FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast

The Science of Reverse Dieting: How to Maintain Your Weight Loss

October 19, 2023 Turo Virta
FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
The Science of Reverse Dieting: How to Maintain Your Weight Loss
Show Notes Transcript

Are you tired of the endless cycle of dieting, losing weight, and then gaining it all back? In this eye-opening episode, we sit down with weight loss and nutrition expert Turo Virta to delve into the science of "Reverse Dieting"—a groundbreaking approach to weight maintenance that challenges conventional wisdom.

At the start, Turo lays down the foundation by explaining what reverse dieting is and how it helps maintain weight loss by gradually increasing calorie intake (0:00). He sheds light on why the traditional view of "dieting" might be counterproductive, and why adopting a scientific approach to weight management can lead to sustainable results (3:35).

We'll also explore how reverse dieting isn't just a way to avoid weight gain—it's also a strategy to optimize your metabolism and improve overall health (9:35). You'll learn about the pitfalls of low-calorie diets, why they often lead to a decrease in physical activity, and how reverse dieting can help break the vicious cycle of diet-induced low energy levels (14:10).

In the final segment, Turo emphasizes the need for a long-term perspective on weight loss and gives practical advice on how to determine your own sustainable calorie intake for weight loss and maintenance (19:30).

Whether you're stuck on a weight loss plateau, dealing with "yo-yo" dieting, or simply looking to maintain your current weight in a healthier way, this episode provides the insights you need to revolutionize your approach to weight management.

LINKS Metioned in Episode:

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Podcast Episode:
How to get out of weightloss plateau & when to use Reverse Diet with Jordan Lips

EP 49/22 Eating more and losing weight - how Silvia raised her calories by 1000 and started to lose weight

EP 8/21 How to overcome weight loss plateau - Lukas lost 15 kg in 3 months while raising his calories almost 1000 calories

