Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 168: Reverse Dieting is a Complete Waste of Time

April 30, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer Episode 168
Ep 168: Reverse Dieting is a Complete Waste of Time
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 168: Reverse Dieting is a Complete Waste of Time
Apr 30, 2024 Episode 168
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

Are you worried about regaining fat after a successful cut? Is reverse dieting really a shortcut to a faster metabolic rate, or just a fitness fad? Are you ready to ditch the reverse dieting rollercoaster?

In this eye-opening episode, Philip  (@witsandweights) dives into the controversial world of reverse dieting. You’ve probably heard the buzz about how it can boost your metabolism, prevent fat regain, and make future weight loss a breeze. But is it the magic solution it’s cracked up to be?

Philip cuts through the noise, reveals the hard facts, and dismantles the myths surrounding reverse dieting, backed by science and practical insights. He dives into the metabolic science, behavioral psychology, and practical alternatives that work far better for post-diet recovery and long-term weight maintenance.

If you're considering reverse dieting after your cut, listen all the way through so you understand both the mechanisms AND the more time-efficient strategies Philip will give you so you don’t ever need to reverse diet again. It’s time to rethink your approach and embrace smarter, more efficient methods!

Today, you’ll learn all about:

4:28 What is reverse dieting
6:48 Metabolic adaptation
10:01 Regaining body fat and maintenance calories
17:06 Does it increase your starting metabolic rate?
20:08 What to do instead of reverse dieting
25:00 Why people do the reverse diet
32:31 Outro

Episode resources:


Related episodes:

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🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you worried about regaining fat after a successful cut? Is reverse dieting really a shortcut to a faster metabolic rate, or just a fitness fad? Are you ready to ditch the reverse dieting rollercoaster?

In this eye-opening episode, Philip  (@witsandweights) dives into the controversial world of reverse dieting. You’ve probably heard the buzz about how it can boost your metabolism, prevent fat regain, and make future weight loss a breeze. But is it the magic solution it’s cracked up to be?

Philip cuts through the noise, reveals the hard facts, and dismantles the myths surrounding reverse dieting, backed by science and practical insights. He dives into the metabolic science, behavioral psychology, and practical alternatives that work far better for post-diet recovery and long-term weight maintenance.

If you're considering reverse dieting after your cut, listen all the way through so you understand both the mechanisms AND the more time-efficient strategies Philip will give you so you don’t ever need to reverse diet again. It’s time to rethink your approach and embrace smarter, more efficient methods!

Today, you’ll learn all about:

4:28 What is reverse dieting
6:48 Metabolic adaptation
10:01 Regaining body fat and maintenance calories
17:06 Does it increase your starting metabolic rate?
20:08 What to do instead of reverse dieting
25:00 Why people do the reverse diet
32:31 Outro

Episode resources:


Related episodes:

Send me a question for Q&A!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

Maybe you've heard the claims that slowly increasing calories, in what's called reverse dieting can boost your metabolism, prevent fat rebound, and make future weight loss a breeze. Or even that it's a simple way to get back to maintenance calories without overshooting. It sounds tempting, like this magic bullet that eases your transition out of a diet without erasing your hard earned progress. A nice simple solution that almost every coach out there says you should use. But as I'll show you today, reverse dieting is a complete waste of time, backed by more hype than science, if you are tracking in a few important areas. In today's episode, I'm going to break down exactly why and what to do instead for faster recovery and sustainable results without worrying about body fat overshooting. If you're serious about optimizing your nutrition and doing it in a time efficient way, get ready to challenge what you thought you knew about reverse dieting. Welcome to the wit's end weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Whitson weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the weights and weights podcast. In our last episode 167 optimize your thyroid for hormone health, metabolism and fat loss with Haley fountain. We explored thyroid health which affects everything from your weight and metabolism to your sleep and even your mental health. You learn how to manage your weight when you have a thyroid condition. The link between minerals and thyroid function and why exercise and nutrition are so important and what you should be doing, as well as how the mind body connection and sleep all play into thyroid health. Today for episode 168 Reverse dieting is a complete waste of time, we are going to bust some myths surrounding the popular but misguided practice of reverse dieting. Many people and even some well respected coaches, many whom I follow and some are my mentors claim that reverse dieting can boost your metabolism, prevent Rapid Fat regain and make future weight loss easier. Others simply recommend it as a tool to slowly pull out of a deficit without overshooting and gaining body fat. But as we'll see today, none of these reasons really hold up. The claim that I am making today is that reverse dieting is a complete waste of time. And I'll explain exactly why we're going to dive into the metabolic science, the behavioral psychology, the practical alternatives that work far better for post diet recovery, and long term weight maintenance. And if you are considering reverse dieting after a cut, listen all the way through so you understand both the mechanisms and the more time efficient strategies that I'll give you. So you don't ever need to reverse diet again. Now before we get into that topic, I do want to invite you to join our amazing and totally free Facebook community. In that community and that group we come together to support to encourage each other to inspire each other on our nutrition and fitness journeys from 100% positive perspective, no bullies are allowed. And as a member of our Facebook group, the big thing that you get access to is the exclusive weekly live q&a sessions. And this is where you post during the week, you can post your question about anything related to your nutrition and fitness wellness with context for you specifically, and then I will answer it live on Friday, and the replay will be available. You also find a ton of free guides resources and other things that we drop just to the community so you can stay on track and reach your goals. Most importantly, though, you'll be part of a bunch of really cool like minded people in a group that I think is like no other we are all working toward becoming the best versions of ourselves. And you can get formed checks you get motivation, you can get specific tips, whether it's equipment, or food or apps or whatever. And we love to celebrate each other's wins and successes, give helping hands when asked and then motivate when needed as well. So just head over to Facebook search for the Whitson weights community or click the link in the show notes to join us. Alright, so let's dive into today's topic. Reverse dieting is a complete waste of time and we're going to start of course with definitions. What the heck is reverse dieting, maybe you haven't heard of it before, or if you have one a little refresher. So reverse dieting is gradually increasing calories, usually by 50 to 100 per week, maybe 200 calories for several weeks or potentially months after, usually after finishing a cut or a fat loss phase and weight loss phase. And the idea is to slowly build Up to new maintenance. It could also be used when you were first getting started. And you've been dieting for a long time. And then a coach says, well, we need to reverse diet you up to your maintenance, you know, so that you can eat more food and burn more calories and so on. Now, Proponents claim that this approach, not all proponents, let's be honest, but a lot of them will say that this repairs your metabolism or fixes your metabolism after the supposed damage of dieting, and that it prevents Rapid Fat regain from jumping to maintenance or above it Prime's you for easier fat loss in the future by elevating your metabolic rate. And some other coaches simply claim that it's the best way to return to your maintenance calories to do it, you know, slowly over time, and you don't overshoot. So some coaches claim some or all of these, and even other things besides that, and basically, the theory is that your metabolism slows down during a diet, which does happen, and that you need this long, gradual reverse dieting process to restore it and avoid overshooting into weight gain. And I understand the surface level appeal of these claims. Because dieting is hard. And we'd all love a magic bullet to make both diet life easier and more predictable. But unfortunately, the science doesn't really support the necessity, or the efficacy of reverse dieting, particularly if you