Contrary to how it may seem, reverse dieting is no walk in the park.
There can be days where you will be hungry, maybe a bit tired of tracking, or even so stuffed you have a hard time hitting your calorie target!
Below are 4 tips to help you along the way on your reverse dieting journey.
Reverse dieting is unique because some people experience being hungry while others have difficulty reaching those high macro targets because they are full.
Typically, the earlier you are on the reverse dieting process, it's normal to experience some hunger (~ first 2-4 weeks). Why does this happen? Tough to say exactly. It could be due to your overall activity levels increasing since you feel better being able to eat more. It could also be from hormonal shifts that occur during dieting. That being said, we want to make sure that you know that experiencing hunger in the early stages is totally normal and won't stay forever!
Include More Calorie-Dense Foods
On the contrary, as calories slowly increase on your reverse diet journey, it can become difficult for many to reach those high macro targets. Don't be afraid to include some calorie-dense "fun foods" such as trading in the rice cakes for real cake! These foods will take up less volume in your stomach and make it easier to consume more calories. We aren't saying eat all "junk" food, but it can help!
Don't Shift Your Mindset
It's very easy to allow your mindset to shift after a weight loss diet while beginning a reverse diet. After all, you finally reached your goal, time to relax a bit, right? Well, a little, but not entirely! If you want to keep off the weight you lost, you need to look at a reverse diet as being just as important as the actual fat loss diet itself. Don't allow yourself to lose consistency with your tracking efforts, hitting your targets, or gym schedule.
Slowly Decrease Activity/Cardio
When someone is on a weight loss goal, typically, they incorporate some cardio to help lose the weight in conjunction with a calorie deficit. It is also typical that these cardio levels are pretty high, high enough to where they are not sustainable in the long term for someone.
If you find yourself in a position where cardio levels are higher than you would consistently like them, slowly drop them or "wean them out." This can be done in many different ways. Such as,
Decreasing steady-state cardio by 15-30 minutes each week
Dropping steps by 2-3,000 every week
Just make sure you do this incrementally and not all at once to limit weight regain.