In the beginning, it's not necessarily it's not that you have to do it but it says that that's the one way one strategy to how to actually do it. And then today in today's episode, you will learn how to actually do it, why to do it and when is the right time to do it and what is what are what are expectations, what are realistic expectations, what you are going to going to have. So what is if you think like the bodies that were that weight regain blood problem so what is the what is the most if you look at latest studies, latest statistics, there's over 90% of diets. The problem is that losing weight or diets are working you are able to lose weight. The problem is that maintaining it so over 90% of diets are failing. So people are very good at losing weight, but very bad at maintaining that this is this is this is kind of the reverse dieting is helping you especially if you have been longer period of time in a diet and then it's kind of it's kind of face from going from losing weight to trying to maintain that rate and it's not you would go you could be going there from kind of fat loss phase if you be taught like little bit in the fitness language. It's going from straight from fat loss phase to maintenance phase, but there is a reverse dieting is kind of in between those phases. And, and this is this is something what I'm very very passionate and I'm going to explain you how to actually do it. So So what is the concept of reverse dieting? So basically it means that in order to explain let's say that you are trying to lose weight, so you know that probably that you have to be in a calorie deficit. So you are eating less calories than you your body needs. And then when you are trying to maintain your calories you are eating same amount of calories that your body needs. So you are maintaining, but often what happens is that pace between that you are let's say that your maintenance calories I just give a little bit examples that your maintenance calories should be 1500 you have been in eating you have been for some reason, let's say that you have been eating 1000 2300 calories and now you are trying to go back to maintenance. Maybe you are someone in situations that you have been trying to lose weight for already for months, like I'm talking now over three to four months or even longer years. And then you are going back you have maybe or maybe you have been overweight in your life and you have been able to lose weight and now you are really scared kind of eating more and adding adding because you again you are scared that you are going to gain all the weight back what you have lost in in a you know earlier and that the concept of reverse dieting is basically that you are increasing your calories like week by week or month by month and that I would say week by week so it's instead of going overnight, like let's say that you have been 1200 calories your maintenance calories should be 2000 that you are you have two basically two options you would be increasing those calories overnight going for 2000 or other options using that reverse dieting and that would mean that you are increasing those calories assessed week by week and going slowly step by step onto that your maintenance calories. And this is this is why why most of the people they are going to go into it's like they they they don't think that they actually think that now you are on a diet and you are losing losing weight. But then you don't think that how the hell like and you just think of how you're going to lose it but you are not actually thinking how you are going to maintain and this is just the one strategy, how to actually reverse dieting is that that learning to what you are doing after the diet and this is what we are going to talk today. So what is what is first of all, what I already mentioned a little bit earlier. It's a little bit fishy, Trisha, Laci. Shallow so lots of like that kind of your beliefs and identity. So if you are someone who is maybe your identity is that you are Dieter so you are basically you have been already for longer time you are kind of not happy where you are you are trying to lose weight. And you are seeing yourself as a as a dieter and and then it's if you if you don't believe that you may be or you are believing that that you are very good at you know how to lose weight, but then you don't believe that if I have those old beliefs that if I do keto I will lose weight for example. And then if you are going to go you think that but soon as that keto or that diet is over, you are going to gain it or regain it and that But and if you think that I can't have you have those kinds of maybe some forbidden foods, what do you have, you are not allowed to eat or you are going to gain all weight. And with reverse dieting. It's kind of that you you you start using different identity and it's giving you more like kind of scientific approach and thinking like the body so if your identity is that you are believing you don't you are seeing that it's not you're not going to actually gain fat because it's if you have been eating you're increasing those calories better. It helps you to beat it a bit better identity and that that better, like higher belief that you can actually do so. And these are these are all strategies like when you was this always where I started like that you have to start from your identity and your those are kind of rules what are like let's say that you are seeing a big tree beautiful tree with the leaves. And those rules are your identity. And they are when you start from there, building those roots then that everything else that visual, visual, visual part what everybody is seeing, that's going to change everything and but I'm not going to go deeper in this episode for those beliefs and identity. I do deeds that in my coaching programs in my base sustainable peace program, what is by the way, it's closed at the moment, when I'm recording this but there is a waitlist in my website where you can sign up but this is not about promoting my coaching programs just telling you a little bit information like giving you ideas from where it's it might be coming so this is this is what I see for most people is the hardest part is especially if you have let's say you have a lot of weight to lose and and you are let's say you have 100 bunch or 20 kilos or whatever big amount of weight to lose. And now let's say that you are halfway you have still some way to lose, but you are not in your goal yet. And this at the meantime, in the meantime, you can like we would ideally we are thinking that you would like to just go deficit deficit deficit until you hit your COVID but our bodies are so good at adapting. So we have two huge kind of breaks like was it same same thing with if you think running if you haven't been running for a while. It's first in the beginning. It's hard. It's working. You're improving but if you don't do anything you don't run faster. You don't run longer, your buddies by becoming more effective at it. Same thing with the diet. If you don't change anything, you keep going exactly the same way. Your body is going to adapt and your metabolism is going to add and that's why we need to kind of be smarter than our bodies and use these kinds of strategies like reverse dieting, to avoid those plateaus and get out of the plateau and so that you make progress, you are able to lose that also later on. So it was because the actual code the code is them. All people want that you want to you that you reach your weight loss code and you're happy with your