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Reverse Dieting & Staying Lean

Set Your Metabolism Right!

Posted by DanWynesFitness - September 29th, 2016

Reverse dieting. You hear that term a lot lately. But what exactly is it and how can it specifically benefit you in order to achieve the body of your dreams? Well...keep reading to find out!

What Is Reverse Dieting?

Reverse dieting is when you spend a period of time gradually increasing calories back to a maintenance level. After being in a deficit for a long period of time, like I was for this year’s competition season (January – August), your metabolic rate can start to suffer. So where you think your maintenance level of calories is, in reality it can actually be lower. By reverse dieting what you are doing is coaxing the body to utilise all the calories gradually, rather than increasing straight to maintenance or bulking phase and gaining a lot of fat very quickly.

Why Do You Need To Reverse Diet?

Your metabolism is adaptive to your environment and the more food you eat the quicker it works. So by reverse dieting, your minimising fat gains and putting yourself in a much better position to gain more muscle as you’re more anabolic in a leaner state.  The aim is to gain as little weight as possible while increasing calories.

What My Plan Looks Like

After my last competition season in 2015 I lost my motivation as I no longer needed to maintain a restrictive diet. This lead to a month long binge and therefore my 2015 offseason was written off as I wasn’t lean enough to be efficient at gaining muscle. This lead to me jumping up to 91kg/200lbs and gaining a ton of fat in the process. In 2015 I stepped on stage at 70kg and in April 2016 I was 75kg. In 8 months I had gained 5kg of lean muscle (it was probably more but you lose muscle when dieting)

My aim was to put on as much muscle as possible due to feedback that I was smaller than the other fitness models in my category. This year however I managed to win my first show in June in a new category much better suited to my body goal called Mr Model. The criteria much the same as Fitness model however it’s more mainstream and less muscular.

So this year I also got my first modelling job with BodyPower after winning their Face of the Dedicated competition where I shot with Chris Bailey and fellow dedicated athlete Harry Ranson. I loved the whole experience and after thinking back to my prior competitions and the judge’s feedback, a common question I got asked was had I done any modelling or did I have any modelling experience?  I decided very quickly after my first job that I would love to do a lot more. Problem with that means being almost ready year round so I would have to change my approach to your typical Cutting/Bulking approach.

It’s no secret that when you are dieting energy levels eventually suffer and so can strength as a by-product.  My aim is over the next few months to slowly increase my food to a level where I can still stay lean whilst gaining muscle. I want to get my strength back to where it was in January before I started cutting and focus on the main big compound lifts, Deadlift, Squat, Bench Press and Standing Military Press.

Since my photo-shoot I had two days of relaxed eating and not really following a nutrition plan. Below is the end result of my first week of reversing up. My calories at this point are at 2550 and broken down into 230g protein 260g carbs and 66g fat.

I currently weigh 78kg this is 5 kg above my lowest on this prep. I noticed that although I’m looking full from the carbs, I’m spilling over a little so I’m planning on increasing my calories but reducing the carbs and increasing my protein and fat this week. Next week I am expecting to be a little lighter on the scales again. I’ll be sticking to a cheat meal once a week over the next few weeks and seeing how that affects my composition.

Related Videos:

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Good article @danwynesfitness!! Definitely something people need to know so they don't go off the deep end coming out of a cut!