Everyone wants to embark on a long-term investment to improve one’s overall health. Many of us don’t know what the best option is, or have tried everything and just keep gaining the weight back.
If you are feeling lost or like you have run out of weight loss options, you are not alone.
I am here to teach you that you do have options; healthy, obtainable ones. The old methods of not eating enough and leaving yourself at a caloric deficit, in hopes of seeing more weight loss, is a recipe for disaster.
Online coaching has been something I began doing a few years ago, and I often have found myself working with helpless women stuck in the throes of their own fitness plateau. Usually these women have lost a substantial amount of weight by cutting, and meticulously counting calories, and/or by doing a boat load of cardio workouts.
Both cutting calories and cardio will work to achieve your desired short-term results, but they are not the best way to achieve long-term fitness goals.
How staying in a calorie restriction will mess your body up in the long run
When you drastically cut your calorie intake you body will respond by slowing down your metabolism to match your new caloric intake. In turn, when you are off your “diet” you body’s metabolism will not be able to catch up, and you will gain all the weight you lost back.
Our bodies are extremely good at adapting. When your metabolism is efficient, it will literally slow to the rate you train it to. Notice how I used the word, train? Yes, we can train our metabolisms to run fast or slow. Your metabolism will mirror the amount of food you are taking in.
Now here’s why cardio can add another detrimental factor to this equation: If you are burning 500 extra calories a day though cardio, while only taking in 800 calories a day, you are now forcing your body to run efficiently on very little energy (calories). Your metabolism has no choice but to slow down even more due to the amount of activity you are still asking it to do while operating at an already established deficit by you.
When you restrict calories long enough for your metabolism to start to respond by slowing down, it is mirroring your very actions. After a given amount of time, this can be months or years, you will begin to see a plateau and results that came in the beginning, will stop coming. Weight gain may become apparent and many people don’t know what to do except eat less and exercise more.
Please, I beg of you, DON'T do this! There are other options. Getting the results you once got does not mean you can get those same results by doing the same thing. Your body has adapted.
Your body must adapt to undergo the changes you are asking it to do
Our hormones, age, stress and sleep, all play a HUGE part in seeing results. If you think you may have hit a plateau in your fitness journey, ask yourself could it be from never actually slowly increasing your overall calories again after losing weight?
What's your next weight loss method? Enter reverse dieting
Reverse dieting is the slow and methodological increase of calories, specifically fats and carbohydrates, over a given time frame to help you out of the plateau you have hit.
Reverse dieting has done wonders for myself, and many of my clients.
I’ve seen doctors with PHD’s prescribe women to weight loss plans of less than 1000 calories a day. I’ve seen bodybuilders get caught in the “in season/off season” cycle out of pure fear of putting weight on with no guidance or support from their coaches. I’ve heard of nutritionists telling calorie restricted women “this is just how your body is” after no further weight loss was obtained from working with them. I don’t understand why we are not talking about reverse dieting as a method of healthy living for women! My goal is to let reverse dieting be known and practiced.
Reverse dieting is a great option if you:
- Have a history of nutritional inconsistencies
- Cannot seem to lose weight no matter how extreme your approach
- Are interested in competing in bodybuilding in the future
- Have restricted calories for any period of time
- Are looking to improve strength gains
- Want to improve your relationship with food
- Want to break the weight re-gain cycle
The main benefits you can expect from reverse dieting are:
- Build and repair your metabolism
- Break the weight/regain cycle
- Improve muscle definition and become stronger
- Improve your relationship with food
- Help to normalize your life and rid any irrational fears or limitations you set for yourself- whether that be consciously or unconsciously!