Reverse Dieting – Fixing Metabolic Damage Following a Cutting Diet


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How Reverse Dieting Works This is why reverse dieting works and works well. it’s important because it will: Restore a slowed metabolism. Fill the muscles back out and start to repair lost muscle from dieting making for a much more appealing physique. Keep you lean in the off-season so you don’t have to diet so long and hard next time.

Fixing a damaged metabolism: Eating habits. The next step is to look at your caloric intake, and be prepared to increase this slowly. It is important to take this slow as to not gain weight back too rapidly, which will discourage you and may lead to another cycle of restricting your intake.

Reverse dieting typically involves increasing calorie intake by 50–100 calories per week above your baseline, which is the number of calories you’re currently consuming to. The truth is, if you want to improve your metabolism and fix metabolic damage after a period of severe caloric restriction, there are two popular methods to do so. One is a more calculated, but arguably less “effective” method at achieving full metabolic remission – Reverse Dieting. Reverse dieting is often the perfect solution for a variety of situations, including people who are unable to lose weight when the math says they should. have spent long periods of time eating at a caloric deficit, and found themselves completely unable to break a plateau. can’t lose weight unless they eat dangerously low amounts of food. Reverse dieting is a method that involves slowly and strategically increasing daily food intake, all in an effort to raise your metabolism.

And while reverse dieting might seem like a one-way street toward weight regain, the technique actually offers a lot of promise—when done right. Your reverse diet would be to add perhaps 100-150 calories/day each week until you are at 1,800 calories/day. This means that you would be reverse dieting for three to five weeks, depending on how sure you want to be that you won’t put weight back on. Reverse dieting is a very simple concept but not always easy to do. Starvation mode, metabolic damage, weight loss resistance, adrenal fatigue These are not myths and there are plenty of people dealing with these issues.

I have to admit that I have needed to personally dig into the research and search for new strategies to help clients overcome these obstacles. A reverse diet is taking this basic idea and using it to adjust your metabolism by controlling your caloric and macronutrient intake, making your body more calorically inefficient so that you can eat more. In short, you can eat more, while maintaining leanness.

now reverse dieting generally lasts from 8 weeks to 16 weeks depending upon severity of fat loss diet, time period for fat loss dieting and how aggressive you are, the generally each subsequent week calories are increased by 5% -10%,more if you are aggressive, also this calories are.

List of related literature:

The higher calorie levels of balanced-deficit diets (relative to VLCDs and LCDs) make compliance easier, minimize undesirable metabolic side effects, eliminate the need for special foods, and permit dietary and eating reeducation to occur during the weight loss process.

“Handbook of Obesity Treatment” by Thomas A. Wadden, Albert J. Stunkard
from Handbook of Obesity Treatment
by Thomas A. Wadden, Albert J. Stunkard
Guilford Publications, 2004

It accomplishes this through several mechanisms, including lowering the basal metabolic rate, reducing general activity levels, and stimulating the appetite.14 Raising leptin levels reverses these effects, which is one of the reasons you feel better when you stop restricting your calories and return to normal eating.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Proposed mechanisms of action of these diets include reduced circulating insulin levels, increased fat catabolism, and altered prostaglandin metabolism, but it seems more likely that these diets achieve weight loss simply by restricting dietary choice.

“Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition” by Benjamin Caballero, Lindsay Allen, Andrew Prentice
from Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition
by Benjamin Caballero, Lindsay Allen, Andrew Prentice
Elsevier Science, 2005

This process of dramatically and chronically slowing one’s metabolic rate is often referred to as metabolic “adaptation” or even “damage,” and fortunately, it can be resolved through a simple process known as “reverse dieting.”

“The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy” by Michael Matthews
from The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy
by Michael Matthews
Createspace Independent Pub, 2012

Moreover, ketogenic diets, if done chronically, may lead to a total metabolic decline, causing dieters to gain back all the weight they initially lost, but this time with a higher percentage of body fat.

“Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat: The Secret Science Behind Physical Transformation” by Ori Hofmekler, Marty Gallagher
from Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat: The Secret Science Behind Physical Transformation
by Ori Hofmekler, Marty Gallagher
North Atlantic Books, 2008

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I eat about 800 kcal a day and have so much difficult to lose weight
    Like???? What is the fucking problem with me??
    I go run every day and still don’t lose weight
    I have an eating disorder so pls don’t think it’s okay to eat like this or think like this, but I’m so afraid of eating more and get fatter

  • Really well explained! Thanks for sharing this! As someone else already have suggested would be interesting to hear a video about insulin resistance, weightloss and dieting as well.!

  • Great advice. I think I need your help. I’m in the category where I have cut, increased calories then back down again then binged, ya you get the picture. I have signed up for a summer shred and since January I have updated my calorie intake from to low to the right amount that they said I should have been at. I actually feel satisfied but not knowing where to go from here. I’m going to drop 500 calories now and start my training or should I wait another month?

