Reverse Diet

Getting Started

1. Record all food for 7 days. 100% recording. If it goes in your mouth, it gets recorded. Do not make changes to the way you have been eating once you start recording. You need to know where you are currently in order to move forward. If you are unsure of a food and how to enter, just make your best guesstimate. Something recorded is always better than nothing.  

2. Once you have 7 days of recording in MFP, you are going to do the following steps:

  • Open your diary for today. 
  • Scroll to the bottom of your diary and click on the “nutrition” tab 
  • Hit the arrow on the left to take day back to yesterday’s date 
  • Highlight over “nutrients” at the top
  • Over the date,  change “day view” to “week view” 
  • Write down on your tracker sheet, your numbers for average protein, carbs, fiber,sugar and fat
  • Next highlight over “calories “ at the top of your screen 
  • Write down your “net weekly average” of calories 
  • Stay on calories, but change it back to “day view” over the date 
  • Write down your “total daily calories”, day by day, for the last 7 days in your tracker. 

3. Next is your weekly biofeedback tracking. On your tracker, once a week, each week you are going to keep track of the following: (these markers are EQUALLY as important as the scale, so it’s important to learn your body abs really reflect on your markers over the week) 

  • How many hours of sleep per night you averaged
  • Rate your stress on a level of 1-10
  • How many workouts you did in the last 7 days 
  • How much water did you average daily 
  • How many days out of 7 you went to that bathroom (bowel movement) also make note of any gut feedback, are you bloated daily, gassy, suffering from indigestion etc. 
  • Your 7 day step total if you track steps 
  • Your overall energy for the week (good, bad, do you have a mid day crash etc) 
  • Weekly dry weigh-ins* averaged and weekly dry measurements recorded on tracker. See YouTube video on how to do. 

* A dry weigh-in and measurement refer to weighing in first thing in the morning, naked, after the restroom (urinating), and before you have had anything to eat or drink. This is when you are the “driest” Measurements are also taken at this time.

Calculate Your Calories

See the chart below on where to start your calories depending on your weekly average. 

If your weekly calculated average is:

  • Below 1200 start at 1300 calories. 
  • 1200 – 1400 start at 1400 calories 
  • 1400 – 1500  start at 1500 calories 
  • 1500 – 1600 start at 1600 calories 
  • 1600 – 1700 start at 1700 calories 
  • 1700 – 1800 start at 1800 calories 

Calculating Your Macros

MACRONUTRIENTS: are simply your proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 

  • 1 gram of Protein equals 4 calories 
  • 1 gram of Fat equals 9 calories 
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories 

To start with macros at your current calories, I would recommend:

  • 30% protein 
  • 30% fat 
  • 40% carbs 

To figure your numbers use the following formula:

Example at 1300 calories 

Protein: 1300 x .30 (30% protein) divided by 4 (4 calories per gram) = 97.5 grams of protein 
Fat: 1300 x .30 (30% fat) divided by 9 (9 calories per gram) = 43 grams of fat 
Carbohydrates: 1300 x .40 (40% carb) divided by 4 (4 calories per gram) = 130 grams of carbohydrates 

As your calories increase so will your macro numbers. This is a good starting point,  as most of you starting this program will be low in protein, so starting with lower attainable numbers is best. 

Setting up your new calorie and nutrient goals in My Fitness Pal 

  1. In the bottom right corner of your main screen, click “more” on IPhones or “me” on androids. 
  2. Click Goals 
  3. Click Calories, Carbs, Protein and Fat Goals 
  4. Change calories to new goal and change percentages to new numbers. *make sure to click the “check mark” in the top right corner of pop up box to save your numbers. 
  5. Once saved, back out to previous screen and scroll down to the line Additional Nutrient Goals.  Change Fiber to 30 and Sugar to 40.  


1.  Compliance. It’s super important if you want to be successful with your reverse diet, that you are compliant on a week-by-week basis. This is to keep from putting on unnecessary body fat. REMEMBER the goal of a reverse diet is not to lose weight. The goals are:

  • Increase Metabolism 
  • Improve Gut Health 
  • Optimize Hormones 
  • Reduce inflammation 
  • Reduce Bloat
  • Composition changes 
  • Improve Energy 
  • Improve libido 
  • Improve skin and hair

2. Each week, using your tracker, you will fill out all your data ( average weight, measurements, calories, nutrients) and answer the biofeedback questions. If you are within + or – 5 grams of your nutrient goals, you will increase your calories by 100.  If you did not meet goals, you will stay at your current calorie/macro goals until you are in the +- range of 5 grams of your nutrients (protein, carb, and fats). 

3. Each week moving forward, being compliant, and hitting goals, you will continue to increase your calories by 100 until you reach desired calories. (Females 2000 calories/males 3000 calories)  Now, this may seem like a lot of calories and you’re shaking your head no way can I eat this much! Yes, you can. And you need to if you are truly serious about getting your health back and losing weight once and for all. 

4. Once at your calorie goal, I suggest staying here for 4 weeks before you do your first cut or calorie deficit of the program. It’s important to have your body well-fed and healthy for this time. You will respond better and have better results when you do your first cut. 

5. Water: work to increase your water to a minimum of 100oz a day for females and 150oz a day for males. Water is crucial for health, digestion, reduced joint pain, and weight loss! Drink up!

Next Steps

At this point you should be eating maintenance calories, enjoying social nights out, eating good whole foods 80% of the time (because you just feel better when you do) maintaining the weight loss, and all your hard work. It truly is about balance. 

I like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I cook at home, eat Whole Foods, track my food and do all the right things. 20% of the time I enjoy ice cream, go out for Mexican, have cookies, or whatever it may be. 

I truly believe in learning about nutrition so that it works for you. If you give this program 100%, take the time to do it right and not rush, 6 months to a year from now you will look and feel better than you have in years. I know this for a fact. 

If you have a bad day, just brush it off. Start again tomorrow. One bad day or meal didn’t ruin your progress. Don’t let it spiral you down the same rabbit hole you were in when you started this program.  Fight it this time. This time make the commitment to make a lifestyle change. This time…. it sticks!

FREE Nutrition and Calorie Balance 101 Guide

Fill out the form below to get your copy of this helpful guide!

Join The Challenge

Fill out the form below to participate in The Challenge
beginning on Sunday, May 15th.