Reverse Diet Update: Week 2

My reverse diet was born out of necessity. Mostly because I was stupid.

Now, however, it’s an interesting experience for me and provides me with some useful information on my own weight loss. You see, while I was maintaining ridiculously low calories, I wasn’t losing much in the way of weight. Not really.

I went into what I discovered about my eating previously. While I said I wasn’t worried about the scale, that wasn’t completely true. I’m trying to lose weight, after all, so of course, I’m worried about it.

But what I’ve seen has been pretty good so far.

I’m only on the reverse diet for the second week. So these findings are preliminary, to say the least, but they are what they are.

I’ve gone from 1144 average calories to 1250 or so calories per day. This, too, is an average, but the point remains. So far, I’m up 100 calories per day.

During the time when I averaged 1144 calories, I lost remarkably little weight, all things considered. I was averaging something like 1.2 lbs lost per week.

Now, 100 or so calories higher, I’ve lost 1.6 lbs over the last two week.

Um…that’s lower

Yes, it is.

However, the first week at 1200 calories, I lost 0.6 lbs. This past week at 1250 calories, I lost 1 lb.

Now, this is too small of a sample to really get the feel for a trend, but that certainly looks like an improvement in the metabolism. It’s enough to encourage me going forward with 1,300 calories starting today.

In theory, I should be losing way too much weight with this amount of calories. Here’s my most recent calculation on what I should be seeing.


I’m about to hit 1,300 calories, and I’m losing one pound per week. There’s no way I suck that badly at measuring my food.

But, with the improved weight loss, we’ll hopefully see some vast improvement. My hope is that next week sees a 1.5 lbs loss. If that’s the case, and I hit two pounds on 1,350 the week after, then I’ll be just about right where I should be.

In theory.

What then?

That is the $64,000 question.

My initial instinct is to then treat my metabolism as back to full and just jump to something like 1,600 calories a day to keep the weight loss manageable.

But my concern is that it won’t work that way. Just because I’m about where I should be at one level doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything. Not on a one-week basis, anyway.

Instead, I’m going to probably keep reverse dieting up to that 1,600 calories or so and see what happens. Who knows, the metabolism might be firing so I have to go even higher. That would absolutely suck, now wouldn’t it? </sarcasm>

Honestly, getting back my teenage metabolism would be awesome, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m 45-years-old, for crying out loud. It’s not going to happen.

Luckily, I don’t need it to happen. I just need to get into the normal range. I can even handle the l0w-end of normal

So, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and see what happens. However, I reserve the right to change things if anything stops working.

And if it does?

Well, that depends. It depends on a whole lot, actually. For example, what was happening at the time it stopped working? Was body fat percentage also being maintained?

Honestly, it’s difficult to even start to speculate without knowing specifics.

But, mostly, if it stops working I imagine I’ll at least know what my new maintenance calorie level is and play around with that just a bit before trying something new.

Frankly, it won’t particularly matter simply because I’ll be getting nutrients and be consuming a safe number of calories.


There are people who believe metabolic damage doesn’t exist. I get that and I get their reasoning as well. However, I know what kind of care I take in recording my calories religiously, and while I might have missed a few things here or there, it shouldn’t have been anywhere near enough to account for what I was seeing with my own weight loss.

So, I have to conclude that it’s a thing. It’s not scientific, but it is what it is.

As such, there has to be a treatment for what I’ve seen with my own body. That meant a reverse diet and so far, it seems to be working. I’m taking in more food and still losing weight. Honestly, if I was simply maintaining weight over the last two weeks, I’d count it as a victory. The fact that I’m still losing is even better.

Whether metabolic damage really exists or I’m seeing something else, I don’t really care. I’ll take it. I’m feeling better emotionally about my calorie intake, to say nothing of feeling better physically.

I’ll take my wins anywhere I can find them.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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