What you need to know about the Reverse Diet and if it actually works

There has to be a name for the panic that sets in after you realize you might have to rejoin civilization soon.

Months have gone by and you’ve still got your Charles Manson beard, or your Cornel West afro, or your Carrie locks or maybe even your Elvis Moody blue-era-beer belly.

That’s alright, you’ve got a little more time left and right now a new trend called the Reverse Diet is making the rounds.

Is it any good? Maybe, but only for a little.

Essentially, the diet is an answer to lose-weight-quick regimens known for being unmaintainable. As you know, shedding pounds is often much more difficult than keeping them off.

Recently, while covering the correlation between obesity and severe manifestations of COVID-19, Ladders covered an important hormone called leptin.

Leptin is composed of fat cells, and when we lose weight too quickly it alerts the body so it can do whatever it can to gain it back.

While in this state, muscles burn fewer calories when we’re active, food becomes more satisfying, and biological responses programmed to keep us from overeating are subdued. The end result sees us craving fattening foods and having to do a lot more work to burn them off.

With the reverse diet, we essentially trick our bodies into thinking everything is normal while maintaining weight loss.

The diet is actually premised by a study titled, Recent advances in understanding body weight homeostasis in humans.

In it, the authors posited interesting theories about how hormones, metabolism, and the hypothalamus influence fluctuating weight in humans.

“Presently, control of body weight is assumed to exist, but there is no consensus framework of body weight homeostasis. Three different models have been proposed, with a “set point” suggesting (i) a more or less tight and (ii) symmetric or asymmetric biological control of body weight resulting from feedback loops from peripheral organs and tissues (e.g. leptin secreted from adipose tissue) to a central control system within the hypothalamus,” the authors wrote in the report.

The authors suggest that there might actually be a calorie intake limit associated with our unique body types. If we surpass this value we put on pounds–or so the theory goes.

Therefore if we lose a bunch of weight in a short period of time, but then start slowly consuming more calories we boost our metabolism allowing us to eat more and keep weight off.

The authors of the study, underscore its limitations, even if members of the academic community have observed value outside of speedy weight loss.

“While there’s currently little research investigating the effects of reverse dieting on metabolism, it could still help people in other ways,” Duane Mellor, dietitian, researcher and educator wrote of the diet’s merits. “When some people are losing weight, they may feel in control of how they eat. But for some people, stopping their diet could lead to perceived loss of control. Reverse dieting might give some people the confidence to return to a more sustainable way of eating, or help them move out of a cycle of restrictive dieting.”

There a myriad of things that impact the way we process food and energy. That’s why the best way to maintain a healthy weight is by first finding out the particulars of your body type and health goals.

The Flexitarian Diet appreciates a similar approach to weight maintenance, but it allows subscribers to establish their own rules.

Whole grains, fruits, veggies, proteins, healthy fats, and dairy, are the cornerstones but the specifics can b adjusted within reason.

The reverse diet might be a good way to start a healthy diet regimen, but consider The Mediterranean, Blue Zone, or The Flexateranian diets to optimize results.

“The basics for all humans stand the same. More plants- but that doesn’t mean you need to be a vegan! I’m a strong believer that the body is the best guide of what it needs, and when left to its own devices, it will gravitate towards nature’s untouched food,