We have all likely heard the phrase “listen to your body” a million times yet so few of us take heed to the wise advice. I, personally, have also learned the hard way. I came into competing learning the “team no days off” mindset which quickly spread from my mentality toward training to my view of dieting. No rest for the weary right?! Fortunately, my views have changed.
I began competing in 2012. Lucky to have success with competing out of the gate, I continued in pursuit of that coveted IFBB Pro Card. Once I obtained my Pro Card in 2013, I quickly stormed full speed ahead with my next goal of gracing the Olympia stage. After two Regional shows, one national show, and eight pro shows without much of a break, I was getting worn out. Toward the end of my “run”, I noticed my body wasn’t responding in typical fashion. After you consistently diet, your body slows its metabolism to conserve fuel sources and adapts. Besides that, I was slowly checking out mentally. All I could think about was how much I was sacrificing, and my list of “cons” for competing became longer and longer.
Wondering what happened to my attitude, I started browsing articles on motivation, dieting, and mindset. I saw so much talk on reverse dieting that I became intrigued. I decided to take some time off to rehab my metabolism, engage in social activities, focus on strength vs. aesthetics, and get my mindset out of the gutter. After I had received a clean bill of health from my physician, I enlisted the help of Dr. Layne Norton and proceeded to reverse diet for 28 weeks. Each week, we systematically added calories to my daily amount. Reverse dieting is not “bulking” or a “binge fest.” We also added in foods I had restricted myself from for nearly three years. I focused on getting strong. I took a break from pounding the treadmill. I gained some body fat but ended my reverse consuming approximately 2300 calories per day from 1300 without aesthetically pleasing results (read: not getting leaner). A tough choice to make considering my fitness journey was solely measured in how lean I was (or was not).
Should you do what I did? If you have any one of these three signs (or all of them), I would strongly recommend halting your fat loss efforts and reverse dieting.
Do you need to be a competitor to utilize reverse dieting? Absolutely not! This tool can be used by anyone, anywhere, to get a sluggish metabolism back to health to approach dieting with new vigor and the ability to achieve desired results.
Do you have to gain body fat during a reverse? Each person is different. I think it is good to understand that is a possibility, but some people LOSE body fat while adding calories into their daily amount. How awesome is that?!
Do you have to reverse for 28 weeks? No! I would recommend reversing either for the length of time you dieted or until you have achieved an adequate daily caloric intake (you aren’t running on fumes before you decide to begin another cut)
I hope this shed some light on when to use reverse dieting. Do not lose hope! Putting the goal of fat loss on hold temporarily to reverse diet may be the answer to rejuvenating your metabolism and your mind!
I’d love to help you reverse diet, feel free to use the contact form on our website and I will personally respond to your inquiry.