body and then you are able to maintain so so this is this is kind of that approach what you want to and and if you if you have never practiced let's say that you have a lot of weight to lose, you are not in your whole body baited but if you never practice how you are actually going to maintain your weight before you are actually in that goal, how the hell you are going to be or how you how you are going to learn. Then in let's say that in three years, two years, you hit your goal bodyweight and you have never practiced how to actually make it how you're going to do it. So this is kind of shifting that perspective of thinking that this is a lifelong long journey. And you are going to actually you have possibility to learn it all the time. And and and even if it takes a little bit longer, you are in a lot better place. When you are actually when you have practice that before you hit your goal. So what if you think that what what is then what matters, maybe in your weight loss journey, it's like it's like a binge eating like all ingredients like what you're going to do like if you are your weight loss like it's like kind of cake like this fitness journey that you have that topping you have there like 1234 slices maybe in between something and in your fitness journey. There is like or in a cake you you have received there is coming all those kinds of ingredients and in your fitness journey, there is your workouts there is your sleep, there is your nutrition, there is daily walking, there is hydrates, they are all kind of important things and if you are if you miss one of those or two, maybe one one or two things you don't mind, you don't even recognize like in a cake you don't understand or you don't maybe taste so much difference. But in fitness, they are all important and this is kind of like in the fitness journey that reverse dieting and under using that those different kinds of faces. They are important and they they actually matters. So what is what is then reverse dieting. Maybe you have heard already something and what are the most common fears. So here's what I hear all the time is that you are like like I mentioned, you're going to you're going to gain all weight back. So what is what is the real deal is that what is what is realistic expectations? When you are actually starting it's it's it's it's expectation is that you are going to gain some scale with in the beginning but it's not going to be fat and why you are going to gain like let's say that you have been eating very little calories, you suddenly start to eat more. So when you have more food in your stomach, you are maybe eating little bit more carbs or sodium or foods which are holding a little bit more water in your body. So your body you are going to gain you're going to see the difference on the scale because you simply have more food in your stomach more water in your body. But then when time is passing usually takes around 10 to 14 days that we should be going down again that you should actually start when you are if you are still in deficit that way to start to go down and and why why that reverse dieting. It's so beneficial when you actually start eating at some point little bit more. You are you are going to your metabolism is going to add up because if you have been eating little, little little all the times is that because it's a losing strategy in a long term if you your only goal is that you need to eat less you need to reduce your calories you need to reduce your calories and you hit the plateau. What you want what you are going to do you are going to eat or move more or eating less and in at some point it's going to be so little calories. It's going to be so much movement that you are not able to do it and then it's time when you are usually you are pinching you are overeating. And that's the time when you are going to tell the party time it's too hard. I'm not going to I'm I'm not able to meet it I don't have willpower. But when you are using these kinds of tools like reverse dieting, you are actually gradually eating more calories and your metabolism is also adapting because if you only be if the only way you are doing it you're always only restricting, restricting, restricting. It's your metabolism is adapted like I used in an example of running example. If you go for you start to do it every single day, going for running or walking in the beginning. It's hard but our bodies are so good at adapting. And it same thing with metabolism. And reverse dieting is it's kind of like if you think it in a running that you are going to do some maybe sprints run faster, run run longer report take some easier days. It helps your body's going to respond and do actually better and for as a response. For this you're going to see better results than doing exactly the same thing over a long period of time. So it's kind of same thing with dieting than with the practices you have to change some things around or otherwise you won't be able to see progress forever. So, what is then what is then calories in, calories out? Is it a is it a myth? This is this is something what I have seen with many clients that they have they are coming to me they are telling me that they have been eating let's say 1000 2300 calories and maintenance calories should be let's say 1000 pounds a year and they are not losing weight. Why that is happening. It's there is a little bit the reason could be that your metapost Like I said we have adapted a little bit but it has never had 1000 calories below what is the by far the most common reason is that you are your energy levels are so low so you are not moving maybe if you like not if you don't think only steps there are so many things with effect like that how much you are using your hands while you are talking, how much you are doing some pacing impresses. So all those kinds of things they need a lot more energy and when you don't have you don't give to your body enough energy you are without even noticing you are doing those things less and your body needs less calories. So you are actually not in a calorie deficit even you think you are or 10 you are eating very little calories. What happens what I see very often it's usually from Monday to Thursday, very low calories, and then it's coming in at weekend and then it's maybe one day two days. You are eating way too much or a lot or you don't track so accurately. And that is that one day when you are actually pulling a lot more. You're eating a lot more than you should. And in the overall end of the week. You are actually not that big of deficit as you think. And that's why it calorie deficits always work. But what is that with other other things with that reverse diet and how it's helping it's that kind of pinch and restrict cycle. So when you are starting to add more food. So this was one of the examples I think it's my fitness paid me to a fitness podcast episode 49 I had added Silvia tosylate After a long period of time after a year or two do you have got rid of all those pins pins eating and restriction cycles. So when you are instead of aiming to eat very little restrict way too much, if you don't even try, you try to restrict a bit less you are allowed to eat a little bit more. In the long term you are going to eat a lot less calories than if you go way too low, way too low and then there is going to peak overeating or beats. So when you are when you sit your course, like lower your expectations, even how hard he wanted to lose the weight in the moment, but when you start adding calories and not even