What is Reverse Dieting and Does it Work?

Whether you’ve recently hit your goal weight or simply want to figure out how to maintain weight loss without undoing all of your hard work, you’re likely going to need to start adding some more calories into your diet. While you’re checking out different eating plans, you might come across reverse dieting. 

The term is a little confusing—it sounds like you’d eat more to try to lose weight—but experts say reverse dieting isn’t like that at all. Instead, it involves slowly adding calories back into your meal plan, and working your way out of a calorie deficit. 

As for who would try reverse dieting, it’s popular among bodybuilders and athletes, in addition to people coming off of calorie-restricted diets (like a 1,200 calorie meal plan, for example), explains Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. Here’s what you need to know about reverse dieting, including how it works, the pros and cons, and what experts really think.

What is reverse dieting and how does it work? Reverse dieting is less of an actual diet and more about what you do after trying a restrictive eating plan (which, many experts recommend against in the first place). “The idea behind reverse dieting is that after a period of being hypo-caloric and getting down to your goal body fat percentage, you can reverse the unwanted effects of dieting,” says Keatley. The goal with this, he explains, is to help your hunger cues and metabolism adjust so that you lower your risk of regaining weight or overeating.

Excerpted from Prevention

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