A Guide to Reverse Dieting: What It Is And How Should I Start?

What is Reverse Diet

It’s a typical thought that dieting means consuming less food and restricting calories – but it’s kind of one of those too-good-to-be-true-sounding diet that promotes eating lots more to lose weight.

Reverse dieting is a kind of diet which encourages people to increase food consumption and calories in order to maintain body fat levels while at a slightly higher maintained weight.

It is claimed that the change will kick-start the metabolism, which frequently slows down and burn calories after a long period of decreased calorie intake, called adaptive thermogenesis.

Kim kardashian’s trainer, recently spoke up about her reverse dieting on social media (Instagram), where she revealed she is in the process of increasing her calories in order to reset her metabolism.

Melissa Alcantara wrote

Goal here is to take me up to 100 cals every couple of weeks till about 2,300 calories at a consistent weight, so that when I lean down a bit I can be lean at much higher calories, somewhere around 1,900.

When Melissa Alcantara (Kim kardashian’s trainer) first started weight training, she began to teach herself how to work out with the help of Internet. Now the trainer, who works with Hollywood celebrities like Kim Kardashian, shares her insights with other people who are looking to lose weight naturally.




Most Recently, Kim’s personal trainer Melissa Alcantara revealed that she’s on a reverse diet and spelled out the reason why she is doing it and how to do for her followers.

On the recent post on Instagram, she captioned

Abs are great, but I’m over it, I’m done being lean for Instagram. I’m done being lean for abs. Yes, I want to look good but I don’t want to live my life thinking about my next meal as I’m eating my current meal. I want to feel good and strong and fed lol.

To correctly reverse diet and see the possible results, a weight loss method often used by bodybuilders, you still have to control what you eat – but you get to eat more, with the goal of doing so without gaining fat.

 Although as a weight loss plan, the reverse diet technique has not been studied methodically; according to some of the experts, this diet plan can be helpful for losing weight if you’ve plateaued. 


To get a place where she feels more free with her diet, she decided to go on a reverse diet, increasing her calories intake, she eats in a day with the end goal of becoming and staying lean at this higher calorie intake.

So are you looking for the same, but eating and likely weighing more? Sound too good to be true!

Keep reading…

Here’s what you should know about the REVERSE DIETING.


What Is Exactly Reverse Dieting?


reverse diet plan


As the name indicates Reverse Dieting is pretty much sounds like: a diet turned upside-down. In this kind of dieting you increase metabolism by gradually adding calories back to your diet instead of cutting calories and ramping up time spend on the treadmill.

Although it sounds very simple but there’s more to reverse dieting than just “eat more, do less”. Nonetheless, if you want to maximize gains in metabolic rate without putting a ton of body fat, you must be strategic and patient.

This means giving your body’s metabolism a considerable amount of time to adapt the deliberate changes, instead of hitting the buffet every day and cutting out cardio overnight.

To understand the science behind the theory of reverse dieting, the very first thing you need to know – what happens in a human body during metabolic adaption!


Metabolic Adaptations from Dieting

When you restrict your calories or dramatically lose weight, your body sight the energy gap and so your departure from its body-fat set point.

As a consequence, several body systems work together to orchestrate a reduction in metabolism, in a desperate attempt to fill the energy gap and puts the brakes on fat loss:

  • Your heart beats becomes slower as sympathetic nervous system activity declines.
  • Your organs consumes less energy.
  • Hormones that effect appetite and metabolism, such as leptin, testosterone, thyroid hormone, ghrelin and leptin are adversely effected.
  • You use fewer calories to digest and absorb food because you’re eating less.
  • You burn less energy during no exercise or fat burning activities, such as working, walking around the house, playing and doing chores.
  • Your muscle becomes more efficient, requiring less energy for a given amount of work.

The moral of this whole story is that metabolism will speed up ultimately to dispose of some of the extra calories that you eat. But in case you significantly increase calories before your metabolism has time to catch up, you’ll pile on the pounds.

Now the question is why would you reverse your diet? If you want answers, then continue your reading…


Why Would You “Reverse” Your Diet?

There are a few reasons to implement a reverse diet and one of the most common is to bring calories and strength back to a healthy and sustainable level after an extended weight loss diet.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete who cuts calories in order to qualify for a weight loss, a bodybuilder who has implemented a controlled diet to achieve low levels of body fat, or someone who has simply been on an extended weight-loss plan for aesthetic benefit, in my opinion a reverse diet should be implemented in order to slowly increase food intake to a maintenance level.

Maintaining an extremely low-calorie diet for the majority of individuals is not sustainable for long-term health, function and happiness. A reverse diet may also be implemented to speed-up your fat loss and avoid a fat-loss plateau when dieting.

Although contradictory, this approach can recuperate essential metabolic hormones such as leptin, T3, and testosterone which become down regulated during extended dieting.

By making calculated and small increases to calories, your body’s metabolism is often able to adapt to the increase with a corresponding uptick in thermogenesis and metabolic output.

The incremental additions in calories enable the individual’s metabolism to burn more energy as a result of increased energy input.

All in all, a reverse diet may be implemented in an attempt to boost an individual’s metabolic capacity and stretch to intake calories while holding at a maintenance weight.


Benefits of Reverse Dieting

The most noticeable benefit is the ability to avoid the dreaded post-diet rebound. Here it is important to mention, the one that happens after you reach your diet goal and then stuff your face for weeks until even your socks are tight.

By increasing your calorie intake, a reverse diet allows your metabolism to reignite and catch up to surplus calories.

If too many calories are introduced to your body too soon then your body will attempt to store these calories for the next time you expose it to extreme calorie deficit.

This can lead to potential long-term metabolic damage and rapid weight gain.

The psychological benefit of reverse dieting is enormous. By having a structured plan post-diet and by controlling yourself, it is likely less that you’ll experience the rapid weight gain and discomfort that often results in body dissatisfaction and depression.

The main aim of this reverse diet is to maximize calorie intake with minimal weight gain. If done properly reverse dieting allows an easier changeover from content or competition shape to offseason maintenance eating.


How To Do Reverse Dieting?

We know what are you thinking right now – If it’s that much easy then why doesn’t everybody do it? Well, in theory, it’s easy but if reverse dieting is in practice, then it’s hard.

In our opinion, the reverse diet is more difficult compared to the diet you’re coming off. It’s extremely challenging to implement the self-control and discipline required to correctly implement the reverse diet. When it comes to this methodology, slow and steady is best and it’s better to start too low than too high.

The reverse diet intend to increase calories with minimal weight gain. If properly done, it allows an easier conversion from contest or competition shape to offseason maintenance eating.

Although each person’s needs and metabolism will vary, thus there’s a general formula for preparing for a successful reverse diet is legitimately simple. It’s just a test of willpower.

So, are you ready to go on a reverse dieting?

Here’re some strategies to help you stay on track:


Have a Plan

If you want to go on reverse diet then you must have a plan ready to be implemented instantly post competition or diet. This means your fete meals are scheduled and food is already prepped. This is an extremely sensitive gap for the body to gain weight.


Week One

If you have executed this diet plan for a week, then return to the calories and macronutrient analysis you followed the week before the beginning of your peak week (skip this step, if you are following a general weight loss diet plan).


Next Step

Introduce a small calorie upsurge in the form of carb. The lower your calorie insufficiency, the more sensible your calorie increase needs to be. Likewise, women normally need to be more careful compared to men in their percentage increases. We recommend an increase of 5% calories for men and 3% increase for women as a starting point.


Assess Weight and Body Fat Weekly

If you are on a reverse diet, take assessments about 7 days after your last calorie increase. Always remain consistent with the timing. If you don’t have access to body fat assessments, then in that case use a combination of pictures, mirror and a scale as gauges. If you restrict drinking water at the end of your diet, implement this step and use the weight and pictures taken the week before your peak week to compare.


Make Weekly Increases as Body Fat Stays Constant

While being on reverse dieting, if your body fat increases by more than 1% each week, consider holding things constant approximately for a week before making another increase. If after 2 weeks the body fat percentage continues to grow, you may want to pull back and find your maintenance calorie intake.


Make Small Increases in Fat Grams

A small increase in your fat grams is needed in order to keep your dietary fats at a healthy percentage and remain at the allotted percentage in your daily diet. Meanwhile, you may consider implementing more facts instead of carbohydrates if you were eating an extremely low-fat diet.

If after 2 or 3 weeks of modest increases, your body fat and bodyweight are not increasing, you may feel relaxed enough to upraise the percentage calorie adjustments each week to accelerate more quickly.

After reaching your maintenance calorie intake you may make up your mind to continue increasing your calories slowly in order to enter into a mass-gaining phase.

Although the entire process of reverse dieting is basically a test of self-control & patience and we believe the physical and mental benefits are worthy of the investment.

Overall, to plan this reverse diet we recommend hiring a knowledgeable coach to help you through the process of reverse dieting and to make it proper adjustments, as well as to hold you accountable.


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Jenny Jasmine
Jenny Jasmine
Independent Nutrition Consultant & Regulatory Specialist in Food & Health Supplement Industries with over 6 years of experience. Highly proficient in all aspects of EU food law ensuring products and marketing copy is legally compliant. Get Me on Social Channels: About Me | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn

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