Saturday, July 11, 2015

Reverse Dieting Update: Week 3

Hellooooo! I've got some updates for y'all. Reverse dieting is steadily gaining popularity and awareness which often incites a lotttt of questions. Which is totally understandable! I remember the days where I was completely clueless to the wonders of reverse dieting, and I'm happy to answer any and all questions regarding my own experience with it as best as I can. 

And if I can't then I refer people to the reverse dieting queen a.k.a. the amazing Katie Ringley

So I'll be doing the occasional post with updates and just answering general questions that I get. As always if you have any questions just leave it in the comments section or shoot me an email! I'll do my best to answer :)

The first and main question that I've been getting a lot, even with family and friends, is why are you even reverse dieting more?

Two words: More. Carbs. 

Haha! But yeah, really. I think my body could utilize the extra fuel. Fats as well so I'll increase those a bit. Protein is usually not one of the macros to change during a reverse BUT that is not always the case. Cue the cliche "everyone's body is different", and seriously that could not even apply more here in this situation. For purposes doing this reverse, I actually am going to add in a few grams of protein here and there. My previous two, protein remained constant. 

Secondly, another two words: More. Muscles.

More carbs equals more fuel which means I have a lot more energy in the gym and more fuel going to dem gainz. One of the main goals of a reverse diet is to slowly change your body composition by increasing lean muscle mass. That muscle will then help boost your metabolism, and enable you to eat a higher amount of calories without gaining any excess weight.

It is NOT scientifically proven whatsoever but I know so, so, so many girls who have also gone through reverse diets same as me with wonderful results. I personally lose weight while going through a reverse. Not a ton, maybe a couple pounds but I know women who have lost 10-15 pounds. The standard result (and what you ideally want) is no change in weight at all. Why do you ask? That means you're getting as close to an even exchange as possible.

How much do you increase?

This again varies between people as some can handle much larger increases than others. I personally have done a 10g carbs, 2g fats increase and a 5g carbs and 1g fat increase on a weekly basis. The first was way too fast and I ended up gaining weight instantly. The second is a much more effective method for my body. I've heard stories of where people could do as much as 25g per carbs a week, insane! I have carb envy of people who can do that.

It might seem ridiculously and painfully slow to some people but it's what works for my body! It's also what my coach (Katie Ringley) recommends and all of her clients have had much success with this method. Again, it's not proven at all and different things work for different people. You might just have to play around with numbers to see what works best for you.

How do you know if it's too fast?

The dead giveaway is weight gain. Now, this is something you have to be careful of because increasing carbs will initially lead to an increase in water weight (carbs have water). The first few days after an increase I am sometimes bloated and I DO NOT weigh myself because I will only be asking for unfair mental games. I usually wait until about Thursday or Friday to weigh myself (I increase on Sundays) when I know for a fact that my body has adjusted to the increase. Some weeks I don't weigh myself at all. In fact, I haven't weighed myself in 3 weeks and just go by pictures and measurements. Truth be told I'm not too concerned about weighing myself regularly because I know this method has already worked for me in the past, and I like going by progress pictures and measurements better.

So, if you do an increase and are up 3 pounds the next morning, don't freak out. That doesn't automatically mean you went too fast, that just means your body has not yet adjusted to the new amount of carbs. Some weeks the increases go over much better for me than others. There's no way to tell, you just have to trust the process!

If you are going too fast, though, you have two options. Option 1 is lessen the amount of carbs and fats you are increasing, and option 2 is waiting it out for another week and skipping an increase. Some people do a bigger increase every two weeks or do smaller ones every week (like me). If after 2 weeks it still seems like too big of an increase then lower it down a bit.

I thought I'd include some general progress pictures over the past three weeks because I found that when I first started reverse dieting, it was a scary process for me. I was terrified of what would happen and how my body would respond so it was always helpful to follow and connect with other girls going through the same process. For me, reverse dieting is so much more about food. I joke around and talk about getting to eat more carbs which is obviously an amazing bonus but in reality it's an investment in my future health. It's about taking care of my body, giving my body what it needs, and keeping my metabolism healthy!

What if you do gain weight?

I will be totally honest the first time I did a reverse I was still very fragile mentally and when I saw that scale jump 7 pounds, I freaked out. My advice: breathe. Just breathe. In and out, deep breaths because everything will be okay. At the end of that reverse I was able to shed most of those pounds before doing my second. The reason I needed to do a second one is the first did not completely fix my metabolism as it should have. The main reason I attribute to that is I went through a giant company that treated me as a number. No one was even accessible to answer my questions so I kept going with the reverse because I didn't know what else to do. I was given a set of numbers and few specific instructions and one of them was to keep going even if I gained weight, so that's what I did. Looking back now, I could have prevented all those struggles with the knowledge I have now but then again I wouldn't have met Katie. She has been nothing but amazing and coached me through my second one, day by day, week by week. She was blessedly patient with me and loved me throughout the entire process. She was an answered prayer and everything I needed. I learned so much from her, and her coaching is the main reason that I can do all this on my own now!

So if you start to gain some weight, do yourself a favor and try your best not to stress over it. I know, I know that doesn't seem to help in the moment and trust me I can close my eyes right now and instantly bring back those old feelings that I experienced. I understand what it's like but I also know freedom, and it's worth fighting through those bad feelings to get there. You have to keep in mind the grand scheme of things and that it's for your health. There will be time later down the road to cut if you want and lose any weight you might have gained, but you have to keep the big picture in mind. If you're just starting out you can play it on the safe side and go super slow like I do. In fact, that's what I personally recommend (again, not a professional) because you can slowly introduce the process of reverse dieting to your body and then potentially play around with higher numbers. If you all of a sudden throw 25g of carbs a week at your body there's no telling how it will respond. The human body is amazing but it is also unpredictable.

With all that being said, here are some progress pictures:

Week 1 vs. Week 2
Increase of 5g carbs, 1g fat, and 2g protein
Waist is down about 1/2 an inch and I didn't weigh myself

Week 2 vs. Week 3
Total increase from week 1 of 10g carbs, 2g fat, and 4g protein
Measurements the same, still no clue about my weight! 

I'm incredibly happy with how my body is responding to this reverse which just goes to support my initial reason for starting it. I feel so much better, my workouts are thriving, and I'm seeing a lot of progress with my muscles. It's only been 3 weeks so I can't wait to see what happens next! And for those of you wondering, no I have no idea how long I'll do this for. I'll just keep increasing until my body tells me otherwise!

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