What to EXPECT in a Reverse Diet!
Ok now that we know the WHAT the WHY and the HOW (go back to Part 1 if you missed that), let’s talk about expectations of a reverse diet.⠀
What to anticipate:⠀
📌A relatively slow process, generally between 6-12 weeks in duration ⠀
📌Some weight gain is usually inevitable, which is why tracking measurements and progress photos are much more valuable than assessing scale weight alone ⠀
📌If you do include scale weight in your metrics (which I recommend), make sure you are looking to a weekly average for comparison when making the decision to proceed to the next reversal ⠀
📌It is still an effort and much like a cut, requires a level of precision⠀
📌You may still feel like you are cutting and become hungrier as your body responds to more energy⠀
📌Because your metabolism can adapt upward or downward, how high your numbers grow will largely depend on your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or unconscious movement in your day unrelated to exercise); so maintenance can swell or shrink over time based on this movement⠀
📌Some body recomp can occur if you continue to push progressive overload and hit protein⠀
What to NOT expect in a reverse diet:⠀
❌ Increasing 1000 calories (we’ve all seen the progress photo of the girl going from 1200-2200 looking leaner than ever, but there was more to the story than the photo alone)⠀
❌ Going from ‘skinny fat’ to shredded; maintaining a very similar physique is realistic and should be the goal⠀
❌ Returning to a diet consisting of foods you once deemed ‘forbidden’ if you were in an extreme dieting phase⠀
All of these things can happen but very likely will not occur after one cycle of cutting and reversing, especially if you are someone who has lived at very low calories for a very long time. Generally speaking, the longer you have held your body in a deficit, even if only a perceived one, the longer it will take to reestablish a comfortable settling point. Which means periods of cutting, reversing and maintenance over the course of years, not months, may be required to see a substantial increase in metabolic rate.⠀
In part 3 I’ll talk about how to know when you’ve hit maintenance and who a reverse may not be right for!