  • i’m going through this right now! i’m trying to get to 1800 and i’m REALLY close im 5’2 and naturally muscular, but some days i just feel like it’s not enough��

  • This is something fitness induced people do for short periods of time and it does 100% work. HOWEVER, I would not advise a normal person to do this. You NEED to track macros for this to work. You have to be strict with tracking the calories to make sure you are increasing each week properly. Reverse dieting has to be done properly for it to work. So if you have no access to the gym, this is not for you. You have to kill every workout or else you’ll be putting on extra weight. Like she said you must utilize the surplus calories. Sooo be careful playing a guessing game with this because it will backfire if you are not educated.

  • Wow, this explains my experience. I lost 30 pounds over a summer but I did it, not with a super restricted diet but I would exercise until I was dizzy and eat under 1,500 calories. After I lost it and went back to normal exercise and food. Ballooned and never been the same since…

  • Once I started eating the 2100 daily calories I needed (I weight train 5 days a week), not only did I lose (slowly) the last 8lbs I wanted ro lose, but I STOPPED BINGE EATING AND ELIMINATED ANY OBSESSING THOUGHTS OVER FOOD. I will never go lower than 2.000 ever again (used to eat 1500). THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Ok youre awesome, I subscribed. Please help me with a couple questions?? I thought your other video says to up the calories every month. This one says up calories weekly??
    My 2nd question is cardio. If I stick with 2 Hiit sessions a week 20 minutes each should I be fine? Or would you still taper this back?? If so how should I go about that? Thanks:)

  • Hi! This was so informative! I had a question, I’ve been in decifit for 4 months eating 1500 calories but I’ve plateaud. I’m wondering if I reverse diet to my maintenance of 2000 calories, what do I do next? do I go back to being in a deficit of 1500 again to keep losing weight? Do I do this a week after I reached 2000 calories?

  • So back in Jan I was maintaining and even GAINING on 1100-1300 cals but I started reverse dieting and now I’m at 2,000 and I weigh LESS than what I did at beginning of the year and even weigh as less as I did when I would eat 500 cals a day (I know smh) reverse dieting is amazing!!

  • I have a question about your cut: Do you think you would use some sort of greens powder? I’m struggling to hit my macros and micros unless I use a greens powder during the day. I wasn’t sure if you had or plan to use one and if so if there was a brand your particularly liked/trusted/felt was most superior for the $…?..

  • Hi Marissa! Can I reverse diet if I for one week a month eat at maintance? I eat after the menstrual cycle in the Way that you talk about in one of your videos:) I was thinking that I should reverse diet when I have hit a point where I feel Good but maybe you cant reverse if you have been eating at maintance a few times? ��

  • If you repair your metabolism, will you eventually start to lose the weight that you gained when trying to repair your metabolism? I’m trying to repair my metabolism and I’m scared of gaining weight. My high school swim season is coming up so if I need to lose weight but I’m still scared of gaining weight from eating more

  • Hi!! So I’ve been at a deficit at 1500 calories for a really Long time now and I haven’t been able to lose any more weight. I workout 3-5 times a week and do cardio 3 days a week for 30 mins. How do I break the plateau. I want to do a diet break but do I need to reverse diet to get back to my maintenance first? I want to get out of this plateau so I can lose the last 10-15 lbs.

  • Hiiii pls answer!!!!Can we still do that while being in quarantaine? Like with your new home programm? Because they’re is no lifting weights? Thank youuuu❤️

  • If you gained fat doesn’t that mean that you didn’t increase your metabolism by 500? Gaining fat means you ate more than your metabolism could burn, no? Please correct me if I’m wrong or missing something.

  • Nice discussion. This is news to me. Thanks for the info. Losing weight to live and not living to lose weight….Nice!:-) Take care!

  • You are so cool and intelligent! I have been a yo yo dieter all my life. Now i’m overweight and even eating a little I can’t lose weight. I am going to start reverse dieting now! You explained everything beautifully. Keep shining bright girl!!!

  • wait so is reverse dieting supposed to make you gain or lose weight? or maintain? cause ive been eating 1200/1300 kcal for 5 months and getting kinda tired of restricting/ seeing less results but also im afraid ill lose all of my progress, i’ve lost 9 lbs and wanna lose 10 more.

