Reverse dieting is popular in the fitness competition world, especially with bikini body pros and bodybuilders. Prior to competing, these athletes restrict their food and after the competition, they usually gain a lot of weight because they have trouble getting into a normal diet. Reverse dieting is the solution, as it’s a gradual and controlled way to increase caloric intake after restricting it for a long time. Usually, reverse dieters increase their calories by 50-100 per week for one to three months, or until they reach their target. So, is it an effective way to lose weight?
To date, there hasn’t been much research on the topic, but many people say that slightly increasing your calories can help your metabolism recover, without gaining lots of fat, and that it can reduce the rate of binge eating.
With reverse dieting, you can eat more, as it’s the anti-diet. You also can do things at your own pace, which allows your body to ease into taking in more calories.
If you’re not an athlete and you’ve been lowering your caloric intake for a long period of time, reverse dieting may not work for you. Also, taking in just 50-100 extra calories a day isn’t a lot, so it’s easy to overestimate and take in too many calories, just with a small snack. Anyone who’s dieted knows that not all calories are equal, the quality of the foods matters. Two hundred calories from cake isn’t the same as 200 calories from vegetables.