Do you know the reverse diet protocol?
What is it?
The reverse diet is a protocol that is used in order to reverse the state of caloric restriction or deficit. Gradually, the number of calories consumed is increased, until reaching those of maintenance.
It is of vital importance after having made a long period of deficit, since during this time the body carries out metabolic adaptations in order to optimize the energy available and used.
Some of these metabolic adaptations may be the following:
-Increased Ghrelin and a decrease in leptin : these are the two hormones in charge of regulating appetite and satiety in the body.
-Reduces the thermal effect of food : refers to the energy / calories our body consumes to process and digest them.
-I reduces the neat : it is the caloric expenditure that comes from of all those activities that are not considered physical exercise. For example: go shopping. The term comes from the acronym in English non-exercise activity thermogenesis .
-Decreases thermogenesis .
All this happens because the body is not interested in having a high caloric expenditure since it does not have enough calories: it tries to be more efficient.
When to do a reverse diet ?
As mentioned before, in periods of transition from caloric restriction to a surplus. It is about gradually increasing calories every several days.
This protocol can also be carried out in the transition period from volume to definition. We will decrease the number of calories ingested until we reach maintenance calories. We have to bear in mind that, in this case, due to the increase in muscle mass during the bulking period, the figure will have increased. Therefore, this reduction must be gradual, maintaining the weight and avoiding fluctuations in it.
For example: a person who consumed 3500 calories in volume, and before his maintenance was around 2800, should decrease your daily intake until you can know the new figure and be in normal calorie.
What are the advantages of the reverse diet ?
The benefits of carrying out a reverse diet are numerous, not only physical, but also psychological. Among them we can highlight:
- Helps to control anxiety and hunger after long periods of diet, until leptin and ghrelin return to function properly. In this way we will avoid at racones, excessive and uncontrolled intakes. These types of problems are becoming more and more frequent due to having carried out very restrictive diets that can lead to eating disorders.
- Decrease in fat gain: return to metabolic normality without or minimizing fat gains. One of the main purposes of this protocol.
- Increases metabolic capacity : gradually introducing a greater number of calories will facilitate the metabolism to reactivate better than if we introduce a sudden higher caloric volume.
- It gives the body time to carry out the necessary hormonal readjustment.
- It makes it easier to maintain a body weight while we can eat more calories without noticing significant differences in short periods of time.
- Body recomposition: will allow starting from a better base for the next volume or definition that we carry out.
- It reduces the fat gain after the definition.
What disadvantages does it have?
-It is difficult to calculate the exact amounts that we have to increase. Until we find them, several days or even weeks can pass.
-Difficult to predict what will happen in our body, we must observe what happens day by day.
For whom is the reverse diet recommended?
It is recommended for the following cases:
- Those people who have caloric deficit for a relatively long period of time.
- Those with maintenance calories much lower than those who they usually had.
- People stuck in losing fat for a long period of time
- Those people who come from a extreme definition , for example , after having made a competition.
How to do it?
There are various methodologies to carry out this I protocol you. In case of doubt, it is recommended to consult a nutritionist or dietician.
It will depend on the current macronutrient distribution assigned to the person, as well as his total caloric intake.
A general, fairly adequate and easy methodology could be the following to carry out after a definition:
- Increase per day an average amount between 150 and 300 calories.
- Raise carbohydrates not between 25 and 45 grams per week.
- Increase the fat between 5 and 15 grams a week.
Regarding training: it is recommended to gradually decrease the time. Between 5 and 10 minutes less. The strength part does not have to be affected.
Once we make these modifications, we will have to observe the results. If our weight continues to decrease, increase the amounts and if it rises very fast, decrease them.
In the case of wanting to make the transition from volume to definition, we will carry out the inverse protocol. Increase the amounts progressively until we are in the surplus that we want without reaching drastically.
Reverse or refeed diet?
A refeed is a period of time, shorter than that of a reverse diet, in which we increase the calories ingested considerably. It usually lasts from a few hours to several days.
It is a tool to increase adherence to the diet. It is not the same as a cheat meal or cheat day since it is usually much more structured and scheduled. We will also use it to counteract the adverse effects of having been in deficit for a long period of time. On a psychological level, it also has numerous benefits.
- Calculate current calories and set new macronutrient goals.
- Decide how to increase carbohydrates and fats: be clear about your goal and how you are going to approach it.
- Although it is not always a reliable indicator, monitor your weight regularly. It is advisable to do it daily to adjust , but a few days o adaptation are needed.
- Maintain the exercise of strength and plan how you are going to reduce cardiovascular exercise.