Reverse Dieting? WTF?

I have come to a point in both my knowledge absorption and testing many waters to try something that Suzanne from Workout Nirvana put so perfectly.  She told me that based on my body’s mass and my activity level AND the effects of years of yo-yo dieting, I need to increase my calorie load.  I have essentially fucked up my metabolism from under eating, over eating and the continued cycle of neglect and harm on an already over-stressed obese body.  

I KNOW, WTF?

I have done some research and lots and lots of discussion with my Tips of the Scale alumni and this is what it is:  Reverse Dieting…

What is reverse dieting?

Reverse dieting is quite simply a period in which calories are increased to maintenance levels or above after extended periods of caloric restriction, essentially you are ‘reversing’ out of your diet, however weight gain is not a goal of reverse dieting. The goal of reverse dieting is to increase calorie intake as high as possible whilst limiting weight gain. It is most likely that an increase in calorie intake along with carbohydrates will cause added water retention and likely weight gain however the gradual nature of the increases prevents significant fat gain. This increase in calorie intake shall serve to maximize your metabolic capacity, making subsequent fat loss efforts much easier after a reverse diet (MACROFIT.com)

It has been a long time coming.  When I first decided to take my head out of my ass, I was on a ‘suggested’ eating plan from my trainer that did not involve any calorie calculations nor any analysis of my body composition vs. this eating plan.  I didn’t know any better.  But as I have gone through my studies in both Personal Training and Weight Loss and Nutrition, I have had the tools in my hand for some time.  What gives?  I didn’t believe it.  I am, however, open to anything.

My theory is, you don’t know what you don’t know. I had a heated discussion on this topic during my Nutrition course with the instructor.  “Well, we don’t advocate calorie counting….”.  Well, of course you do.  Why calculate someone’s base metabolic rate if you’re not counting what’s going in?  Again, what you don’t know you don’t know.  If you’re not eating enough or if you’re eating too much, it’s hard to determine the net anything if you’re not counting (this is why things like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers work – they are pre-planned caloric meals! Spoiler Alert).

For the last six days, I have been increasing my calories, probably not as slowly as is suggested, but I plan on getting up to the extra 600 (I know!) by end of next week.  As back to school is slowly approaching, September I can start another round of heavy lifting four times a week and I would like to start swimming and running.  

The extra calories has been kinda easy getting in as I have introduced protein mixes that includes healthy fats, carbs and I use a serving and a half of protein.  It is working!  I am now hungry every two to three hours which means I am fueling my metabolism again and I am burning as I should!  

macros

I am just starting to track my macros as well.  This will take some time, but I am using MFP to set my goals and as I eat I am seeing where I can fine tune.  Find me there as aintoronto.  I log everything.  Even the Doritos or Chocolate Almond Bark I may nibble on!  

What else has happened so far?  I feel great.  My mid-section is already showing signs of tightening up, and I don’t know if it’s the extra protein, but my muscle definition is looking mighty fine.

Right now, based on light activity every day, my BMR is around 1750 calories.  My TDEE is 2100.  Once I introduce my strength training in a couple of weeks, my TDEE will increase to 2400 (http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/).  That’s a lot of eats!

Thanks again to Suzanne!  And Sam.  And JT.  And Andrea.  And the Jasmins! You all have been an amazing source of information.  I am on the officially road to recovery and can honestly counsel my clients “properly” as I so lacked when I started my own journey.

Thanks for reading,

~A

 

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