have the right information and you're tracking the right things. And that's where tracking is going to come in. We'll get to that later in the episode. If of course you lack certain information. And you don't have the complete picture. Reverse dieting might be the fallback simply because you can't go after the most efficient approach. But you're listening to which and wait. So we are all about the wits side of that supporting the weights in that we want to do things intelligently and efficiently. So let's get into a little bit more about metabolic adaptation. Because this is the underpinning a lot of a lot of the arguments for reverse dieting. So first of all, describing post diet, metabolic adaptation, or the metabolic adaptation that occurs during dieting, as any form of damage or irreparable harm is completely misleading. Because yes, your metabolism typically slows down as you lose weight. But it's completely recoverable. And it happens for two reasons. Number one, you're simply losing weight, so you have a smaller body that requires less energy, period. Number two, and this is what I think is really what we talked about with metabolic adaptation, your body down regulates its hormones to conserve energy in response to being in that deficit. And that has a cascading effect. Now, there's a third element to why your metabolism might go down, that is more what's in your control. And that is your changing activity, or your lack a lack of sleep, or you drink alcohol, or maybe even your cycle, or let's see too much chronic stress, right? There's all these little things that can, the things that are in your control your lifestyle, changes your lifestyle decisions that can make your metabolism go up and down. independence of the fact that number one, you're lighter. And number two, the hormonal metabolic adaptation. So the slowdown that just happens naturally, that's out of your control, which we can call adaptive thermogenesis as well. It is not at all any form of long term damage. It is more like a survival mechanism that we evolved so that we don't starve to death in a famine. And that's all it is. And it's 100% reversible. We know this, because bodybuilders who go through extreme cuts, to the most leanest level, you can imagine. They reverse right out of it. And I use the word reverse. But we're going to talk about the alternative to reverse dieting, but I'm using reverse just in the colloquial sense that they, you know, reverse the direction out of it. And they are able to get back to their previous metabolism eventually, no problem. So how do you will say reverse colloquially, your diet or your metabolism? Well, the simplest way to do that is just not being a calorie deficit. So this is the thing about metabolic adaptation is, and I was talking to, I think Jordan lips about this when he was on the show, it's a trade off we are making, knowing that we're making it so that we can lose the fat. So yeah, we're trading this metabolic adaptation. But in exchange, we get the fat loss we are going for. And you could go more aggressively, of course. And if you go more aggressively, the adaptation tend to be more severe. But also the fat loss happens faster, right? So it's a trade off. And the opposite of any of this is just not being a deficit. So if you can restore your energy balance back to your current maintenance, that is the best way to flip your body out of that mode, and recover and not be adapting anymore. And here's the thing, there's no evidence that this requires a slow calorie increase over days, weeks or months. And that's kind of the key that I'm going to get to today. And I touched on it at least once before in my an episode A while back about reverse dieting that I'm going to link in the show notes. And I'm touching on some of those again today if you hadn't heard that, or if you need a refresher, but I will come at this with some They're angles that you hadn't heard before. So the other key factor that people are worried about with reverse dieting is are not worried about what the but they why they think they need it is regaining body fat. So we've talked about hormones before, right? Your fat cells produce leptin is the satiety hormone keeps you full, and that stimulates your metabolism. And if you have more body fat, there's more of that. So while you're dieting, and it reduces that and reduces your metabolic rate, when you regain, not necessarily the weight you lost, but when you're stopping the loss of body fat, it also normalizes both. And again, what does that mean? That means going back to maintenance calories, and doing it as fast as possible, not necessarily the way that reverse dieting is going to have you do that. Okay, so stick with me, you see what I'm suggesting here, reverse dieting, which can be a gradual process is not necessary. If you know you can go straight to maintenance. So the claim that reverse dieting rebuilds your metabolism better than going to maintenance and it's going to cause all these other negatives, like we're just gonna avoid body fat overshooting is pure speculation. And it's driven by the fact that a lot of people have no clue what their maintenance calories are at the end of a diet. They've been guessing the whole way. They've been trying to reactively keep up with their changing metabolism by lowering calories, but they're not really precisely sure where that is. So if you're not precisely sure what your metabolism is, it's understandable, you would be afraid of overshooting that because you're like, Well, you know, I think I'm in a 500 calorie deficit. So I could just go up 500 calories. But what if I'm actually been metabolically adapted more than that lately, and I've only been in like a two or 300 calorie deficit. Well, now if I go up 500 calories, I'm actually in a surplus, and I'm gonna start gaining fat. That's where all of this stems from. Okay, so let's talk about fat regain a little bit more, right? The idea that reverse dieting prevents that, and I just touched on it a little bit. But there are some other things