Reverse Diet: Update #2

It’s now been 11 weeks since I started my reverse diet, and I must say, it’s been so nice to add carbs (along with some fat) back into my macros!  I find I get to eat a lot more fruit, sweet potatoes and plantain, since I don’t have to be so picky about how I allocate my carbs.

At the beginning I was eating around 1,389 calories, which broke down into the following macros:  Protein – 125 / Fat – 49 / Carbs – 112.  I’m currently at 1,700 calories, and my macro breakdown is:  Protein – 123 / Fat – 52 / Carbs – 185.  One of my mini goals was to get to 200 grams of carbs, so I’m on track to get there soon!

One of the things I’ve noticed during the reverse diet is how much hungrier I am.  I know it’s a byproduct of my metabolism speeding up, which is both good and bad.  I find I’m sneaking little snacks here and there more often, and while I try to track most of them, I don’t track them all.  This means I’m probably actually eating another 50-100 calories a day than my target.  Fortunately, I’m not too worried about it since I’m doing a very conservative reverse, but as I get closer to my maintenance calories (TDEE – total daily energy expenditure), that snacking could skew my results of how I’m actually doing on the diet.

Also, since I’ve been adding more carbs, I’m finding it difficult to stay within my protein target for the day!  I’m so used to eating high-protein foods and limited carbs, that it’s been a real shift in my eating habits!  I also tend to steer towards complex carbs, which have some protein as well (like broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes), so even though I’m eating more than 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, the grams just disappears so quickly!  Of course, my love of protein angel food cakes, protein fluff, greek yogurt with peanut butter, and ricotta cheese makes it extremely easy to do!  🙂

Anyway, here’s a chart of my latest ratio of calories to weight.  While I’m still trending downward, the weight is starting to level off a bit, which means I’m getting closer to my maintenance.

reverse_diet_10wk

The yellow line represents my calorie increases week over week, while the dark orange line is my daily weight.  It’s interesting to see the spikes in my weight following my “free” Sundays.  While I don’t binge, I do enjoy a few fun foods and eat closer to maintenance.

Overall, I was wanting to move into a body recomposition phase following my reverse diet, but have since learned I may be a bit “too lean” to recomp as I had planned.  I may need to enter a small bulking phase to gain some muscle along with a bit of fat for both aesthetic and hormonal reasons.  This will allow me to have a good foundation to start from when I am ready to recomp.

I’m also looking at the speed of my reverse diet, which has been extremely conservative.  I’ve only been adding about 30-50 calories every few weeks, so I may bump that up to 100 calories in the coming week or so.  Once my weight has trended up for a few weeks, I’ll begin doing a slow bulk where I’ll aim to gain around 1 pound per week.

With that said, it looks like my goals are shifting again!  Instead of a body recomposition experiment, I’ll instead start a bulking experiment.  This is new territory for me, so I’m interested to see how it’ll go!

Here’s a summary on my current short and long term goals:

Short term:

  • Reach 200+ grams of carbs
  • Reach ~ 60 grams of fat
  • Maintain a weight of around 120 lbs

Long term:

  • Push calories to 2,000+
  • Enter slow bulk phase to gain around 1 lb per week (3,500 additional calories or 500/day)
  • Target a weight of around 125-130 lbs before starting recomp

I hope to post another update in the next few weeks!

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