and increase metabolism. Cardio does little to nothing for building muscle and will actually make it harder to do so. Aim to perform weight training anywhere from 4 – 6 times a week ensuring to have at least one rest day to allow recovery.
One important thing to remember is to still monitor our weight. By reducing your cardio, you are directly reducing calories burned in a day, therefore, weight gain can be a possibility. To avoid this manipulate your calories to adjust for this reduced expenditure.
7. Reaching Your Desired Calorie Intake
Once you have reached your goal calorie intake or happy with the amount of food you are consuming you need to decide the next step. You can stop simply by no longer increasing your calories and macronutrient intake.
From here you can decide to stay at maintenance because you feel good and better and this increased intake. Another option is you can decide to start losing weight again and start dieting with a fresh and repair metabolism.
If you do choose to go down the dieting route ensure that you don’t recklessly reduce your calories undoing all that hard work. You’ll want to diet on as many calories as possible so start with small decreases in calorie intake and monitor weight fluctuation.
Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive. Matt Cameron
If you have any other tips for increasing or repair metabolism please don’t hesitate to comment below or hit me up on social media!