What is Reverse Dieting?

  • What is Reverse Dieting?

    Reverse dieting can be summed up as slowly adding back in calories, tapering off cardio, and focusing on adding kcals/dropping cardio when you stall (do not gain weight)

    now, gaining weight is not the #1 priority. we both know the scale is the least valuable tool. I would highly suggest reading these links first and foremost to help understand how to set up your diet, cardio and training routine (which you may already have in place) but are good resources.





    Philosophies, Macro intake, training , and cardio articles for you to understand and help set up what you need to do before moving forward towards more supplements or advanced workout routines.

    A good video:

    Another good resource to read:


    This shows that caloric expenditure from cardio and calories are the two major assets to consider in the reverse diet
    so if you drop say 1 hour of cardio think about how many calories in the week that would account for , and no changes in calories means you are still going to be up say 300 kcals the week due to less cardio, and will also help keep away from catabolic activites (cardio)

    and another great resource:


    1. Engage in heavy resistance training (weightlifting, ideally) 3 to 5 times per week.

    This has two big benefits for your metabolic rate:
    it speeds it up in the short term, burning a significant amount of post-workout calories, and
    it builds muscle, which speeds up your metabolic rate in the long term.

    1. Slowly increase your calories each week until you’ve reached your total daily energy intake.

    The idea here is simple: slow, gradual increases in your daily calorie intake until you’ve reached your average TDEE. (If you’re not sure how to calculate average TDEE, check out this article).

    I like to increase in increments of about 100 to 150 calories with 7 to 10-day intervals. That is, I increase my daily intake by 100 to 150 maintain that new level of intake for 7 to 10 days. I then do it again and again and again until I’ve reached my TDEE.

    In terms of which macronutrients to increase, focus on increasing your carb intake more than anything else.

    You don’t need more protein than 1 gram per pound to build and preserve muscle and you don’t need more than 0.3 to 0.4 grams of fat per pound of lean mass to maintain health. Carbs, on the other hand, can continue to benefit you and your workouts as you raise your intake higher and higher.

    So, for example, when I finish cutting, my daily calorie intake is usually around 2,000 to 2,100, which is more or less my basal metabolic rate.

    Given my body composition and exercise schedule, I should be able to eat about 2,800 calories per day without gaining fat (my average total daily energy expenditure as calculated in the article linked above).

    And also remember this

    after the long term diet ends you may lose weight as you add back calories and drop cardio which is normal:


    LTDFLE stands for Long-Term Delayed Fat Loss Effect (I’d note that I have also seen a LTDGE which is a Long-Term Delayed Growth Effect but that’s another topic for another article). Basically, this is the phenomenon whereby fat loss continues to occur even after the diet has been ended and/or calories have been raised back towards/to maintenance or even above. In the same way that fitness sometimes continues to increase after the period of heavy loading, it’s almost as if there is some type of fat loss inertia whereby the diet continues working even after the person ends it.

  • Thanks for all the sources @TheSolution !!

    I reverse dieted the exact same way as yourself, and it's amazing the benefit was vs the typical binging approach. It wasn't always easy, in fact, some of my highest cravings came 1-2 weeks into reverse dieting. And I also experienced the LTDFLE but I had no idea that it had been talked about in a Lyle article. Pretty cool seeing that.

    While think sometimes it could be very useful being more aggressive with the addition of calories sometimes, I personally prefer the 100kcal approach as well. Here's another reverse dieting video that is useful

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