Is it a good way to manage your weight?

  • Reverse diets can help you get rid of a restrictive diet and not gain weight.
  • Reverse dieting aims to help you shed those extra calories.
  • It sounds great, but there is no evidence to support reverse dieting.
  • For more information, visit Insider’s Health Reference Library.

When you cut calories,

lose weight

, you disrupt your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) — the number of calories your body burns while at rest. The concept of reverse diets, also known as a recovery or weight loss diet, is a great option. 

Reverse dieting can boost your BMR, return it to the baseline level before you lose weight, and burn more calories throughout the day. This will make it easier to lose weight and not gain it back.

That’s at least the idea. The science behind reverse dieting has not been proven and the majority of evidence is anecdotal. The reverse diet can work in practice. However, it’s a good idea to rely on your metabolism to maintain weight loss.

Insider spoke with a Manhattan-based registered dietian Brittany ModellBrittany Modell Nutrition and Wellness founder, discusses reverse dieting and how best to recover from restrictive diets.

What is reverse dieting?

Modell says that reverse dieting is a gradual increase in calories over time so that your body doesn’t have a deficit. 

“Overall, the theory is to eat more calories gradually, rather than restrict and increase dramatically,”She said. 

The reverse diet philosophy claims that this will increase your BMR and prevent your weight from rising as you add calories to your diet. 

“However, it is not so simple. It is impossible to make claims that a reverse diet will ‘recalibrate’ your metabolism and maintain the weight you lost. The body is much more complex.”

Metabolism is just one factor in weight maintenance

Our bodies are influenced Numerous hormonesThese hormones, such as ghrelin or leptin can control our hunger and appetite levels. Ghrelin signals hunger, while leptin signals that you are full. Your body releases a certain amount ghrelin when you eat, and then it replaces it with leptin when you stop eating. 

You can lose weight. Researchers have found that your body releases more ghrelin and less leptin — meaning you feel hungrier when it’s time to eat and less full after you’re done. 

These hormones are totally independent of the role that metabolism plays in weight control. These hormones are likely to play a greater role in keeping the weight off you have lost. 

In other words: Relying on your BMR for weight loss is a poor and likely unwise strategy. 

How to safely get out of a diet

If you are stuck in a restrictive mindset or have been on a diet for a while, it is possible to adopt healthier habits and get out of that restrictive mindset without losing weight. 

“Chances are you likely restricted carbohydrates and fat. If this is the case, start by adding in carbohydrate and fat sources with breakfast or lunch, for example, adding oatmeal and peanut butter to breakfast or beans and avocado at lunch,” says Modell. “This will increase your overall calorie intake as well as incorporating back some healthy fats and carbs, which your body needs.”

Eating these types of whole, fiber- and protein-rich foods — instead of introducing or reverting back to processed foods — will help you feel fuller longer and may help prevent overeating.

Other methods for safely ending a diet are: 

  • Slowly eat until you feel satisfied. 80% FullTo prevent overeating.
  • To feel more satisfied, practice mindful eating You will be satisfied.
  • Share your meal with friends and loved ones. BetterFood choices

Insider’s Takeaway

Losing weight can be just as difficult to maintain as losing it. The reverse diet helps you to eat more sustainably while losing weight. 

Although the idea of a reverse diet is admirable, its emphasis on increasing BMR is not. While you can raise your metabolism slightly through diet and exercise, it’s unlikely that you will be able to consume an additional 300-500 calories daily.

To keep your weight off, don’t try to increase your metabolism. Instead, eat healthy and exercise regularly. It is important to lose weight slowly and sustainably. 

Understand that weight fluctuates. Focus on what you feel, not what the scales tell you.

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