behind this that people talk about, like, okay, you've been restricting calories for such a long time. And you're leaner. And now your body is primed to store every extra calorie as fat if you increase too quickly. Now, first of all, even if you did go straight into a surplus, and you knew what surplus you were in, you're only going to get as much fat as the tissue that is not gained as muscle that makes sense. Meaning, if you go back into a surplus, and you're training hard to build muscle, like we should always be doing, you're gonna gain some of that as muscle and some of it is fat, just like you would if you were a maintenance for a while and then started that process. There's not a difference. It's not supported by research that you're all of a sudden going to just gain fat for some reason. And that's if you go into a surplus, we've already said that, if you simply return to maintenance, well, you're not even in a surplus. So you should gain zero extra fat, zero extra fat. Remember, you're going from a deficit to a net zero, right? No deficit, no surplus, your maintenance. But a lot of people think, oh, I need to reverse diet. So I don't jump so quickly that I go past that point. Well, the way we're going to do it, we're not going to go past that point, we're gonna go predictably and reliably and precisely to the point we need to be, which is maintenance calories. Okay. And again, Multiple studies have found no difference in body composition changes, based on the rate of post diet calorie increases. All that matters is your surplus or your deficit. That's it. All right, all the stuff about P ratios and going from a really lean state versus not so lean state. No, none of that is supported. Let's simplify it today. We don't need to get complicated or overthink it. Okay, so again, think about it this way with numbers. If you've been dieting on 2000 calories, and your maintenance is 2500. So you're in a 500 calorie deficit would stay in at 2100 for a week, and then 2200 the next week and so forth, make any difference in fat storage compared to going straight to 2500? Note would not. And what it would do negatively is prolong your deficit, which is what we're trying to get out of. And again, people are like, well, that's not what we mean. We mean, if you've been dieting in 2000, your maintenance is 2500. And you shoot up too fast to 2600. Well, I'm not saying that either. I'm saying we are going to go to our maintenance calories. Okay. So the calories are calories. This is one of those cases where calories are calories. There's no metabolic magic happening because you went up slowly, versus jumping straight up and dragging out that process keeps you in the deficit longer than necessary. And what does that do? Well, that risks more muscle loss and hormone disruption and just not feeling great and who wants to be in a diet for longer than you intended? Right now, to be clear, you will definitely I was gonna say likely in my notes, but then I said, you will definitely gain a few pounds of weight when you increase your calories from the diet, back to maintenance, but that's all water and glycogen is all it is. Because think about it. You're you're increasing your intake of food. You're gonna have more Put in your gut, you're going to be drawing in more water and you're gonna have more carbs. Most likely, assuming you're eating a balanced approach, your carbs might go up from say, you know, 100 grams to 300 grams or something like that. And so the first few weeks of maintenance are this, not just psychological, but physiological balancing acts because your body is adjusting to the new intake. But that has nothing to do with extra fat regain, or anything else that people are trying to avoid with reverse dieting. So if you are again, if you're at your true maintenance calories, you are not going to get any runaway fat gain. The real problem is people miscalculate your maintenance intake, or they don't even know it, and then they accidentally overshoot into a surplus. That's a completely separate issue. Right? That's a completely separate issue. And we need to acknowledge that. Hey, this is Philip and I hope you're enjoying this episode of Whitson weights. I started with some weights to help ambitious individuals in their 30s 40s and beyond, who want to build muscle lose fat and finally look like they lift. I noticed that when people transform their physique, they not only look and feel better, but they also experienced incredible changes in their health, confidence and overall quality of life. If you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same thing to build your ultimate physique and unlock your full potential. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your progress to the next level. That's why I created wits and weights physique University, a semi private group coaching experience designed to help you achieve your best physique ever, with a personalized done for you nutrition plan, custom designed courses, new workout programs each month, live coaching calls, and a supportive community, you'll have access to everything you need to succeed. If you're ready to shatter your plateaus and transform your body and life, head over to Whitson weights.com/physique or click the link in the show notes to enroll today. Again, that's Whitson weights.com/physique. I can't wait to welcome you to the community and help you become the strongest leanest and healthiest version of yourself. Now back to the show. So the last thing I want to address before we get into like the how of doing all this is the claim that reverse dieting makes future fat loss phases easier. By increasing your starting metabolic rate. This is the one that has to die. Now I know a lot of people listening, they're like, Well, no, that's not I understand that that's not true. And when I use reverse dieting, that's not the reason I use it. Okay, fine, you're off the hook. But a lot of people still believe this, and they use it in their marketing. And even if this were true, it would be a pretty weak reason