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The Benefits of Reverse Dieting for a Healthy Metabolism

Dieting has single-handedly caused more damage than it’s helped. But reverse dieting can help. Learn the secret to up-regulate your metabolism and get healthy inside this post.

reverse dieting bowl of oats

To diet or not to diet? That’s the million-dollar question that has flipped in the last decade. The number of people looking to diet or jumping into one has fallen drastically. Not because they don’t want health but because they’ve watched dieting fail time and time again.

Yet, I’d have to argue most people still want to achieve health. The question is, how do you get it without jumping into another diet program?

Reverse dieting could be the answer.

But to understand reverse dieting, you must recognize the dangers of traditional dieting.
In this podcast, I invited metabolic expert Ashley Filmore to talk about metabolic damage, using reverse dieting to heal your metabolism, and what it looks like to begin the process.


Your metabolism describes how your entire body functions at the cellular level, affecting your hormones, immune system, sex hormones, reproductive system, thyroid, detoxification, digestion, adrenals, and much more. It is also responsible for every single metabolic process that takes place in your body, making it directly accountable for what your body does with glucose, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats.

A better way to understand this is to recognize that while you could feed two people the same meal with the same calories and macronutrient ratios, their bodies can do two completely different things with what they consume.

That’s the power of your metabolism at work. Understanding health is not just what you do to your body but how your body responds.

You can think of your metabolism like a thermostat. Your metabolism is constantly taking a temperature reading of the body (or what I call the flow of energy), changing the cells based on this reading to bring the body back into a state of homeostasis.

Suppose the temperature is off, or your metabolism is sluggish, and you have no energy. In that case, the cells will respond accordingly by storing, hoarding, and conserving energy, shifting your hormonal pattern to one of stress rather than thriving.

But the body was designed to thrive. It longs to thrive, but it can only do so by supporting the body, providing what it needs—shifting the temperature back into a state of balance which happens by reducing the stress load on the body.

3 Common Downfalls Wrecking Your Metabolism

The traditional approach to dieting has caused more harm than good to our metabolism. In fact, it’s quite the opposite of what it needs to heal. That’s where reverse dieting comes in. To help you nourish what has been neglected, allowing your metabolism to thrive.

In the process of healing, here are three common downfalls people make wrecking their metabolism.

01. Chronically undereating

Undereating is a slippery slope. Partially because it works, at least short term, creating the idea that if you eat less, you’ll weigh less. But it only works for a while. In the short term, you will see results. But long-term undereating can cause your metabolism to down-regulate, slowing all body systems and signaling the need to store, hoard and conserve energy. Creating the opposite effect that leaves people questioning why nothing seems to work.

The goal with health should be to eat as much as possible while still experiencing results. It’s not about restriction, deprivation, or starvation. This way of health will eventually cause you to spiral in the opposite direction, storing, hoarding, and conserving fat. To avoid this, consume enough calories focusing more on the quality than the quantity.

**Most people should not consume less than 1800 calories. Many need upwards of 2500 calories daily. Remember that quality matters more than anything.

02. Not Performing the Right Exercise

You might think exercise is exercise. But not all exercise is created equal. Some may be having the opposite effect than you had hoped. Leading to inflammation and fat gain, not loss. That’s because too much stress in prolonged and frequent periods takes good stress and makes it harmful. Instead of supplying energy, it forces you to store it to conserve the threat to your safety.

The only exercise that matters is the type that fills your body with energy, not stealing it. Pay attention first to your body. What does it need? Sometimes, it may crave a hard workout. If so, do it. But other times, you may need to pull back and practice rest-based living. It will change, and it should change. The key is trusting your body rather than forcing it to accomplish a task that is doing more harm than good.

Remember, working out harder doesn’t equate to quicker or better results. The key to longevity and health is consistent movement.

Fun fact: Walking is just as beneficial, if not more, than running.

03: Not Eating Enough Protein

Protein is a critical building block to your enzymes, hormones, muscle, bone, and everything in between. It provides structure to nearly every cell inside the body. Something in your system struggles without enough protein, leaving your body to compensate.

The minimum amount of protein you should eat daily is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Most people need a significant amount more than that. Some estimates say everyone needs at least 100 grams per day. Take a day or two and track how much protein you eat on a macro app.

Healthy protein sources include animal meats, eggs, cheese, sardines, salmon, tempeh, cottage cheese, lentils, legumes, nutritional yeast, liver, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. You may also need to supplement with a collagen supplement or a whole-foods protein powder.

Want to learn more about reverse dieting? You Might Like These

If you want to learn more about reverse dieting or work one-on-one with an expert, make sure you check out Ashley’s work!

Additional resources to help you learn more about metabolism and jumpstart your health!

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