So what is this reverse dieting thing?? I know you're curious. It's like your secret weapon for emerging from the hCG Diet with a total win.
When you go straight from 500 or 800 calories on the hCG Diet to 1500, 1600, or 1800 calories, basically overnight, this frequently causes weight gain.
For example, one distraught woman posted this in a forum (and in a moment, I will post a screenshot with much better results following a different method):
1. She was advised to raise her calories quickly and immediately.
2. It backfired, big time. Even after her 1500 calorie day, she gained 3.2 lbs.
So, since THAT wasn't any fun I wouldn't suggest it to you, and the approach we have found to work reliably for most ladies is a simplified model of what's called “Reverse Dieting”.
This is basically where you gradually increase your calories, week by week, to adjust your body to higher caloric intake without shocking your system and causing unnecessary weight gain.
Think about it: What else in life goes much better when you adjust your body's capacity to handle it gradually?
- Running/Biking - gradually working up the speed and distance (builds ability and tolerance to these activities - vs doing what your body has not been trained for yet and suffering injury)
- Lifting weights - gradually increasing weight - (same)
- Sun exposure - gradually being in the sun once spring comes a little more at a time (if you don't, you get a sunburn)
Likewise, giving your metabolism and hormonal system a slow steady way to adapt to a higher calorie intake again just makes sense. It gives your body a chance to do the proper thing with those increased calories (ie, not store a lot of it as fat).
We don't have much scientific research on this concept of reverse dieting, so why consider this as a legit thing to do?
The reverse diet method is used by many nutritionists, dietitians and other health professionals because they have found it really works.
Dietitian Tony Stephan uses reverse dieting for his clients and he gives an example of how one client went from not being able to lose weight on 1000 calories a day, to losing 100 lbs after going through a reverse diet. He trained his metabolism through increasing calories gradually, both to maintaining at a higher caloric level as well as to be able to lose weight again at what should be a calorie deficit for anyone but had gotten to the point where it wasn't for him. This shows the power of how reverse dieting can really change how your body interacts with calories and food.
Reverse diets are used frequently in the world of female fitness competitors because these women often have to go on very extreme caloric restriction in the weeks leading up to their shows, and if they go back to eating regular calories right after the show, they can easily gain 10-15 lbs within just a couple of weeks. Here's an article explaining this. Reverse dieting is a widely known and used concept in that world - again because it works.
If you want to be able to eat more calories while maintaining your weight loss, a reverse diet is the route to do that.
Here are a couple blogposts of ladies who were able to reverse diet their way up to higher calories over time (these are non-hCG people just good stories on the concept and how well it can work):
I'm all about just doing only what's needed for you to:
- Maintain your weight loss
- Love your meals
- Feel like you have plenty to eat
Our simplified version of the reverse diet method accomplishes that. I was honestly a little surprised myself at just how successful it's been- but now with the program being in use for over 2 years by thousands of ladies, I've seen this gets the results we're after consistently.
Here's what a few ladies posted on just 1 forum thread while following P3toLife's gradual calorie increase process (contrast that to the other forum threads you read earlier!)
HOW WE DO IT IN P3TOLIFE:
We zig-zag our way up a bit, but here’s our basic average of calorie increase during weeks 1-3:
|Calories: 950-1100||Calories: 1200-1300||Calories: 1400-1550|
Beyond this, the goal is to gradually increase so that you can eat whatever is the highest your body will tolerate, without gaining weight- for everyone this will be different. For me, it's about 2,000 calories a day. For other women, it will be the 1500 we reach in Week 3.
For something even a bit more useful, you can use this guide: