And it really has only happened in the last 10 years…..
First let me say that this is not new, professional dieters (bodybuilders) have been using this method for a long time.
But it’s very new to the general population. So new in fact that most diet programs haven’t caught up to this simple, yet extremely effective method.
But first before I go into the change we need to have a basic understanding of why it works in the first place.
Whatever you call how you eat, if you are eating less, this won’t work. The biggest piece of dieting (and the most important) is that to get to a calorie deficit you need to have consumed a calorie surplus compared to that number.
So this method, as with all diets, only works if you were eating more than the number of calories you start with (if you are inactive becoming active will help but your body actually adjusts to that very fast, so I wouldn’t view your activity as a way to get to a deficit because it will leave you very frustrated).
This next part is also important, to make lasting change you need a significant amount of calories built up before you pull them down. Slim margins might make you feel good after a successful diet cycle where you were over consuming but if you don’t return things to a relative normal your next cycle won’t bear fruit.
So what is the answer?
The answer is to tier your calorie deficit. So if you are working with a coach or a program that doesn’t do it this way, you are probably leaving a lot of progress on the table (and are more inclined to rebound if you start off super aggressive).
Here is what it looks like.
If you have never logged your food the minute you do what you find is that the little things add up and so it’s easy to over consume if you aren’t careful.
The opposite is also true if you are “just eating real food” or “eating clean” in a somewhat rigid way if you add it up often the calories are pretty low.
So specifics matter a lot (even the specifics within macros matters a lot).
For this example I am going to use a woman eating twenty four hundred calories. That’s about what most adult females require to really thrive and perform will in life (sleep, hormones, the gym et al).
A good deficit for this situation (assuming that the person has eaten like this for three to six months) would start at eighteen hundred calories per day, then after two weeks pull those down three hundred calories and then after that you can evaluate how things are coming along and maybe build in one more tier if needed. The one thing I would suggest is that the third tier will actually be the least successful so if you are down a good amount, maybe leave that for the next cycle.
In total this should only last SIX weeks. A good general rule for weight loss that you can sustain is about a pound a week. With this method it’s common to lose a bit more than that. Also if you have to go to the lowest tier you will be more prone to rebound, what we find is that people actually do want to go to the lower tier just to exhaust every option and it does often buy you a little breathing room. That said, if you get attached to that lowest number you are going to be frustrated a lot.
After the six weeks you need to reverse calories back to normal. Once again, in theory this is easy, instead of two week intervals use one week intervals in reverse for THREE to FOUR weeks. Ironically, faster is better but you want to stay weight stable.
You don’t have to go all the way back to the original number (twenty four hundred) but you want to be over two thousand.
Remember this, the more conservative you are in the reverse, the less weight you will lose in your deficit, that’s just how metabolism works.
Either way both cycles should add up to substantial weight loss. If you want examples in the comments give your situation and tell me how you eat now. Remember for this exercise weight being higher and calories being higher is in your favor. If you want to estimate feel free to do so and I will comment to give you an example of what we see for that body type.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.