Picture it: Another diet fad comes along.
Buy these shakes, drink two a day, and lose 10 pounds instantly!
So you buy the shakes, and you drink them, and you lose 6 pounds, which was exactly your goal.
But what happens as soon as you stop drinking the shakes
You gain all the weight back
Are you constantly on diets, gaining and losing weight for years, and struggle to keep the weight off?
"Yo-Yo Dieting" (or "weight cycling") is a pattern of losing weight and regaining it. It's commonly thought that yo-yo dieting leads to long term struggles with weight and a greater risk of obesity, as well as affecting your self-esteem and confidence with your body image.
So when you say "I need to go back to that diet I was doing. It worked!" - if the results didn't stick, if the diet wasn't sustainable - the diet didn't work.
Why does this happen?
When you restrict your calories or food intake, your body adapts and your metabolism eventually slows down because you likely aren't feeding it enough. Your metabolism has now slowed down too much to burn off the calories, so you start storing the food (aka gaining fat).
How do you get out of your diet without gaining the weight back?
To prevent this from happening, you must reverse diet.
Reverse dieting is a method that involves slowly and strategically increasing daily food intake, all in an effort to raise your metabolism and help your body burn more calories throughout the day. All the macro counting, weighing and measuring, restrictive food options, and precise nutrient timing.. it just doesn't make sense for most people long-term.
So - do you gain weight with reverse dieting? - If you plan it correctly, no... maybe in the beginning, you may gain a few pounds before your metabolism kicks back in. Whatever you have restricted or eliminated, you want to slowly bring back into your diet. This doesn't mean eating processed garbage foods again. You want to slowly increase your calories 2-3% as the weeks and months go on, which you will have to monitor as you are working on this. Once you feel you are in a good place - you aren't starving, you aren't strictly eliminating or relying on shakes as meals, eating real wholesome foods - you have reached your maintenance phase.
There is a lot to reverse dieting, and this is only the basics. Be patient; reverse dieting is a slow process.