4 Tips to Overcoming Reverse Diet Struggles
4 Tips to Overcoming Reverse Diet Struggles
If you've never been on a reverse diet, I have two things to say...
1. It fracking sucks sometimes and...
2. You probably really need one right now
For those that aren't aware of what reverse dieting is, let me explain...
Reverse dieting is the process where you take a break from living in a caloric deficit and slowly return to maintenance level calories to improve physiological functions within the body such as as improving hormones, GI health, brain function, energy, sleep quality, etc.
When we continuously stay in a caloric range that doesn't provide the human body enough energy (calories) to operate properly, short-term as well as long-term damages can occur. This is why it's so important to at least track your calories for a little bit to understand what you're consuming on the average day.
If you don't have a clear understanding of what your maintenance level calories need to be to perform at optimal levels every day, please click here which will lead you to one of my blogs where I went into great detail over this.
Chances are, if you currently FEEL less than optimal, have mood imbalances, aren't seeing progression in your workouts, struggle to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep, and aren't waking up each day with loads of energy, it's safe to assume you aren't eating enough.
Now, for those of you that have gone through a reverse diet or are currently going through one, I know it can be mentally challenging. I've done it, my wife has done it, we get it. Eating more than what you are use to can be mentally frustrating, especially when we start to see the number on the scale increase and not decrease.
So, how can we overcome this mental struggle that causes so many to give up before they even really get started?
1. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Many start out with a goal to lose weight and improve aesthetic appeal. When this can't happen right away due to various biofeedback (physiological) concerns that need repairing, it's crucial to focus on the positives. More food equals more calories which equals more energy which equals better daily performance.
99.9% of individuals that spend at least 2 weeks in a reverse diet typically share with me how much better they feel, how much better they are performing in the gym and how much more focus they have with typical day-to-day tasks.
2. REALIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF BIOFEEDBACK
Biofeedback, another term for physiological health, aka basic bodily functions is just as, if not more important, than the number we see on the scale or image that we see in front of the mirror. Over the last 2 decades with the spikes in marketing (mostly from social media gurus) for supplements and random diet gimmicks, we've also seen spikes in autoimmune diseases, especially within the female population.
When we restrict calories and begin to live long periods of time without properly fueling our bodies with enough calories, metabolic adaptations begin, meaning that our basic bodily functions begin to down-regulate to save energy since it's doesn't have enough energy (calories) to properly perform tasks such as digesting food, producing and eliminating hormones, physically recovering from workouts, etc. This opens up the door for various diseases due to the stress this causes on the body. Instead of focusing on what you look like, embrace how much better you're feeling! The body always catches up.
3. UNDERSTANDING THE TIMELINE
Education drives compliance! It's crucial to have a rough idea just how long it will take to get back up to maintenance calories (DO NOT JUMP UP OVERNIGHT!) When we have a timeline in our heads, we have something to look forward to. Dates make goals realistic!
Every year and/or season should include various maintenance phases, deficit phases, and even surplus phases. If you just go day to day saying to yourself you'll change things up once you hit a particular goal (magically) without having any idea when this time will be, it makes each day feel like an uphill battle while carrying a 100 lb boulder on your shoulders. Trust me, I've done it!!!
4. EMBRACING MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY
Thanks to magazines, social media, celebrities, and more, the majority of us (even me) suffer from body image issues. Mentally, this is challenging since with reverse diets, we know our weight will probably go up (if it's the first time you're doing this) making the goal seem farther away and less obtainable.
How do you speak to yourself? Is it positive or negative the majority of the time? Whatever you already do will only be enhanced once you begin any nutritional protocol, including a reverse diet. Before any physical changes can occur, change must happen within our minds. Where did this negative mindset come from? If you are a parent, realize that your kids see and FEEL the negativity even if you aren't saying negative comments about yourself outloud.
You might be surprised to hear this but the reality is, with most children, their first role models in this world is their parents! In a child's eyes, their mom is Wonder Woman and their dad is Superman. So...why aren't YOU walking around each day embracing this? YOU ARE SUPERMAN AND YOU ARE WONDER WOMAN! It's time we start recognizing this.
If you are struggling with your reverse diet, join our free online support group so you aren't fighting this struggle alone. People are more powerful in groups!
"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is the owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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