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The Ultimate Guide to Reverse Dieting

When it comes to effective but healthy weight loss solutions, it can be difficult to find the difference between hearsay and fact. With so many fads, trends, and random dietary tips available to people, misinformation can quickly become interpreted as truth. What does that mean for the average person’s weight loss goals?

Well, quite frankly, it means everything.


In a post-pandemic world, understanding how the body actually works in terms of dieting and weight loss is more important than ever. In our ultimate guide to reverse dieting, we’ll be looking into the history of this science-based, data-driven approach to weight loss. We’ll also address the underlying issues behind various diet fads, and why they’re actually counterproductive to how the human body works.


But before we can delve deeper into how to start reverse dieting through long-term planning, let’s look at some of the more common issues associated with fad diets, and discover why they do more harm than good.




Short-Term Diets Bring Short-Term Results

We all know someone who swears by a new trendy diet and brags about how much weight they’ve lost in a short amount of time. But how many of us can say that the same person is still praising that diet six months later?


Generally speaking, you can summarize pretty much every fad diet like this: Eat less + moving more = weight loss. For short-term goals in weight loss, that may sound pretty good, right? You may even notice some results.


But what happens when that short-term goal for losing weight has no endgame? What solution do these fad diets offer for those who want to maintain this weight loss for the rest of their lives?


Therein lies the problem.




The Fallacy of the Fad Diet

Losing weight is one thing. Actively keeping that weight off forever is another thing entirely. It’s in this gap between short-term weight loss and long-term effects that we begin to understand the lack of clarity and effectiveness that these fad diets provide.


The human body is an absolute marvel of engineering. Respecting and understanding the ability your body has to adapt to your dietary intake is one of the most important steps in setting yourself up for success.


Why The Majority of Diets Fail

There are several reasons why dieting fails people each and every time. The main one that most aren’t willing to admit? Food is delicious, a social activity, and can be the fabric of societies. And diets that deprive your body of food are hard to stick to.

In the United States alone, a recent survey painted a rather bleak picture of how we approach dieting.

  • During the pandemic, 71% of Americans gained considerable weight

  • 63% of them admitted to struggling with long-term weight loss management

  • A whopping 116 million Americans have described the feelings they experience when dieting and losing weight as just as bad as being obese in the first place

It’s important to understand that these figures offer an insight into how people perceive the process of losing weight. After all, who wants to feel that miserable? Especially when the statistics point to them gaining all of that weight again once it’s lost.


But in the interest of fairness, let’s focus on that small percentage of people who have the determination and willpower to overcome that hump and stick to their restrictive diets. What then?


Have you ever asked yourself why even the people who put in all of that hard work to lose weight never manage to keep it off permanently? The answer lies in a severe misunderstanding of how the body and metabolism work.




Fighting Against Your Natural Programming

The fitness industry has taught people that eating way less and moving more is the key to weight loss. But isn’t this counterintuitive to how the human body naturally functions alongside diet and nutrition?


Preparing the body for effective weight loss by building the metabolism and getting it running at its most optimal capacity is one of the most important starting points of any reverse dieting plan.


Why? Because with reverse dieting, results are measured long-term, with continual weight-loss planning that understands how our bodies naturally work. It takes how your body works into account, instead of pushing back against its natural programming.


But what is reverse dieting, and what can it offer those willing to put in the effort?


What Is Reverse Dieting?

Reverse dieting is the practice of building up your metabolism to run better and burn fat more effectively. By preparing your body for changes in diet, you’re working with it to achieve your desired goals, instead of constantly working against it through depriving yourself of calories and food intake.


Through strategic increases in your daily food consumption, reverse dieting results in a more finely tuned metabolism. As stated earlier, eating in a large calorie deficit, or a calorie deficit for long periods of time only makes your metabolism decrease. Once you start eating normally again, you can gain fat from eating the same simple foods due to this slower metabolic rate.


With a reverse dieting plan in place, the body is able to increase its metabolism while maintaining the same weight. As your metabolism is no longer slowed down and sluggish, cutting calories and eating in severe deficits are not needed.


In other words, you can eat like a normal human being and remain lean. However, in order to get to that place, your body needs to be nutritionally programmed, which takes some time.



Who Is Reverse Dieting For?

