Cutting carbs and dieting down for a contest is one thing, but there is also an art to reversing the process and getting back into maintenance and then gaining mode. The last thing you want to do after getting extremely cut is gain a bunch of unwanted fat right away. I am sure many of you have heard of the term “reverse dieting”. I am going to breakdown the concept and how I do it. Let me explain I am not a daily macro counter. I’ve ran the numbers enough in the past to know what I need to be eating for a particular goal.
Reverse Dieting: This is the process of slowing introducing calories, typically carbs and a little fat, back into the diet. I slowly add in each of these carbs (which also means calories) over a period of 3 weeks or so.
A. Carb Up Breakfast: The first thing I add back into my diet right after a contest, or low carb cycle, is a solid carbohydrate source for breakfast. For me this might include 1/2-3/4 cup oats, 2-3 slices of 100% whole wheat bread, or 100% whole wheat pancakes or Belgium waffles. Each of these with a little fruit such as a banana or berries. Looking to bring in 30-50gs of carbs that had been missing.
B. Post-workout Dextrose: There is debate rather glycogen stores are low enough after workouts to warrant spiking glucose levels, but after personal experimentation I do supplement with 30 grams of dextrose immediately after every workout with exception to a few days before a contest. I mix in 3 tablespoons of non-flavored dextrose into my post-workout Re-Kaged whey shake. **Get 15% off Re-Kaged on Kagedmuscle.com with code Wittig15.
C. Light Carbs for Lunch: My typical low carb lunch is 8oz of lean protein, 2 cups veggies, and 16-20 oz of water with Kaged Muscle Hydrachrage. I will roll with this set up for many weeks. I start adding carbs for lunch very slowly. The first thing might be just an apple. I’ll wait 2-3 weeks before adding in potato or rice in addition to the fruit.
D. Dinner Carbs: The weeks leading up to a contest or near the end of any cutting cycle my dinner will be similar to lunch- 8oz of lean protein and 2 cups veggies. I typically add in two 100% whole wheat tortillas and make wraps.
So my reverse dieting might breakdown as follows:
Week 1: Introduce A and B.
Week 2: Introduce C (apple only) and D.
Week 3: Increase amount of A (1/2 to 3/4 oats) and add to C.
I shoot to get to a healthy maintenance level in around 3-4 weeks, then if I plan to start building muscle I slowly continue to increase carbs over another 3-4 weeks. My protein is always high and remains around the same until I am really pushing to increase calories in a gaining cycle.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me: Michael@WittigWorks.com
-Wittig, ISSA CPT
Kaged Muscle Athlete