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Unfortunately, there’s a lot of fake news and dubious advice regarding dieting and healthy eating. One of these is reverse dieting, a harmful habit that many experts reject.
What’s reverse dieting?
Reverse dieting is a way to, supposedly, avoid regaining weight after the end of a restrictive diet. It consists of tracking a moderate increase in your calorie intake for some weeks after finishing a diet. In other words, once you’ve reached your weight goal by cutting your calorie intake to a certain number, reverse dieting would continue for the following weeks.
The logic behind reverse dieting is that it prevents dieters to fall back to their previous eating habits and calorie intakes. It’s claimed that this method helps to increase metabolism and lower the chances of rapid weight regain because it (allegedly) normalizes hunger hormones and prevents binge eating.
Why do experts advise against reverse dieting?
The main reason why many experts avoid recommending reverse dieting is the lack of research there is on the subject. There are no controlled studies regarding this weight-loss method and its consequences, other than the research made on the negative impacts of a strict diet in the hormone balance and metabolism, which applies only partially to reverse dieting.
In fact, many experts believe the root of the problem is in strict diets that force people to count their calorie intake. This kind of eating habit is the one that takes place before reverse dieting and can cause both physical and emotional problems.
Following a very strict diet can raise stress to unhealthy levels. The constant worry about calorie intake can lead to nutrient shortfalls, fatigue, and mental health problems, such as depression and obsessive thoughts.