Reverse dieting is for anyone and everyone. But generally speaking, the following types of people tend to embrace reverse dieting to lose weight:


  • People who have found their weight loss progress has slowed or stopped entirely

  • Athletes who have just finished cutting weight and want to increase calorie intake while repairing their metabolism

  • People who have attempted to lose weight by cutting calories and have had no noticeable results

  • Anyone who wants to lose weight by eating the food they like

  • Anyone who wishes to maintain their current weight while enjoying greater quantities of food

  • Anyone who is looking to gain muscle without gaining fat

And in broader terms, a reverse diet plan is for anyone who strived, worked hard, and put all of their efforts into a diet plan, only to find no support or long-term help in maintaining that weight loss.


The History of Reverse Dieting

While the concept of reverse dieting may sound new, it actually has a rich history that spans decades in several fields of sports and athletics. In fact, reverse dieting in bodybuilding, elite amateur wrestling, and elite mixed martial arts has been deployed by the best of the best for years now.


Seen as something of a ‘post-diet diet’, athletes would use reverse dieting to prevent significant changes in their body after getting lean or losing a significant amount of weight. By strategically adding more calories and nutrition to naturally rebuild their metabolism, they were able to stay trim as they began to add calories and performance fuel to their bodies again.


The reverse diet plan has been effective in the wrestling and MMA industry for years. These athletes that need to stay lean all year round need to also consume large amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to fuel and recover from their intense workouts.


With the right macronutrient mixes, this reverse dieting to fix the metabolism proved itself to be an effective technique on these world-class athletes. Not only are they able to control their weight, but they also don’t suffer from any energy loss in the process.


If it’s good enough for them, why not you?




Metabolism 101: An Overview

Your metabolism is one of the most fascinating tools of human anatomy. We’ve all heard people discuss how fast or slow their metabolisms are. Maybe this is the case. But everyone’s metabolism has one incredible component - it’s able to modify and adjust to what we take in.


What does this mean for your body? Well, if you’re eating in a caloric deficit, it just means that your metabolism adapts accordingly and prepares itself to help keep life sustained. In other words, if you’re consuming fewer calories than usual, your body begins to anticipate a period of ‘starvation’.


Why is this such an important point to consider? Because fitness and fad diets don’t take this into account, meaning that one of the biggest factors of energy-burning in your entire body is actually preventing you from maintaining your weight loss.


It doesn’t end with weight loss, either. Are you looking to build muscle as you get in shape? Well, as soon as your metabolism adapts to that lower calorie intake, eating to gain muscle isn’t going to work. Why? Because your metabolism isn’t back where it should be, therefore, still needs more before you can gain muscle.


This isn’t a ‘revolutionary new discovery’ or some flavor of the month diet tip - this is human biological processes 101.


The longer the dedication to the latest fad diet, the longer it takes to fix this issue. In order for people to learn how to reverse diet without gaining weight, the metabolism needs time to stabilize and return to normality.


Adding Macronutrients to the Mix

In reverse dieting, macros are also extremely important. As the ‘fuel’ that gives our bodies the energy required to go about our everyday lives, macronutrients essentially fall under these 3 categories:


Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

While many diets count calories strictly, they don’t always consider where variables like macronutrients have come from and how they help to fuel the body.


Restrictive calorie counting neglects the science behind how our bodies work and burn fat. With reverse dieting, your calorie intake is hugely important, but through strategically increasing those numbers instead of restrictive counting and eating in a constant calorie deficit.



Sounds Good. But How Does Reverse Dieting Work?

Unlike a diet that promises sudden changes and immediate results, reverse dieting to lose weight requires dedication and long-term commitment. Short-term diet hacks come with short-term results. So long-term diet plans with exit strategies to keep that weight off come with long-term commitments!


Does reverse dieting work wonders on the body? Absolutely. But you’ll need to rebuild that metabolism to enable the weight loss that will come further down the line. Will you gain a little weight initially? No, if you take a conservative to moderate approach. In fact, we often see the % of body fat drop during the reverse process for many people while weight remains stable.


Once you’ve built your metabolism to its optimal function, you can begin to gradually manipulate your macro consumptions and monitor calorie intake to achieve whatever goals you desire, such as losing fat, building muscle, and increasing performance.


Once your metabolism is prepared you can run on whatever calorie amount your body requires. It’s all a matter of gradually introducing foods again, and not overwhelming the body. Because your body is being primed and prepared for the change in calorie intake, there’s no unwanted weight gain issues post-diet.


