Reverse Dieting vs Intuitive Eating for Constant Hunger?

πŸ‘‰ Wondering why you're so hungry and/or binge eating after eating healthy, counting calories and working out more?

πŸ‘‰ Thinking about reverse dieting, intuitive eating, trying another meal plan, or something of this nature to try to fix your slow metabolism and curb cravings and constant extreme hunger and binge eating without eating more and gaining weight?

Let's talk about the WORST ways you can go about this, so you can avoid the common mistakes that will make you hungrier, more obsessed with food and gaining more weight in the long term. 

Let's start with the common ways people are trying to manage their "hunger" and control their weight gain after restrictive diets or periods of food control in any way.

-reverse dieting (which is the attempt at slowly increasing your food intake after a calorie-restricted diet, for example, by 100-200 calories per week, or being in a caloric deficit, with the goal of "maintaining long term weight management." It's people trying to resume their regular eating habits before the calorie-restricted diet, after a cut, without having to gain all the weight back.

-or trying to eat a bit more at meals for example, saying, "I was only eating one piece of bread, so now I'll allow myself to eat two pieces of bread with a tablespoon of butter."

-or limiting yourself to only 2500-3500 calorie meal plan,

-or just  going from restrictive eating  and binge eating to trying to fight the urge to eat a lot of food,  to just all of a sudden being a regular eater or intuitive eater with "normal" portions that you "should" be eating, 

-or attempting to exercise more to compensate for any caloric increases 

-or even following the pro-metabolic diet which again is still restrictive and promotes a slow increase of carbs of 100-200 calories per week

...but you need to avoid these approaches at all costs because they will exacerbate your food obsession, binge eating, and extreme hunger.

It all comes down to the avoidance of weight gain and people's fears of becoming morbidly obese.

Most metabolic approaches are popular because they promote quick weight loss or no weight gain. Because everyone's trying to avoid weight gain so this is comfortable and not scary.

But proper metabolic recovery for people coming from restrictive eating involves gaining weight first.

The reason why these ways aren't working is for several reasons: it doesn't raise BMR like every metabolism philosophy says - it just tricks people into thinking it does.

Like a sleazy salesperson that says here, buy this new house to get out of your jail cell only to find out it's just a bigger jail cell, that's more torturous than before because they didn't disclose it's in a flood zone and had wholes that were covered up. Now it's flooding with water, and you're drowning.

In other words, when you try to overcome food obsession and an uncontrollable hunger with a slow increase of calories or a daily cap to your caloric intake, things like this make you feel hungrier or more obsessed around food than before, even though you're eating more than before.

Because they're in a bigger prison cell - eating more than they were before, more flexible with food choices, more meals throughout the day, it's a facade... 

...because it's still all about control - to control weight gain, control hunger, control calories, and get your period back, eat more calories without having to gain weight - this isn't how true metabolism healing looks, though.

I was talking with a client about this, and her analogy was this for reverse dieting, and it's basically for most of the approaches for what I just listed as well: 

Reverse dieting to try to reverse one's ravenous hunger is like letting a small door open that's holding a massive dam of water back

Once you open that door just a bit, the water is going to bust through - have fun trying to hold back the force of water from that body of water.

This is the same with your insatiable hunger. That little door has been your "willpower" trying to hold back your appetite, and when you try to do reverse dieting to get rid of the body of water behind that door, adding in a small number of calories is like opening that door.

It's only more torturous, and your hunger will just come gushing out, making you even more miserable than you even were full-blown restricting.

When following these approaches, you're slowly pulling off a bandaid while simultaneously putting another bandaid in its place. Instead, you want to rip off the bandaid, release the floodgates and develop a strategy for what that brings up for you - this is a lot of what I work with people in my framework.

 I want you to stop listening to your analytical brain.

Now there are a few questions I want you to ask yourself, in your relationship to food, before you move forward in your recovery approach: 

  • When you're making decisions around eating, or when looking at your mindset around eating, is it causing more guilt, stress, anxiety, and fear? How does it affect your hunger levels? 
  • Does this approach to food build trust with your body? - example, if someone broke your trust in a relationship, would this kind of behavior build trust? Or further lack of trust it will get its needs met - same with your relationship with food and your body - are your decisions around food trustworthy? Would you trust someone if they had the same motives as you did around food and the body? Right, if someone's true motives are to manipulate and control even if it seemed genuine care on the surface, is that worthy of trust? Are your motives to manipulate and control? 
  • Is this way of approaching food genuinely helping you? (this may sound overly simple, but ask this question: is it helping alleviate your hunger? Making you feel sane around food?


Now, here's your assignment that I want you to do:

  1. I want you to take an inventory for the last 30 days and tally up how many food mindsets/decisions are causing stress and guilt?
  2. How many decisions are you making around food that is building trust with your body?
  3. And tally up how many mindsets, attitudes, beliefs around food, nutrition, exercise, and your body, are helping you - your hunger, your peace around food?


Although we could talk about this topic for DAYS, that's it for today's article. If you want to continue the discussion in my community forum on my website, click here to join the free forum there!
see you there! :)
Kayla Rose
Holistic Nutritionist
P.S. I'm hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism, and you're invited! Click here to sign up.

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