So, I was thinking about reverse dieting and how there are many varied viewpoints on their opinions. You all know that I clearly love reverse dieting and that it has changed my life, however there are some that VEHEMENTLY disagree in the opposite direction. I've read many articles, and I always go back to what's staring me in the face which is my own results from it. However, I wanted to share not only my results, but the stats of girls on my team who have reverse dieted and the success that they have had. I'm not doing this as advertisement for my team or something like that. I simply wanted to show you the numbers so that you can continue to formulate your own educated opinion. I never want to say "hey my opinions are so true that anyone who doesn't believe me is an idiot." Absolutely not! I just want to present topics, my opinions, and encourage you to look up literature on your own to evaluate for yourself.
The question that I asked the girls were this:
1) Did you follow the macros that you had perfectly? (which I would say within 3-5g of each macro)
2) Did you have cheat meals?
3) Did you gain weight/body fat during the process?
4) How much did you increase? (starting macros and now)
Now, some questions I could have asked where what their body fat percentage was when they began. This is something that is debated because the thought is that in low body fat percentage, you are still in a deficit with your calories so if you were to just jump to maintenance instead of slowly increasing then you would have the same weight neutral results or minimal weight gain.
Here's my opinion about all of the data that has nothing to do with data. Eating is not only a physical process but a mental game. At the end of the day whether or not jumping in nutrition is the same as slowly increasing over time, I would venture to say that almost no women are going to say "Yes, I will add 1000 more calories to my diet with no fear of weight gain."
Slowly increasing over time is a good way to mentally deal with the increase. I'm not referring to girls with eating disorders. This is completely different, and they need huge amounts of nutrition at once and it shouldn't be slow and the very act of fear of food is something that needs to be worked through. I'm referring to every woman because I think we can all admit that it's unfortunate but there is very few women (and men) that don't have a relationship with food in some way.
So, here were the results: (It's powerful so buckle your seat belts)
I know it's hard to see, so I hope that you can read this well but I think that it's so interesting to note a few things.
- Every single person that followed exactly, at the speed that was given to them and no cheat meals either lost or remained the same.
- The only gains were from those that may have had a few cheat meals or those that increased quickly
- Protein stays consistent for each person
- Fat tends to stay moderate (I have seen the most success when fat is kept moderate and just continuing to increase carbs-it's all going to be specific to individual)
I know that body fat and weight is not recorded specifically so I think a common question may be: when is it okay to reverse diet.
I will say that I find that the most successful are those that are lean already, so I suggest leaning out first and then reverse dieting. There are reasons for this that I won't go into much today, because I just wanted to present the numbers.
I'm no analyst but I'm definitely going to continue collecting data like this from girls over the years that I work with them just to see how far you can go. I also wonder about the pancreas. I think that increasing to a certain extent is okay but at some point, you definitely have to pay attention to the fact that your pancreas can only secrete so much insulin, and diabetes may not be just about the adipose tissue or number of fat cells that you may have, but about your pancreas burning out from too much sugar (aka carbs). So, I just wonder long term how intaking too many carbs from a reverse diet will do. Just thoughts...
I know I found this so interesting, so I hope that you did too. And as always, if you have questions about beginning your own reverse diet, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I also have THIS article on reverse dieting that you may find helpful and interesting.
With love and metab rehab,