This is a general insight into the cycle for those wondering how to reverse diet in a nutshell. Through reverse dieting, macros, calories, and metabolic functions all work together to keep weight off, help burn calories, and build muscle while staying lean.


What Is an Exit Strategy in Dieting?

It’s probably not a term you’ve heard before in dieting terms, is it? Once the fad diet has suppressed the metabolism, none of these ‘get fit quick’ schemes offer any support to maintain that slim figure or muscle.


Learning how to start reverse dieting will always end with a sound exit strategy to maintain your hard work and progress. The goal of an exit strategy with reverse dieting is to enable you to eat the foods you like and sustainably maintain your weight loss or body fat percentage for the rest of your life at much higher calorie amounts than when you started.


While some diets will make you question how your body works, a reverse diet plan with an exit strategy will empower you to know exactly what your body requires.

It’s all about developing a better idea of what you need in order to maintain your ideal weight (if that’s your ultimate goal).


Need to bulk up or slim down even more for any reason? An exit strategy helps you to:

  • Better understand where you’re at now

  • What you’ll need to do once that period is over

  • How to adapt and build your metabolism back up

  • How to maintain that perfect desired weight and or physique



Reverse Dieting Benefits

The benefits of reverse dieting for weight loss aside, below are just a few of the other benefits of looking into how to reverse diet and some additional reasons why there’s never been a more effective time to embrace it.


Reverse Dieting is Great for Athletes

With reverse dieting, athletic training methods can be applied to help gain muscle and improve athletic performance while maintaining leanness. This means no need for intense calorie surplus tactics or fat-heavy bulk eating. Gain muscle, improve performance, and stay lean through strategic nutritional programming and planning.


You Can Use Reverse Dieting to Reset your Metabolism

Reverse dieting to fix your metabolism (or recalibrate it) takes a little time. But when you’ve built it to its full capabilities, the results will speak for themselves. Learning how to appreciate the metabolism and how it works is half the battle when looking to maintain weight loss and stay lean.


Reverse Dieting is Key for Long-Term Sustainable Fat Loss

That greater appreciation of the body and how it works leads to the ultimate combination of long-term planning that considers a scientific and data-driven approach to weight loss.


Regaining weight after a dedicated diet is inevitable without clear steps to maintain your ideal weight.




Is Reverse Dieting Hard To Do?


Yes and no. Weight loss plans that have a long-term exit strategy contain many different elements that are difficult to keep track of. Staying on top of calories, macronutrients, and how your metabolism will burn through them is by no means easy.


However, with innovations and advancements in technology at your disposal, these challenges can be made so much easier. It all depends on where you choose to take your reverse dieting goals and needs to.


No two bodies are the same, and it’s essential to find an individualized plan to not only achieve your goals but to maintain them.


That’s where The Macros Clinic comes in.


The Macros Clinic

At The Macros Clinic, we’re dedicated to not only helping you achieve these goals, but also educating you on the best ways to keep said goals on track.


While others may set you goals and not consider the long-term effects of them, we’re dedicated to helping you from the day you make that decision to take control of your weight management.


Through a personalized one-on-one coaching and nutrition plan, we believe in supporting you each and every step of the way. With weekly check-ins, 24/7 support, and constant macronutrient adjustments available, we offer healthier and more sustainable weight loss results for those willing to put in the work.




100% online. 100% effective. 100% tailored to your specific needs.

Our expert insights, individual support, and 24/7 guidance are available in the following areas:


  • Weight loss goals and maintenance

  • Muscle building

  • Better overall sports performance

  • Body and muscle toning

  • Help with bodybuilding and other athletic competition prep

  • Metabolism resets

Eat More Without Gaining Weight

By gradually increasing your calorie intake alongside a rebuilt metabolism, you’re able to eat healthier portions of food to suit your body’s needs.


Understanding how to reverse diet without gaining weight is difficult if you do it alone. But with technology and our continued support, it doesn’t have to be so hard.

By keeping an eye on your calorie and macronutrient intake, we’re able to help keep your weight the same or reduce it during the reverse diet. By increasing your calorie intake and macros each week, we can calibrate your body’s exact nutritional requirements that suit your body’s and goal needs.


Does it sound like a lot of hassle? It’s not with The Macros Clinic. How do we manage to track and maintain all of this? Through our easy-to-use connected intelligence app.