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Thread: Reverse dieting

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    Registered User Jimmy6263's Avatar
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    Reverse dieting

    Hey, so I’m 21, 6’1 and weigh 180lbs or around that, I’d imagine it fluctuates.

    I severely restricted myself of calories eating at about 1800 a day for a long time. I lost weight but not fat, I’m skinny fat, it’s what I get for not doing enough research…

    I’m back at the gym, and I’m eating 1g of protein per lb of BW, and I’m gaining weight even though I’m eating little calories. My fitness pal claims I should be eating around 3000 calories to maintain, but even on around 2000 I’m gaining so I imagine my metabolism has adjusted to that 1800 number before and set that as my maintenance? How do I reset my maintenance back to what it was before?

    Need help!!!
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You almost certainly did lose fat. If you've used some bodyfat analyser and it told you that you lost pure lean mass, don't believe it, those things are notoriously inaccurate.

    Adequate protein and a good weigh training routine will help keep the muscle as you probably know by now.

    Unfortunately the idea that you can "reset" your metabolism by reverse dieting is a myth. There are some small adaptations that happen when you diet but they are very quickly reversed by eating more - but also very quickly come back again when you resume dieting. Sorry but you can't "hack" fat loss. It ultimately comes down to eating less.
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    Registered User Jimmy6263's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You almost certainly did lose fat. If you've used some bodyfat analyser and it told you that you lost pure lean mass, don't believe it, those things are notoriously inaccurate.

    Adequate protein and a good weigh training routine will help keep the muscle as you probably know by now.

    Unfortunately the idea that you can "reset" your metabolism by reverse dieting is a myth. There are some small adaptations that happen when you diet but they are very quickly reversed by eating more - but also very quickly come back again when you resume dieting. Sorry but you can't "hack" fat loss. It ultimately comes down to eating less.
    So should I just start with 2000 calories and slowly increase it gradually till I reach around 3000? Where do I go from here? I’m just confused as to how much I should be eating if I’m gaining on 2000, doesn’t seem right? I’m skinny fat so I’ve got a lot of fat to lose still and can only do that through a c deficit, but how much less do I have to eat?
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    Firstly, you have to consider that you a miscounting your intake and it's not really 1800 calories. This is incredibly common and is the #1 reason on this forum that people have trouble.

    Secondly, you may be losing weight so your current intake is not really your maintenance. If you have at least 2 weeks of daily weigh ins, post the raw numbers here and I can make an estimate of your current TDEE.

    Thirdly, 3000 is rather unrealistic for a TDEE. I've been lifting for 15 years, am around 190 lbs with 14% BF training 5-6 days a week but my TDEE is only about 2700.

    When you stop dieting, you can expect your TDEE to go up by about 200 calories (this is an average so it may be more in your case).
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    Registered User Jimmy6263's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Firstly, you have to consider that you a miscounting your intake and it's not really 1800 calories. This is incredibly common and is the #1 reason on this forum that people have trouble.

    Secondly, you may be losing weight so your current intake is not really your maintenance. If you have at least 2 weeks of daily weigh ins, post the raw numbers here and I can make an estimate of your current TDEE.

    Thirdly, 3000 is rather unrealistic for a TDEE. I've been lifting for 15 years, am around 190 lbs with 14% BF training 5-6 days a week but my TDEE is only about 2700.

    When you stop dieting, you can expect your TDEE to go up by about 200 calories (this is an average so it may be more in your case).
    So just eat at a number of perhaps 2300 and see how I get on? See if I gain or lose? What about additional factors like water weight?
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    Let say you were losing 1lb a week at your current intake. That implies a deficit of 500 calories a day relative to your current intake (whatever that is - maybe 1800, maybe not).

    You could add 500 calories and wait to see what happens. There will be a weight adjustment in the first few days or the first week because of more food in transit, more glycogen and water retention. So after that adjustment, monitor your weight for 2 weeks, weigh in every morning. If you pitched it right, your weight should be stable in that time.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Let say you were losing 1lb a week at your current intake. That implies a deficit of 500 calories a day relative to your current intake (whatever that is - maybe 1800, maybe not).

    You could add 500 calories and wait to see what happens. There will be a weight adjustment in the first few days or the first week because of more food in transit, more glycogen and water retention. So after that adjustment, monitor your weight for 2 weeks, weigh in every morning. If you pitched it right, your weight should be stable in that time.
    Current weigh-ins since 13/09/21 in lbs

    Eating at 2300 Calories

    178
    178
    177
    178.5
    177.75

    I think after tracking absolutely everything, I probably underestimated how many calories are in milk and is contributing to why I’m not losing.
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    Not enough readings to say for sure but looks like it's close to maintenance.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Thirdly, 3000 is rather unrealistic for a TDEE. I've been lifting for 15 years, am around 190 lbs with 14% BF training 5-6 days a week but my TDEE is only about 2700.
    For real? Seems anecdotally that a lot of forum members lose on 3,000, usually lighter than 190 at that.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    For real? Seems anecdotally that a lot of forum members lose on 3,000, usually lighter than 190 at that.
    Guess it depends whose anecdotes you read. That case would be someone who has an active job IMO - or who does a lot of other sports. I suspect most people reading this are fairly sedentary outside the gym - that's the impression I get at any rate.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Guess it depends whose anecdotes you read. That case would be someone who has an active job IMO - or who does a lot of other sports. I suspect most people reading this are fairly sedentary outside the gym - that's the impression I get at any rate.
    Perhaps so. For my own example, I lose quickly at that number but I am still overweight so the equilibrium that number seeks is well below me. 2,700 just seems like something most people would maintain with if they did nothing at all.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    For real? Seems anecdotally that a lot of forum members lose on 3,000, usually lighter than 190 at that.
    mine is around 3000 even as a shorter guy. then again, i don't use a food scale so my version of 3000 calories could actually be like 2800
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Let say you were losing 1lb a week at your current intake. That implies a deficit of 500 calories a day relative to your current intake (whatever that is - maybe 1800, maybe not).

    You could add 500 calories and wait to see what happens. There will be a weight adjustment in the first few days or the first week because of more food in transit, more glycogen and water retention. So after that adjustment, monitor your weight for 2 weeks, weigh in every morning. If you pitched it right, your weight should be stable in that time.
    Weigh ins:


    178
    178
    177
    178.5
    177.75
    177
    176
    176
    177
    177.25
    177
    177
    177.25
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    Originally Posted by Jimmy6263 View Post
    Weigh ins:


    178
    178
    177
    178.5
    177.75
    177
    176
    176
    177
    177.25
    177
    177
    177.25
    -0.6lbs a week approximately

    A calorie deficit of around 300.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    -0.6lbs a week approximately

    A calorie deficit of around 300.
    So my maintenance is at 2600 if I was eating at 2300?
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    Originally Posted by Jimmy6263 View Post
    So my maintenance is at 2600 if I was eating at 2300?
    Yes and it sounds quite realistic.
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    Anecdotal calorie amounts are all over the place because of inaccurate counting and tracking and a NEAT varying greatly from person to person.
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