to endure the extra time and the extra effort. And more importantly, there's, there's just no mechanistic or clinical evidence for the idea. It's just not true. So it doesn't matter. I guess that's what I'm gonna say. Either way, again, again, even if it were true, I wouldn't use reverse dieting, I would actually take you right to your maintenance calories, and then try to push it up. further than that. Now what is true is people that have been dieting for a long time, potentially are in a suppressed metabolic state. And if they then increase their calories, their body will relax and upregulate back to their normal higher level of maintenance calories, and eventually top out at where they're fully recovered state is, and now they're eating more calories to maintain their weight. But that doesn't mean you can now eat more calories to lose the same amount of weight, your body is going to adapt right back. And the deficit, the calories required to be in a deficit are going to be the same for you. Okay, you're just starting from a less adapted state. Okay, so hope I'm not confusing you here. But the opposite is actually true in the research that people who have a predisposition for weight gain, and yo yo dieting actually tend to have higher baseline metabolic rates on average, pre diet, and it doesn't protect them from regain. Right. And this could simply be that they're heavier, right? They're heavier. And so when you're heavier, you have a higher metabolic rate. But anyway, that was an interesting thing I found I wish I had the study to cite, but it doesn't matter, we're gonna move on because that's really not relevant. And the other thing is that if even if, hypothetically reverse dieting increased your metabolic rate in some in some way that shifted it up, again, those adaptations would just dissipate as soon as you started the next cut. But it doesn't do that. Right. adaptive thermogenesis metabolic adaptation, it happens, can't do anything about it. It starts quickly in a matter of days or weeks at most, but usually days with a deficit. You can't you know, bank extra metabolic output from a previous bulk or maintenance phase, or anything like that. We've seen as we know this, because bodybuilders can't do it. You know, if they did, they would all be cutting on 4000 calories, and it doesn't happen. Alright, so reverse dieting is overhyped. There's a lot of other illusions of reverse dieting that I talked about in the last episode I did on this, which again, I think was called Why reverse dieting doesn't work like you think and what to do instead. So check that out because I think I referenced Eric Trexler ers article as well talking about all the hype that is just what he calls illusions. So, reverse dieting is not necessary to prevent fat regain, it is not going to boost your metabolism. It is also not necessary to recover after a diet. And it is not necessary to get your maintenance from any other point, even if you haven't been dieting just to find your maintenance. So what should you do instead of reverse dieting? That's the question. And the boring but effective answer is increase to your current maintenance calories. So if you've just had a fat loss phase, what are you going to do? If your deficit right now this moment today is 500 calories, you're gonna increase 500 calories tomorrow, and then stay there for about a week and see how your metabolism changes and then follow it upward as it recovers. That's it. And now you avoid the needless additional dieting of reverse dieting. So here's the funny thing, the word reverse dieting. So as the word dieting in it, so remember that, when you reverse dieting, you're still dieting, you're still in a deficit. Now maybe they intended dieting as in your eating, eating food, but I'm gonna go ahead and describe the negative version of that word to the word it. So if you avoid that extra dieting, you'll recover faster, both physiologically and psychologically. Now, there is a term for this called a recovery diet. But it's literally one day, it's one day, it's today I was in fat loss and a 500 calorie deficit. Tomorrow, I'm going back to my maintenance done diets over Boom. Alright, now that can feel scary to bump calories after you've been tracking on your diet, and you have been tracking, right because you're only going to know you're only going to know your maintenance. If you've been tracking your food, your weight over time. And you use an evidence based dynamic way of calculating this over time, you're gonna see how your weight trends, you're gonna see how much food you're eating, and that's going to tell your metabolism. Now, this is why again, I use macro factor, it's the only app on the market food logging app that does this for you. Why wouldn't you just use the best tool for the job, you know, use the hammer for the nail, use the barbell for heavy squats, and use macro factor to get an accurate starting point based on your individual data and your metabolism. If you had been using it during fat loss, you know exactly how your metabolism has gone up or down, probably mostly down during the fat loss phase. And then as soon as you're done with your diet, that literally the next day, you can set it to maintain and jump right to your maintenance calories. And then just continue to, in my opinion, the way I coach clients and in Western ways physique University, we talk about overshooting the maintenance, just a tiny bit, you know, by like 50 calories, because we know your maintenance calories are actually gonna go up. And let's get ahead of it. Right, let's just get ahead of it. Again, all it's going to happen is you're going to gain a few pounds of water weight, but you're not going to gain any fat and you're going to recover really quickly. Which means what does that mean? better sleep, better energy, better lifts, you know, pushing more in the gym, just I mean, the list goes on and on, your hormones get better, and so on. And again, if your weight starts to creep, you know, down after the initial water fluctuations, then