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What is a Reverse Diet?

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Recently, I did a Facebook Live on this topic with the Nourished with Emily group after I received so many questions on reverse dieting on Instagram and how important is a calorie deficit for weight loss

Calorie deficits do help with weight loss, HOWEVER…

If we’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time, I’m talking MONTHS and YEARS, a deeper deficit, going below that 1200 calories you’re eating now is going to hurt you a lot more than help you.

Our bodies are so adaptable, they change their processes when they are under stress to make sure we can continue to survive

That’s EXACTLY what happens when we are in a calorie deficit for too long, our bodies start to figure out that we aren’t going to be getting as much energy as we need to make all the hormones we need or perform basic processes like digestion, so it makes shortcuts by not making all the hormones we need and other problems like:


X Decreased Appetite

X Decreased Hunger/Fullness signs

X Upset Stomach

X Inconsistent Bathroom Habits

X Low Sex Drive

X Irritability and Moodiness

X Exhaustion

Feeling any of these symptoms?

Then it might be time for a reverse diet! The key is to slowly increase your intakes to help your body to adapt to more energy being available for use.

What is a reverse diet and when do we use them? Reverse diets are used in 2 situations; 1 is when you’ve been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time while trying to lose weight. You start to see a plateau in your weight loss and you just can’t go any lower with your calorie intake, so you have to increase your intake slowly to bring it back to maintenance before you go back into a deficit.

The second time this is used is after you’ve achieved your goal weight and are ready to return to a higher level of intake while maintaining the weight loss you’ve had. Once again, a slow and methodical increase in calories needs to be done to make sure that you don’t gain the weight back.


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