Exit the diet and “acceleration of metabolism.”
How to get out of the diet correctly? How not to gain weight again after losing weight? Often people go back to their normal diet or lean on everything forbidden on a diet and gain the weight back. The first thing that comes to mind is “metabolism broke down.” Many people think they will have to sit on a diet forever to avoid getting fat. But what is happening, and how to maintain the result after a diet?
The most popular way out of the diet is the so-called “reverse diet” – a gradual increase in calories at the expense of carbohydrates. There are no universal rules here, but the general principle is to increase carbohydrates by 10-20 grams weekly until a person reaches the calorie content of maintaining a new weight. On average, it takes 1-2 months.
One advantage of this method is that it doesn’t draw a hard line between dieting and not dieting. This is psychologically beneficial: some people fear getting fat again, so a slow and controlled calorie increase will be the best option. For others, it protects against breakdowns and rapid weight gain, especially if the diet was short-lived and the person did not have time to acquire new eating habits.
However, there are many myths surrounding the reverse diet. It is believed that on a diet, metabolism can break down when a person stops losing weight, even if he “does not eat anything.” And with the help of a reverse diet (deliberately increasing calories), the metabolism can be “dispersed” so that in the future you can eat more and not get fat.
But “broken metabolism” does not exist. There are only an adaptation of the body to an energy deficit and the loss of fat (that is, energy) reserves. A diet slows down weight loss; it protects against exhaustion and starvation. But the whole point is in the scale of what is happening. Never on a calorie deficit, weight loss does not stop completely, and even more so on a diet, you can not get fat.
If someone puts on a pound a week eating only 800 calories, they get 500 extra calories from their food. That is, this person’s metabolism should be only 300 calories daily. But science has not known such cases in the entire history of the study of metabolism, and none of the existing studies has found that daily energy expenditure can be so low. Therefore, no one in the history of science has yet gained weight on 800 calories – of course, when calories were strictly controlled and when the calorie deficit was just that.
Almost always under the “broken metabolism” hides inaccurate calorie counting, underestimating the amount of food, and overestimating the activity level.
The effect of rapid weight gain in the first week is not a broken metabolism but only filling the gastrointestinal tract with food, restoring glycogen stores, and adding water. This is often touted as evidence of “metabolic damage” to the diet and that the body stores fat twice as fast after the diet.
Acceleration of metabolism
Despite fears, many people, having gone off the diet and started eating more, do not get fat. There are several explanations for the “fast metabolism” phenomenon.
First: increasing carbohydrates in food helps you train more efficiently, more intensely, with more weight, and more often. This allows you to spend more energy on training. If the diet barely has enough energy for a few exercises, the workouts are much more vigorous, and more calories are spent.
Second: increase daily activity. A person on a diet is usually not too cheerful – you want to move less, and people are more willing to use the opportunity to sit and drive a transport/car/elevator. As we start eating more, especially carbohydrates, we become more energetic and active. Although this happens differently for different people: for some, energy consumption with an increase in calories fell by 89 kcal; for others, it increased by 692 kcal.
Third: muscle gain (not fat) when you increase calories and train hard.
Fourth: the return of hormonal levels from “economical” to normal. Thyroid hormones are the most sensitive in this regard. Their production decreases with a long energy deficit, especially with a lack of carbohydrates. With an increase in carbohydrates, their level returns to normal, and a person begins to spend a little more at rest (in any case, one cannot count on huge energy expenditure.
Fifth and very likely – a combination of all the previous factors: from an increase in calories, the hormonal background normalizes, a person becomes more active, moves more during the day, and gets the opportunity to train more intensively and, as a result, grows muscles, not fat. All this looks like a metabolic miracle, but, in fact, just a competent way out of the diet.
The above can be considered an increase in metabolism (it consists of several components, daily household activity and sports are two that we can directly influence).
In any case, this is not a “reboot” and not his overclocking dramatically. For some people, a gradual transition from a calorie deficit to maintenance calories is a good idea, but it’s more a matter of eating behavior. This protects against breakdowns and rapid weight gain, especially if the diet is short-lived and the person does not have time to acquire new eating habits or is simply afraid to start eating more abruptly.
For other people, gradualism brings only some benefits. On a starvation diet, cortisol (stress hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone) increase, leptin, testosterone, and thyroid hormones fall, and energy expenditure at rest decreases. Slowly increasing calories and carbs on a prolonged starvation diet can do more harm. The sooner a person can get off the diet and remove the described effects of adaptation, the better – unless he is having a feast for a week.
The smartest way to get off the diet is to do a transitional phase that lasts about two weeks. Don’t only stretch it out for a month. The goal is to do it as quickly as possible while maintaining control over eating behavior.
For those who have lost weight for a long time, it can be scary to eat too much, so they should go for the upper limit. For those who are already friends with food, understand what calories are and how they work and are not afraid of carbohydrates, the transition from diet to maintenance can be faster.