that's an indication that you've actually started to fall behind, right, like we're trying to keep up with the increasing metabolism when we're done with the diet. And that's why I like to go over a little more. So you don't accidentally keep dieting. And the funny thing is reverse dieting is like intentionally continuing to date. So you don't need that. And it is a waste of time. And it is counterproductive, it is negative, there is zero reason for it whatsoever, given the claims people make for why you should use it. Alright, so maintenance calories is about getting back to homeostasis, finding the intake that keeps you at this stable, comfortable bodyweight maintaining results, with good energy, good performance, good biofeedback, and it's not fixed. Just remember that it's not fixed, it's going to fluctuate, and hopefully it's going to generally trend upward when you're done with your dieting phase, as you get back to maintenance. So the approach of just a recovery diet going straight back to maintenance in one day. This also contributes to, in my opinion, your relationship with food, be honest, like the whole flexible approach that we take part of the calorie deficit and the fat loss phases, we get it over and done with as quickly as we can, because we don't want to be in that state forever. And so by not reverse dieting, we are getting out of that state quickly. Now you get to, you know, a little bit more calories, more flexibility with your meals and you that you even already had and is not, you know, you're not continuing to restrict in some way where it's not necessary. And you're not even having to overanalyze thing. Like, I think reverse dieting requires too much work too much thinking because you're just, you're saying, well, here's my calories, and then eventually I need to get back up to maintenance, but I'm going to do it in this stair step sort of way. And I'm not quite going to know that I'm at my maintenance until I maybe overshoot a little bit and the weight starts ticking up. It's like, man, it's just too much too reactive to miscalculation, like why do all that just jump to maintenance, and you have to know your maintenance. So that's my opinion on it. Okay. Now, to be fair are, there are a few specific scenarios where slowly increasing calories after a diet can be helpful, or slowly increasing calories because you've never done this before. And you're tracking for the very first time. And, you know, if you come to me and I say, Well, I think you're starting metabolism, maybe in the ballpark of, you know, 2600, what are you eating now? Oh, you're eating 1500? Oh, yeah, let's just jump 900 calories tomorrow. I'm not going to do that as a coach. Right? And I wouldn't expect that, that you to try that yourself either. Because we want to take it slow and steady and get there in a reasonable timeframe. Now, does that defy everything? I just said, No, because this is not for physiological reasons. This is for practical and logistical reasons. And for those of you listening, who said, Well, that's exactly why I tell people to reverse diet because it's practical. Okay, I can give you a point there. However, if you know your maintenance calories, you're still one level beyond reverse dieting in that case, because rather than it being a reverse diet, it's simply a practical jump to get your maintenance as quickly as you can, for that person, meaning, if you know, you need to jump 900 calories, you could do it overnight, you could do it the next day, you really could. But if you tactically, if you find that a struggle, it's okay not to it's okay to jump by 300 calories a day for three days to get there. But we're not gonna waste more time than we need to. The other reason you would reverse diet is if you have no idea what your maintenance intake actually is. So that kind of goes back to the premise of this whole episode. That ignorance of your numbers is probably the one of the main reasons I see most coaching. Most coaches suggest reverse dieting, it makes their job easier, that's for sure. Because they're not telling you to jump to some arbitrary number. And then you gain all this weight, and then you yell at them for not being a good coach. But they're not the best coach, if they don't use the best tools to help you understand what your true maintenance is, and do it precisely in time efficiently. And you don't have to use macro factor for that you can do this in a spreadsheet, like as a coach, if macro factors stopped existing tomorrow, I could do a reasonable facsimile of that for a client, and still use a recovery diet instead of reverse diet, you still can take your weight over time, the calorie intake, you can apply kind of some simple math, some smoothing, this is where my engineering brain and my software brain come in to play. And you can still do a reasonable facsimile of that, alright. But if you don't know your maintenance, and you don't want to go through all that, and you just want to react and you want to guess, go for it, reverse dieting will eventually get you there. But with all the negatives along with the ride that we've talked about today. Now, let's say that you weren't tracking at all that's another reason somebody wouldn't know their maintenance. Let's say you're not even working with a coach and you just like, ate quote, unquote, clean or you did keto or carnivore, or you cut carbs or whatever, however you did your diet, or you just like, arbitrarily watched your calories and then saw how it affected weight. In those cases, it's true that jumping straight to some random maintenance number that you don't even know could lead to overshooting because you're not really even tracking to begin with. So in that case, some conservative increases might help you figure out your maintenance range once your weight stabilizes. So I get it. And that could be a great approach somebody's taking who's eating intuitively, right. But someone who's eating intuitively who's trapped for a long time, will probably have a good idea what it feels like also to get