Here is an update on my progress in reverse dieting. I must say that it feels mostly good and that I’m glad I went on this journey without knowing where exactly it will take me.
As I have previously stated, I decided to increase my caloric intake in July in order to further my fat loss/muscle growth. This may sound counter-intuitive because surely one would have to eat even less to lose more fat, right?
Not quite. It turns out my calories were too low for me to effectively lose any more fat (unless I started eating much less, which was no-go). The problem was that my metabolism slowed down and wanted to preserve the fat because of starving. Mind, I wasn’t eating super little (1550-1650 kcal) but then again, this lower-calorie period was stretched for a bit too long (hence losing so much weight despite doing little cardio).
What I did was increasing my calories every other week by 50, sometimes even a bit more. Of course the change wasn’t visible so quickly – the increments were tiny after all.
What was definitely noticeable was the strength gain: I started lifting heavier, and had motivation and energy for longer sets. Forearms were still relatively vascular, and you could see a hint of abs, too. However, I soonish because fluffier and “watery”, just like I anticipated. My legs and butt started growing (FINALLY) but I unfortunately noticed some new fat at the back on my hips. This is just how things go – you can’t expect to gain exclusively muscle mass and stay super slim.
Right now I’m at 1964 calories per day, and, to be honest, I feel like I need to eat so much food. Then again, up until now I’ve never paid much attention to what I ate, and I suppose my snacks were more or less tiny but calorie-dense. Now I prefer to eat more voluminous food, focusing on protein and healthy fats. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat bread or cookies – I can squeeze in some sweets without feeling guilty.
I’ve been doing some sort of experiment in the past two weeks: I increased my calories from carbs by 50 calories and next week I plan to replace them with 50 calories from fat. Why? Just so I can see whether my body works best with carbs or fat. I’m not sure where this will take me but such is the wonder of exploring and experimenting.
And finally here are the remaining two photos from a tiny photoshoot I had after a workout last week. I was feeling goofy, and I hope this shows. 🙂