  • I’ve watched so many weight loss/muscle gain/fat loss videos and I’m still so confused. I’ve been bulimic for about 5 years now and recently for the past 2 months have been restricting calories down to 600-700cal a day. I started increasing my calories to about 900 a day and i’m working out 4-5 a week. My diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and protein. (Not a whole lot of fruit because they still contain sugar). I do about 35 minutes of cardio and then 30 min of strength training (abs, arms, legs). i can’t spend money on a gym because unfortunately their rates are crazy high. Am i doing this wrong?? Will i not lose fat/gain muscle this way??? Someone please help!!! I’m so tired of being my size but nothing seems to work. Please i’m desperate

  • I am 160 cm and a teenager�� what is the max calories I can speed my metabolism to? Can I do it for 3500 I have a big appetite lol��

  • My first reverse diet i went from eating 1300-2400 and lost 3lbs. I would say start at 1400, weighed myself everyday and take the weekly average. If I increased weight I would stay at 1400 next week. If I stayed the same or lost weight, I would go to 1500. That was in 2017.

    I have been cutting since Jan 6th after gaining weight because of PA school. I wanted to keep cutting until beginning of May but because of this pandemic, I had dropped my calories low again (1200-1300) and not seeing much change because of course gyms are closed so I may just start my reverse. I have only lost 6-7lbs in that time and I’m only 10lbs from my goal, but I feel like trying to reverse slowly will be the best currently. Also I was planning on reversing always beginning of May because my birthday is June 20 and I wanted to be at higher calories

  • Omg yet another reason I love this woman so much!! I am in tears right now…Cassey, I can’t thank you enough for saying all of this! This has been the hardest, most unhealthy year of my life and I am finally talking to a dietician and getting the help I need. Everything talked about here is exactly what I am learning! I finally feel like I am starting to get a grip on my unhealthy relationship with food. Finally feeling good just being me, enjoying my workouts again and getting good with food. I haven’t binge eaten or snuck food in weeks because I got myself out of food jail!

  • 4:08
    :^ I can’t exercise I have 12 years old and I shouldn’t exercise because it can stop my growth I can only do sport.Does sports work too?

  • I was eating 1,500 and losing good amounts of weight for a while, but then i had to keep cutting and cutting because i wasn’t losing any weight. I eventually was eating like 300-800 a day and still not losing anything really. Now i’m eating 1,600 a day! trying to get my body used to a little bit more. I honestly used to think “oh, my body is used to 1000 cals now, so i need to cut 200 to lose weight again.” and it just got really bad. (Btw, ik 300 is WAYYY too low, but common sense snapped into place shortly after i started doing that and i stopped immediately as soon as i realized calories weren’t the problem and my body was literally just conserving calories. Thank you for these informative videos! <3

  • Thank you so much for this video! I started a cut this summer and I’m currently on 1400 cals (and have been for a few weeks now). I lift 5 days a week and I’ve just felt so exhausted for awhile now. I never want to do anything because I just want to lay down after the gym. You’ve inspired me to take a leap and start to increase my calories. In fact, I’m going on vacation to California next week and I’m excited to just take a little break from lifting and the gym. I’m going to try to eat intuitively and not stress about calories like I’ve done in the past… last year I ended up on a cut with only 1200 calories and lost weight but kept fat while also losing my period. I needed this video more than you know! I’m excited to start this journey.

  • I used to eat 1200 cals a day, always hungry, did not lose weight. Then I did an experiment and ate only when i was hungry and stopped when full. It averaged out to 1700 cals a day.I began to lose weight after listening to my body.

  • I am currently reverse dieting from around 700-800 calories (43.4kg) or (95.7lbs), I have been slowly increasing from April (3 months and 1 week) and currently I am at 1,150 calories. But I have put on 2.5kg or 5.5lbs. I have been working out everyday with weight training with one kettle bell at home and resistance bands. I don’t know why my weight keeps increasing and I am feeling unsure why I am gaining at this point, should I still keep increasing my calories?

  • So true, yep. Hormones, food quality, genetics, behavior all play a role! I only “worry” about getting tons of organic veggies, 1 cheat meal a week, staying active (but fun stuff I enjoy), drink water whether you like it or not, and make wise choices! Be a smart consumer and do your research to see what is in the food you’re stuffing in your face. Good stuff, thanks!

  • I’ve been reverse dieting and have been at 2500 cals for a week now (started at about 1500 a couple months ago). I haven’t gained weight yet, but I don’t think I can handle eating any more than this. How long do you recommend staying at 2500 before I start my cut? I feel like 1 week is too short, but I’m not sure…

  • I know this is late, just found ya!! When you say 50 calories/week, is that 50 cal added daily, or just 50 cal total for the week?

  • Could you explain more on how reverse dieting can help you lose the last 10 pounds. I have been eating 1200 calories for a while now and have stopped losing weight. I really dont want to reduce any lower because I have noticed some hormonal issues and no to very low energy.

  • I started the 1400 calorie reverse diet and managed to reach 1900 calories, but after that I gained a lot of weight… my goal was to reach 2300 calories, but I don’t know what I do, do I decrease?

  • I go through a million videos but skip through them but your videos are actually trusty so I don’t skip through them and I have been following the workouts and my arms are visibly slimmer and feel stronger! Yes I carry all the grocery bags in on one trip!������������������‍♀️