back to maintenance, and know that based on the weight they've been losing, they've been in a certain deficit recently. And they can still make a more educated guess, than necessarily having to reverse diet. Now, the other thing is when reverse dieting can be defined in different ways. For some people, it's like two or 300 extra calories this week, and then next week in the next week. For others, it's much slower, like 50 calories. I mean, either way, it's still reverse dieting, it's like stepping stone to your maintenance. So it's nothing magic. It's like not a magic metabolic restoration protocol. It's just guessing your way there. That's really all it is. The only other situation I can think of is going to be physique competitors, and other extreme dieters, let's say lifestyle dieters. And if you've been in a super aggressive deficit, and you've got extremely lean, you're very adapted both your metabolism and hunger signals have been, you know, whacked out, they're pretty suppressed. And you just literally may not feel comfortable eating a maintenance right away. Like even though you know, you can and you know how to do it, and you've done it before and you're not worried about the number of calories, simply your digestive system and like everything going on with you, it's just off. And to jump that much. Like let's say you're in 1000 calorie deficit, you could jump 1000 calories overnight, may just not be comfortable. And that's another reason to take it slowly. But you still know where you want to be and you want to get there as quickly as possible. So and by that, I mean like take a week, at most, maybe two, but not weeks and weeks and weeks. Okay, that can help with your digestion with your appetite regulation. But the goal again is still to ramp up to your actual recovery. Take your maintenance calories as efficiently as you can tolerate. And other than that it's a temporary psychological tool, it's not actually a metabolic necessity. So for everyone else look, just get macro factor already, you can try it for free with my code, Whitson weights all one word, and stop guessing, I'll put a link in the show notes like I used to do when I mentioned it in the show. And then you'll never ever need to reverse diet ever again, once you've got that approach down, going straight to maintenance calories. So to recap, today's episode, reverse dieting is the epitome of one of those like fitness industry myths that has to die. And it's one of those that really persist even among really great coaches. And a lot of them, I get that they are not necessarily using reverse dieting, the full on way that some people use it. And in some cases, maybe they're not even using reverse dieting, and they're just calling it that and I get it, then we get into semantics and so on which I don't know when this episode is coming out. But Sue bush and I when she was on the show, or maybe I was on her show, I don't remember which one. But we got into a discussion about needing to be careful with our words in this industry. And why podcasting as a medium is a good place to explain all this because then you can define what you mean, which hopefully I've been doing today. And if you did not listen to the episode, of course, you didn't even get to what I'm saying here. And you just give me a bunch of hate comments on YouTube. Because you think reverse dieting is the bee's knees. That just proves my point. So here's the thing you want to trust, the data driven approach that actually measures the things you care about. And one of the things we care about during dieting is knowing your maintenance calories. That's really, really important while we're dieting. So we can be proactive, we can avoid plateaus, and we can recover straight to maintenance. And that's important for your health. That's important for your metabolic health, your performance, your life balance, your psychology, your mental state. That's why this is important. It's not just, it's not just splitting hairs. And if you have the right tools, and then you have the right mindset, then what are you going to do, you're going to maintain that hard earned physique without the smoke and mirrors of reverse dieting. Okay, so if you want to learn more about this, I've got lots of episodes about these various topics, but I do have the other one that I will link in the show notes. And then I'm trying to think if there's anything else I wanted to mention about this other than No, I think that's it. So okay, that's it about reverse dieting and why it's a complete waste of time. The answer is no your maintenance calories, recovery maintenance calories as quickly as possible, you'll feel great. You'll get back to be in maintenance, maintaining your physique or even going into a building phase without all the wasting time. Alright, in our next episode 169 q&a with Jeff Hain menopause weight loss bulking without getting fat cutting on low sleep. I'm teaming up with Jeff Hain of the mind muscle connection podcast for a special co hosted q&a, where we are going to share our thoughts on six different questions three from his community, three for mine on rest periods for muscle growth, managing your diet, unlimited sleep, what to do if you're gaining too much weight in a book, how to transition your training from bulk to a cut, menopause and weight loss resistance for women over 50 and how to prep ahead of time for an inevitable holiday feast Steen. Make sure again to hit follow hit follow hit follow right now in your podcast app so that you are notified when that episode comes out and support the show. And as always, I want you to stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on The Whitson weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of wit's end weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up there with our weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong

Reverse Dieting
Debunking Reverse Dieting Myths
The Myth of Reverse Dieting
Debunking the Myth of Reverse Dieting

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