Weight loss: Reverse dieting allows you to eat more than calorie-restrictive diets

Reverse dieting is popular for weight loss. It is also a technique that bodybuilders and competitive athletes rely on for increasing their energy levels while maintaining their weight loss and body composition. Reverse dieting is essentially an eating plan which involves increasing your calorie intake gradually over a period of weeks or months. It is usually followed after being on a calorie-restricted diet. Those who want to get back to regular eating habits without extra weight gain, resort to reverse dieting. The eating pattern is such that it gives a boost to metabolism and helps your body burn more calories throughout the day.

Most diets work on the principle of burning more calories than consumed. This requires decreasing calorie intake and even increasing workout duration and intensity, in order to burn more calories. Now, this may help you in achieving weight loss temporarily, but over time it may slow down your metabolism in order to conserve energy in the body.

Calorie-deficient diets can slow down your metabolism and reduce energy levelsPhoto Credit: iStock

A slow metabolism can adversely affect your weight loss and overall health. Also, this can be problematic when you want to resume normal eating habits and still want to maintain your weight, or at the time when you hit a weight loss plateau and are unable to do anything about it.

This is where reverse dieting plays its part. It involves increasing calorie intake by 50 to 100 calories more than the number of calories you are currently consuming for weight control. This will not only allow you to eat more but will also help you enjoy after weeks or months of being on a calorie-restrictive diet. You can have a wide range of healthy meals with an increase in your calorie intake.

Also read: This One Dieting Mistake Can Ruin Your Weight Loss Goals

Reverse dieting benefits
This can be continued for anywhere between 4 to 10 weeks until you reach your target of pre-diet intake. Your protein intake can be the same throughout the period of reverse dieting.

1. Increasing your calorie intake can help in giving a boost to your metabolism and enable your body to burn calories through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which includes basic actions like walking, fidgeting and talking.

2. Reverse dieting can help in normalizing the leptin hormone, which is responsible for regulating your appetite and body weight.

3. A gradual increase in calorie intake can help you feel more energetic. Mood swings and difficulty in concentration may also be reduced. 

Also read: Decoding Health Consequences Of Extreme Dieting

Weight Loss: Can reverse dieting help?
According to HealthLine, there's limited research if reverse dieting can help you lose weight or not. Having said that, an improved metabolism (one of reverse dieting health benefits) can automatically aid your weight loss regime. It can normalize hormonal levels and boost the burning of calories.

What's more is that with reverse dieting, there's the scope of lesser binge eating, which is a common side effect of highly restrictive diets.

Reverse dieting can reduce the incidence of binge eating photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Quick Weight Loss: Dieting Or Lifestyle Management, Know What You Should Stick To

Reverse dieting: know the challenges that follow
1. Counting calories may be difficult to execute and keep count on. 50-100 calories is a small increment is difficult to measure portion-size wise. Adding even one snack in your diet can hinder your progress on the reverse dieting plan.

2. Reverse dieting solely focuses on calorie intake and does not take other factors into consideration - such as sleep cycle, stress levels, hormone fluctuations, and exercise routine.

3. Weight loss benefits of reverse dieting lack sufficient research and scientific backing.

If you have reached a weight loss plateau or are finding it difficult to continue with your low-carb or keto diet, you can give reverse dieting a try. Let us know in the comments below how it works for you.

Disclaimer: This content along with recommendation provides generic data only. it's in no manner a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. continually consult a specialist or your own doctor for additional info. NDTV doesn't claim responsibility for this info.

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