trying to go because if you get Binti, it doesn't matter if you're overeating if you keep overeating. It doesn't matter how much how what kind of results you're going to get. Because if that happens, it still take stay. You are going to it's only a matter of time before you are going to gain everything back. So rather you go higher calories, start eating more, seeing maybe little bit less results in the beginning but when you are getting those results you are able to maintain those results for life. And this is this is what is the what is the biggest advantage of reverse dieting that you are actually allowed to eat more. And this is this is kind of a reverse idea between reverse dieting is that you are kind of trying to find the highest amount of calories that you are able to eat without actually gaining on necessary unwanted fat. And that and that is that is something like that. What I what I did with a couple of my clients who have had would have been years kind of yo yo dieting and Sylvia said there was Lucas Skylane of what I can I can just name a couple a few there's a couple in my podcast episodes who I have recorded a podcast episode. But if you think that this is when you are actually you are not going to feel like what happens when you have been the only way you have restricted very little your hunger. They are not there you don't feel hunger that month and then it's it can be really hard to eat that much of food. What you should be eating especially if you're eating mostly healthy, and then Christmas like if I'm not hungry. Do I need to eat more? In normal cases? My answer would be no but for those people who have been eating very little and need that energy because it's if you don't hit your calorie targets if your body doesn't get the amount of calories it should need you can trust your hunger problems. You can trust your fullness cues. You have to eat a little bit more so that your body gets the dinners because if you don't give that energy, it's not going to your body will never understand that there is actually more energy available. And then when you are keep adding those calories you are gathering that data you start to feel that okay, now you have more energy you are maybe making making more progress and and making sure while you are doing this, that it's not that you're scale rate, it's not go more than you should not gain weight more than half kilo per week. So it's around one pound per week on average your average rate so what is what is that? What is average rate so basically you miss or you'll make yourself every single day and take only average weight per week. And from that amount that amount should not go higher, because if it start to go well you start to gain more than one pound or half kilo per week, then it's going to you are already eating too many calories. So then it's time to access the amount of calories and this is this is very, very challenging approach. I have to say that this is something what I if you even if you listen or podcast episodes you might have all the time so many insecurities so many questions. So if you feel like that you are in situation that you need to consider starting reverse dieting, you know kind of the key you should be eating more. I highly recommend to work with somebody or get some support from some person who knows what they have been doing, what they are doing. Who knows who have been maybe they have worked with some people like okay, I have to of course i I'm the IT don't have to be i i obviously would love that you trust me that much. That person would be me. But test it's it's it's I have read it with so many women and men through that process. And it's it's you have so many questions. You have so many insecurities. But it's basically when you have enough data you are you are accessing making sustainable assessments and then you know where to data point what you should be looking and then then it's it will be only matter of time that it will. It will it will actually were and this is this is kind of the mindset says to what I say told in the beginning that you change that identity. Maybe you find some new things that it's not like Sylvia said that her biggest like see was literally almost crying when she said that she always thought that restriction is the only way to make progress. And when you get those beliefs you get out of the identity of and you have changed your beliefs, everything started to change. And that was that is that biggest realization for most of the people is that you can and you are making a lot more progress. When you are actually chasing the guidance. You allow yourself you have courage to eat more, do the right things and it's not often it's a lot easier. Like mentally it's it's like the most successful people who have been using reverse dieting who have been losing a lot of weight and been able to maintain it for longer. What they all tell after it has happened that this was actually a lot easier than I thought I just made it so complicated. Complicated. I was so hard for myself. And when you start to make those shifts, you start to believe that it's actually working you there is a different approach than what you have probably always trying and this is the hardest thing is that because we are very good when we maybe we have some belief we have some thought that this is the way maybe from through your own experience that you have been able to lose weight like I said in the beginning with keto or something and then now you think that this is the only way I just have to have more willpower. I just have to have more descent that or more time or whatever, that I'm able to maintain. But when you start to see it, you don't need it. You can you can make sucks. You can have success even in the busiest time of your life. When you focus on those simple, actionable things. What you probably already know, but you haven't been able to make them your lifestyle and being consistent with them. And this is this is how you change your mindset. But the majority of time you should be in that mindset of maintaining your weight not trying to lose weight because fat was is the face it's it's meant to be for a short time. Three to four months. I would say for most people, if you have if you haven't been on diet for a longer period of time. You just you have a lot of weight to lose it might be long, longer, especially if you are not in a plateau but as soon as you start to hit plateau, and for most people three to four months is the maximum amount you should be in a deficit because fabulous is a phase it's not a lifestyle and when you start to understand it, that maintenance is where you should be. And reverse dieting might be the way that you want to practice how to actually get there. And then you start saying it's the mindset and this is this is how you make that everything so much easier, not only for yourself, but for everybody around you. And that's you don't need to think food all the time and you allow yourself to have like having you're going to feel so much better when you allow yourself you fuel your body, how it needs it. How your body needs it and allow him to take those diet breaks What are necessary to maintain your results. So this was a podcast episode from this week, and I will put some other podcast episodes if you are interested for reverse dieting what I have recorded and if you need any help, I will put my coaching application it's in my all my social media bills. And I will put it in my Sonos. So thank you for listening and talk to you soon. Again.