Do You Need To Reverse Diet?
DO YOU NEED TO REVERSE DIET?.
Reverse dieting is the process of reversing your calories BACK UP after you’ve been in an extended deficit / fat loss phase. The aim being to increase your maintenance calories from where they were in the tail end of the fat loss phase back up to a respectable maintenance level. If you drive your calories down with strict dieting your body WILL adapt to these low calories, so after an extended period of dieting (post comp / after a cut) a planned reverse dieting phase will help bring those calories, NEAT, hormonal markers etc back up.
Now the first mistake people make is bumping up calories too slowly at first - if you were in a comp prep or real heavy cut you might be eating at up to a 50% calorie deficit - if you just increase your cals by 10% or 20% per week it’s going to be WEEKS before you’re even at maintenance again! So - give yourself a big bump back to up what might be maintenance cals (find this by tracking your weight and see what your body does) and THEN start bumping up slowly. As you being to increase your cals slowly, your NEAT and hormonal markers begin to improve which in turn lets you increase your cals, which in turn helps improve the markers :) There’s no correct answer for how much to increase cals by, it’s very person dependant.
Keep in mind, if you’re super lean then many of the negative adaptations that came from the dieting phase (hormonal / neat adaptations / etc) will start to recover only when you get some fat back onto your body! So let go of this idea that you are going to remain competition-lean year round and allow yourself to return to an acceptable level of body fat and go through your next phase wether it be a lean bulk or maintenance.