Congratulations! If you’re asking questions about when to stop reversing, you’ve hit another milestone in your nutritional periodization, further cementing all the hard work you’ve done.
For real, this is big stuff, not to be overlooked. Take a moment and reflect on this.
The data to assess when considering an end to your reverse diet is highly individual to your biofeedback and your unique desired end result.
Let go of any comparison to anyone else you’ve seen go through the process. Your end point is yours alone.
This is why tracking hunger, cravings, mood, quality of sleep and progression of strength in training in *addition* to the obvious scale weight and measurements is invaluable!
Here are 5 ways to identify you may be in your maintenance range:
1. Hunger cues on point. Your meals are satiating and sustaining you for 3-4 hours, but you could go longer without becoming ‘hangry.’ Your eating patterns are predictable and manageable.
2. Food-focus and cravings have diminished. On a busy day you may find yourself saying...did I miss lunch? Anyone who’s ever cut knows this doesn’t happen in a hypo-caloric state. But it is not uncommon when you’ve been giving your body adequate fuel, food variety and macro breakdowns high enough to support lifestyle needs.
3. Measurements up more than 1/2’’ for more than 2 weeks. Keep in mind there can be acute inflammation from things like alcohol consumption, a heavy workout or certain days in your cycle, which is why you should give yourself 2 solid weeks at this point before considering it to be ‘the end.’ Look to progress pics for further insight- still looking lean and strong? That’s the goal.
4. Your calories are beyond 20x your body weight - this is likely the ceiling, unless you are a performance athlete or have an astronomical amount of muscle on your frame. I find 16-18x body weight to be a sweet spot for most women prioritizing strength straining with an active lifestyle.
5. Consider all of the above but most importantly what you are feeling in mood, mindset and sustained daily energy; all three of these subjective markers should get big green checks each week - and green means GO!
Remember, you didn’t lose all your fat in a few short weeks so there is NO WAY you are going to gain anything significant back in the reverse process if you commit to taking it slow and steady. At worst you will overshoot for 2 weeks and you go right back to the calories from you prior reversal.
In challenging mindset moments when you need a reality check, ask yourself this; what’s one thing you have now that you used to wish for? Then carry on like the warrior that you are. That thing you just named? No one handed it to you. You BUILT it. Through the tough days. Reversals have them too.
READ THIS: there is no one-size-fits-all benchmark when one should stop the reversals. So lean into your unique ability to asses the data you are tracking when making this decision. You have more insight into this than ANY coach.