Yes, you read that title right. Reverse dieting has been stealing headlines and inspiring more than a few chin scratches across the internet for quite a while now. The name is sure to spark confusion! Did you envision bottomless ice cream buffets and shrinking waist sizes? Us too.
Unfortunately, no, reverse dieting isn’t a green light to start filling your plate with seconds. But what exactly is reverse dieting, how does it work, and should you give it a try? It’s time to explore everything that you need to know about reverse dieting.
What Is Reverse Dieting?
Think of reverse dieting as a nutritional sleight of hand, crafted with the goal of kicking your metabolism into overdrive. But let’s take a brief step back.
When most of us hear the word “diet” we think of calorie restriction. You figure out how many calories you burn in a day, assess your weight loss goals, punch a few numbers into a calculator or fitness tracker and try not to exceed your daily caloric quota. The thing is, this traditional calorie restriction method can lower a person’s base metabolic rate. What that means is that the average calorie-restricted dieter ends up burning less energy when resting.
Reverse dieting sets out to reverse the negative impacts that calorie restriction has on a person’s metabolic rate by gradually increasing their caloric intake over an extended period. Most of the time reverse dieting is used as a way for successful dieters to normalize their calorie intake without sacrificing their base metabolic rate.