Recently, I have been doing a lot of reading on reverse dieting as it links with my latest goal which is to push my metabolic capacity to its absolute maximum. The reason for doing this is that whenever I have lost weight in the past I have always been eating way too little for the amount of exercise that I do. But rather than only losing fat, I would lose a lot of muscle too. Why? Because my body would save the fat because it was worried about when it was going to be fed next, so whilst it was holding onto fat it would eat away at the muscle for energy. Thus, I weighed lighter and I looked smaller but this is because of muscle loss, not fat loss. This is unproductive and a waste of time because I want the strength. I train for the strength.
I have spoken about this briefly before, but as a result eating too little in comparison to what I was doing activity wise, I would get to a point where I needed to eat normally again in order to save my sanity. But, by increasing my calories too quickly I would gain fat because I didn’t give my body the time it needed to adapt to the extra calories. This cycle has happened for as far back as I can remember. I would eat very little, eat a lot, binge and repeat. The sad thing is, is that I know I am not the only one. So many women and men are told that that have to under eat in order to lose weight and it is definitely not healthy. For a long time when I was younger I didn’t care about my health, I just thought about looking thin and that was is. For someone who has pretty much always had an unhealthy relationship with food I am so glad I am finally allowing myself to consider other options.
Anyway, the end goal is that I want to lower my body fat and to be able to eat at a maintenance level without gaining the fat back that I had lost. Are you with me? I want to be able to eat at maintenance and stay at the same weight but I don’t actually know what that is for my body at the moment. Years of dieting, binge eating and over exercising to compensate for the binge eating has left me somewhere with a lot of questions that I need to answer through learning about what my body needs.
As mentioned earlier, I did initially gain a few lbs because I upped my calories too quickly but that has come to a halt and my weight has now levelled out each week even though I have certainly upped my carbs and fats. Since doing this I feel much more alert, more energetic and much fitter. Weight training has been much more productive and I feel so much stronger in everything that I do. If I can mentally get to the point of eating more food on a daily basis, I plan to keep upping my calories until I get to my suggested maintenance level which is around 2200cals per day. (with exercise).
Have you ever reverse dieted? Do you need to?