Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to eat as much as you wanted and not gain any weight? If you’re like most people who have dieted, you probably have, and thought it would be the most wonderful thing in the world! Well, the answer is yes and no. I can tell you from experience that it is not all the glitter and glory you would have imagined. Want to know more about what it is like? Let’s go over 7 major things I discovered.
- It Truly is Possible, But It Takes Time and Discipline
Before anyone goes out and starts eating 3,000 calories thinking they won’t gain any weight, READ THIS FIRST. I did not just begin eating 3,000 calories overnight. I went from a 1,900 calorie diet to 3,150 calories by adding 50-100 calories PER WEEK at a time, over the course of 4 MONTHS. This is what is known as reverse dieting. I went from losing weight at a 500 calorie deficit, to maintaining my weight at 3,150 calories. During these 4 months, I actually LOST 1 more pound, but then stayed at the same weight. It wasn’t until I got injured from not sleeping enough and had to stop lifting weights that I finally started gaining weight. But I’m confident that if I had kept strength training, I probably could have pushed it to at least 3,200 calories and stayed the same weight. Which means if I wanted to GAIN weight in the form of muscle, I would probably have to eat 3,800 calories a day! Gaining muscle is my eventual goal, so subscribe to our blog if you are interested in how this turns out.
- Its Only Fun For a Short While
Sure, eating your favorite, calorie-dense foods every day and not gaining weight sounds amazing. And it really is. For the first week or two. After that, it sort of becomes a chore! Most days I’d get home from work and still need to eat almost 1,500 calories! Check out the picture from MyMacros tracking app for what I ended up eating on nights like those. It was so weird eating almost as much as I was DIETING on per day in ONE MEAL, right before bed, and waking up the next morning the same weight. It was phenomenal! Draining, but phenomenal. I’m still amazed that our bodies can be trained to do this.
- It Is Hard To Eat That Much!
Maybe it was because my house was filled with healthy food choices, but it is difficult to eat almost 3,200 calories! Especially on keto. Even at 255 grams of fat per day, I had to resort to increasing my carb intake to about 65 grams per day. Now, I may not have remained in ketosis during this time, but I did not feel like it made a difference. That is to say, my body was still adapted to burning fat for energy, but it was also able to handle the extra carbs. Down the line, I was even eating 100 grams of carbs per day without any sluggishness or keto flu symptoms. I was afraid I would get knocked out of ketosis and start getting cranky if I didn’t eat enough carbs, but that hasn’t been the case. I guess it helps that I am still relatively low carb.
- I (Almost) Prefer To Be Eating at a Deficit
It’s cheaper, and takes less time to prep meals in a deficit! I also feel a bit sharper mentally when I’m a bit hungry. Now that I am currently at a calorie deficit again (beach trip coming up!) I feel that mental edge again. That sort of goes against what you would think happens during a diet. If you are feeling sluggish, irritable, and foggy during your diet, consider adding a natural mood and focus supplement to your daily regimen, like Lumaxon. It isn’t too in-your-face like ephedrine or high-dose caffeine. It is more subtle, but definitely improves your mood, which helps you focus.
- It Takes the Same Discipline as Losing Weight
I still had to track all my calories. The only difference was having to track over a thousand additional calories! That takes time, and energy. Finding the right choices gets tiring, fast. It is also difficult to not just let go and say, “Well, I guess I can just eat this entire pizza!” The mental energy required to track is still spent, but at least I wasn’t hungry most of the time anymore.
- You Don’t Lose Muscle Overnight if You Have to Stop Lifting Weights
Something very unfortunate happened at almost exactly the same time I finally reached 3,150 calories a day. I injured myself due to not sleeping enough for several weeks in a row (another story, for another time). So, I was no longer able to lift heavy weights. I was pretty worried about this, since I thought immediately, “Oh no, I’m eating 3,150 calories a day now and can’t lift! I’m going to gain 5 lbs in a week!” But I kept eating those high calories, since I thought I would get over my injury in a week or two. Turns out I wouldn’t be able to lift for 9 weeks. I actually just started again last week. In those 9 weeks, I was constantly worried that I was losing my strength and muscle mass. I was only right about the strength. But looking at my notes and tracking, I didn’t really lose much muscle mass according to all the data I collected, I just FELT sort of weak and soft. But as I am getting stronger (quite quickly) I am also noticing that my muscle definition is returning. Moral of the story – you can skip working out for two months due to an injury and still keep most of your hard earned muscle mass! Now, remember, I was eating a high number of calories during this time, so I’m sure this helped. I don’t think I would have been as lucky if I had gotten injured when I was dieting down.
- It Is Definitely Worth Doing At Least Once In Your Life
In fact, I plan on doing it again. I mean, I have to if I want to gain that elusive muscle mass my body just seems to want to have no part in!
I’ll leave you guys with this: If you are currently dieting down to lose weight and haven’t thought about what you are going to do once you reach your goal weight, you should begin now. You don’t plan to eat 1,600 or 1,900 calories a day for the rest of your life do you? If you did, you should know you don’t have to! There is hope for returning to a more normal caloric intake, while minimizing or even avoiding fat gain.
Would you be willing to try reverse dieting to increase the amount of calories you can eat and not gain weight? Comment below and based on response, I’d be happy to put together a resource for you all! Don’t forget to sign up to our blog for more stuff like this. If, you know, you dig this sort of stuff.